Realise revenues from Google, Facebook, YouTube, HC asks govt

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:The High Court today ordered the government to realise appropriate tax, VAT and other charges from the revenues earned by different digital platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo and YouTube.

In response to a writ petition, the court also asked the government to form a special committee to assess the amount of their financial transactions in recent years and to submit an assessment report to this court by June 25.

The HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks why their inaction to realise appropriate tax, VAT and other charges from the revenues earned by different digital platforms from Bangladesh should not be declared illegal.

The respondents are finance secretary; Bangladesh Bank governor; National Board of Revenue chairman; secretaries of law, telecommunication, information and communication technology ministries; Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission chairman; Newspapers Owners Association of Bangladesh president; Google; Facebook; Yahoo! Inc. and YouTube, LLC.

The bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal came up with the order and rule following writ petition filed by six Supreme Court lawyers seeking immediate measures from the government for realising appropriate tax, VAT and other charges from the revenues earned by different digital platforms from Bangladesh.

Digital platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, YouTube and their ilk are progressively earning substantial amounts from Bangladesh since 2007 but they do not pay any tax against the earnings, they said in the petition.

They also said in the petition that they observed that these global digital companies are sucking huge amounts of money from Bangladesh but they have no information on whether they are paying due taxes or not.

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