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Dhaka Tribune

eCAB demands tax holiday

Update : 10 Jun 2018, 01:44 AM

The e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (eCAB) has demanded a tax holiday for the sector for five to ten years. 

“We appreciate the tax but it should be applied after a timeframe of five or seven or ten years so the businesses reach a stable position and contribute more to the economy,” said the association’s President Shomi Kaiser at a press conference at the National Press Club on Saturday. 

“e-commerce sector is enjoying tax holidays in all the countries where the sector is tremendously growing or has grown already with the assistance of governments,” she said.

Shomi thanked the government and the finance minister for not imposing VAT on the sector in the proposed budget for fiscal 2018-19.

However, she said, the e-CAB does not see any problem to bring Google, Facebook, YouTube under tax net if it is done through a clean and structured procedure.

eCAB General Secretary Md Abdul Wahed Tomal thanked the National Board of Revenue for excluding the sector from the purview of VAT.

He clarified that those who have no physical shop like daraz.com, bagdoom.com and ajkerdeal.com are considered virtual business. Moreover, some online based facebook pages are also included.

According to eCAB’s recommendations, online retail shop like Walton and Aarong which already have bricks and mortar outlets should  be excluded from VAT and the tax should have been implemented five years down the line.

Tomal said: “We need to ensure the verified online payment gateway in all the businesses before the imposition of tax.” 

On Friday, NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the budgetary provision to impose 5% Value Added Tax on e-commerce businesses was a “printing mistake.”

Earlier in fiscal 2015-16, a 4% VAT was proposed for the sector, which was later cancelled following a strong opposition from stakeholders. 

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