The government is contemplating and looking for ways to tax ‘social media’ – like many other things, they remain largely unsure on how to proceed. What they are sure of is:
- Large amounts of money is involved, and flowing out, so they want a piece of the action.
- The Inland Revenue Department will be responsible for collecting the funds (in their minds they probably have collected some)
Now, the need for taxation is realised, the question of who is going to pay for it arises. Now they can’t ask Facebook or Google to pay them, they pay their respective taxes in their own country. Now, whom to tax? The users? If it could be done easily, they would. But that needs a lot of infrastructural development, and, may be private telecom providers like NCell and Smart Cell would, but with our state of the art national telecommunications provider NTC and their very efficient staff, it might be a little difficult. Even if they decide to, that would take time, and already the new government’s voters are pissed they have to shell out more for internet. Not a good idea to shake them again.
Who is left? Yes, the companies who wish to have their digital marketing done. Well, what the government is contemplating doing is taxing the digital marketing companies. The digital marketing companies will transfer the cost to their clients, and their clients to the end-users, but that’s not what we are discussing here.
What the government does not know, or simply turning a blind eye is to the daunting task it has ahead.
However, I would like to remind them of Nepal’s banking structure – their very precious Mastercards and Visas are valid only in Nepal, Bhutan,and India. Well, unless you have a dollar account or you own the bank, then you may have an international valid credit card.
What all this means, dear government, is because the payment gateway is not your banking channel, you have no control over the money. You might get the ‘digital marketing companies’ to register themselves, but we don’t know, how you are going to realise the amount to be taxed, because, the amount charged by Facebook or Google is not on the official account of the ‘digital media company’.
So you see, first you have to go to the banks and ask them why they are not being issued ‘internationally valid debit or credit cards’, there could be some governmental policy disallowing that, then look to charge the digital marketing companies.
You see, a little hard work is necessary before earning money, but what would you know of that.