The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has proposed bringing fully the global tech giants like Facebook and Google under the tax net.
The civil society think tank made such a recommendation at research unveiled in a dialogue titled “Taxing the digital economy: Trade-off and opportunities”.
The CPD conducted the research in support of the European Union (EU).
Highlighting the recommendations of the research, distinguished fellow of CPD Dr. Mustafizur Rahman said although the government has been realizing VAT from the global tech giants like Facebook and Google, it is yet to realize income tax from these companies.
“Because they don’t have a taxpayer identification number (TIN) due to not having local offices in Bangladesh. But, the global tech giants are earning a huge amount of money every year from Bangladesh. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) should frame a necessary policy to bring these companies fully under the tax net,” he added.
The CPD distinguished fellow said that the local companies are giving ads worth around Taka 2,000 crore to the global tech giants like Facebook and Google every year, but their income remained outside of the purview of the income tax. “In order to increase internal resource mobilization, there is a need to impose tax against such newer services,” he added.
Noting that there is no other alternative way to increase the internal resource mobilization to turn the country into a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ as per the government’s vision, Dr Mustafizur also suggested the government gradually come out of the culture of tax exemption.
He opined that the government should take a well-thought-out initiative to increase revenue generation through the use of digital technology side by side to find out ways how to flourish the digital economy.
The CPD distinguished fellow said that if the trend of tax exemption continues every year, then it would not be possible to enhance expenditure in sectors like education and health.
He also suggested framing a roadmap for imposing tax gradually on those sectors which are currently enjoying tax exemptions.
Dr Mustafizur recommended providing incentives to the start-ups in such a way that newer sectors emerge, creating scopes for generating revenues.
Mentioning that double taxation still exists in some areas of the digital economy, he said that such things should have to be addressed side by side policy support should be extended to flourish e-commerce and e-business.
Kazi Nabil, MP, and Ahsan Adekur Rahman, CPD distinguished fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, CPD executive director Dr Fahmida Khatun, BASIS director Habibullah N Karim spoke, among others, at the dialogue.