Local Agents Need Separate VAT Numbers for Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Youtube

Local representatives of international tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, IMO, and Youtube will require separate VAT registration numbers in each group.

The decision of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is for companies running their company by agents in Bangladesh. Once implemented, fresh VAT registry numbers will need to be collected from the foreign tech firms.

NBR sources said these companies will take VAT registration from Dhaka South Customs and the VAT Commissionerate.

In June of last year, the government made it mandatory for international television, radio and internet service providers such as Facebook, Google, Youtube, Messenger, IMO and Whatsapp to appoint their VAT agents here and get VAT registration.

The Government has agreed to implement VAT and Supplemental Duty Act 2012 on internet content in the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20. Within this rule, advertisements would be liable to 15 percent VAT.

As per the law, non-residents who are providing various types of services through television, radio and other electronic means have to appoint VAT agents in the country and obtain VAT registration.

In Bangladesh, satellite channels include Zee Bangla, Star Jalsha, Jalsha Movies, and several other international channels that are broadcasting adverts.

On the other hand, Facebook, Google, Youtube, Messenger, Whatsapp, Yahoo, Amazon, and IMO are also getting Bangladeshi advertisements.

Many international companies, including telecom carriers, fast-moving consumer products businesses, ride-sharing and e-commerce networks, and other internet business companies, invest extensively in ads.

The spending is increasing rapidly and some digital agencies have already sprung up to take care of this business segment.

On April 12, 2018, the High Court directed the government to collect effective fees, VAT and other sales charges from different internet channels such as Google, Twitter, Amazon, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Bangladesh Bank recently demanded that all banks be stringent on the payment process and subtract 15 percent VAT on overseas payments for internet transactions and advertising on web channels as a step to recover VAT on payments for ads published or services obtained from web and social networking platforms.

The move came following a request from the NBR on deducting VAT on payments for internet services, adverts on digital platforms and other related services received from abroad.

Source: UNB

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