The National Board of Revenue has decided to relax the condition of having accounts in local banks for obtaining VAT registration number by global technology companies with no physical offices in Bangladesh.
The NBR’s value-added tax wing has already prepared a form through which tech companies, mainly social media giants such as Facebook, Youtube, Google and Netflix, would be able to apply for business identification numbers, known as VAT registration number.
Foreign companies will be able to pay VAT directly from their overseas bank accounts to the government exchequer once the amendment comes into effect, officials said. The NBR will soon issue a notice amending the existing form and law in this regard, they said.
The companies, however, will have either to appoint a local agent or set up offices in Bangladesh to comply with the NBR’s regulations, they added.
Since July 2019, a number of foreign companies, including Facebook, Netflix and Google, requested the NBR to allow them to obtain BINs directly without appointing VAT agents as local VAT agents were reluctant to take the VAT liabilities of foreign companies which had no establishment in Bangladesh.
Officials said that the companies could avoid appointing VAT agent by setting up local offices in the country. The NBR will also reduce the number of information sought in the application, they said.
The NBR, however, is getting VAT from these companies as banks deduct the VAT at source at the time of remitting money to the companies.
But it cannot check VAT evasion if payments are made through illegal means.
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