Kathmandu, April 14
Amid discussions on whether or not the government should impose taxes on social media operation in the country, the Office of Auditor General (OAG) has recommended the government to bring social sites under the tax net.
The 56th annual report of OAG released on Friday has stated that telecom service providers along with the government have been facing revenue loss owing to the massive use of over-the-top (OTT) services like Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp and social networking sites like Facebook, among others and recommended that bringing such social networking platforms under the tax net is crucial to raise revenue.
The OAG report has pointed out that these applications did not pay taxes to the Nepal government even though they were in wide-spread use in the country.
The use of such applications has resulted in the decline of the income of telecommunications service providers. The social networking sites fall under the taxpaying sector but they are evading it in Nepal. As information and advertisements are boosted on these social networks, a huge amount of money is flowing out.
Even the trade and advertisements done via international e-commerce sites have caused loss to Nepal’s revenue.
Meanwhile, the government has already started the initiative to bring social media operation under the tax net. The draft of the Bill on Information and Technology Management has incorporated different restrictive provisions on the operation of social media sites in the country.
Stating that it would help regulate social media operation in the country, the draft bill has introduced a provision whereby all social media sites should be registered at the Department of Information (DoI).
As per the bill, any new social media site has to be registered at DoI while existing social media sites should be registered at the department within a certain period that the government will fix following the endorsement of the bill. Similarly, the bill also states that the government can stop the operation of social sites that are being operated without registration.
Written by Sandeep Sen
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/bring-social-networking-sites-under-tax-net/ under the title “‘Bring social networking sites under tax net’”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.