Monthly income to the Tajik budget from tax on virtual services expected to be €10,000, says expert
5 months ago Web Desk 0
Experts speculate, since officials often refrain from divulging their motivations for blocking websites, that this may be linked to recently adopted provisions on taxing software companies providing services to clients inside Tajikistan.
Zoom users are able to circumvent the block, however, if they use VPN proxy services.
Last week, it was Gmail, Instagram and Facebook that became unavailable for two days. A number of VPN services also stopped working.
As usual, the communications service agency denies it is behind the blocking of any social networking sites.
Eurasianet notes that while this kind of censorship has previously been politically motivated, it appears the cause this time is of a more pecuniary nature.
Tajikistan last year adopted a so-called Google Tax, which is designed to compel companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Booking.com and others to pay taxes inside Tajikistan. Under the provisions of the legislation, the companies are now required to register with Tajik tax authorities and pay an 18-percent value added tax (VAT) to Tajikistan’s national budget.
News website Your.tj has cited the Tax Committee as forecasting that, “according to very conservative estimates, the approximate revenue to the budget from this [tax on virtual services] will be €100-200,000 ($122-243,000) per month.”
A tax expert contacted by Eurasianet cast doubt on this figure, however, and referred to data that shows that 93 percent of bank cardholders use their cards to withdraw cash. Only 7 percent use them for online transactions, the Dushanbe-based specialist told Eurasianet on condition of anonymity.
“Based on these figures, we can say that the monthly income to the budget will be no more than 10,000 euros. Tajiks have not yet developed a culture of purchasing services and entertainment online. Netflix, for example. In Europe, every second person has a subscription to this resource. In Tajikistan, I have not heard of anybody having a subscription,” the expert said.
Source: Asia Plus