NBR may ask Google, FB, other cos to set up offices in B’desh

Likely to seek info on their earnings from Bangladesh

Jasim Uddin | Published: 00:00, Dec 23,2018

 
 

A file photo shows advertisements of local companies using Google platform on the Dhaka Stock Exchange web site, left, and on Facebook page. National Board of Revenue may ask global digital platforms like YouTube, Google and Facebook having earnings from Bangladesh to set up their offices in the country. — New Age photo

National Board of Revenue may ask global digital platforms like YouTube, Google and Facebook having earnings from Bangladesh to set up their offices in the country.
NBR is planning to take such a decision to ensure collection of taxes on income of the global technology giants derived from advertisements given by Bangladeshi individuals and companies.
Currently, the government hardly gets any taxes, mainly value-added tax and income tax, on the income of the organisations as they don’t have offices in Bangladesh.
A special NBR committee on collection of taxes from the global firms will examine the viability of such plan in its next meeting to be held soon.
The committee will finalise the decision if it gets positive nod from other relevant agencies like Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, a member of the committee told New Age on Thursday.
A representative of BTRC will be invited at the meeting to get its opinion on various technical issues on bringing the global firms under tax net.
The committee headed by NBR member (VAT implementation and IT) Shahnaj Parveen in a recent meeting decided to write letters to Youtube, Google, Facebook, Whats App, Yahoo, Amazon, Imo and other platforms seeking information related to their income generated in Bangladesh from advertisements posted by local individuals and companies.
In the letters, NBR will also ask the firms to provide details of their year-wise income generated in Bangladesh and the names of advisers for the last five years, officials said.
Officials said that exporters could remit their expenditure for advertisements on the global platforms without permission from the Bangladesh Bank.
The amount of transactions for the purpose is very low, they said.
But intermediaries, which manage advertisements, need to get prior approval from the central bank for remitting the money through banking channel.
They said that the committee at its next meeting will analyse the merits of the decisions and identify the local agencies having authority to correspondent with the global firms.
A representative of commerce ministry will also be included in the committee to examine the registration process under the Companies Act of the country.
The committee, formed as per the instruction of High Court, has also decided to collect detail information on expenditure of mobile operators and other firms which give digital advertisements with the global technology giants, they said.
A letter will be sent to BTRC seeking the information of mobile operators and other BTRC licence holders.
Earlier, the High Court asked NBR to form a special committee to collect taxes properly from advertisements posted on sites of the global digital firms.
The committee consists of representatives of Bangladesh Bank, law ministry, Finance Division, ICT Division and different wings of NBR, also decided to collect details of transactions made for digital advertisements and the amount of taxes collected from the sector.
Representatives of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit and BTRC will be included in the committee to examine money laundering and technological issues, it said.

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