LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

LIRNEasia contributes to discussion on platforms and taxes

Based on work done on electronic trading in ASEAN and extrapolation from the online freelancing research, I contributed some thoughts on budget proposals to create a government-run platform to collect taxes. That has been picked up in subsequent articles.

In the face of government highhandedness, global e-commerce giants have in the past opted not to enter Sri Lanka, and experts such as LIRNEasia Chairman Professor Rohan Samarajiva have expressed concerns that new interference would lead to those operating in Sri Lanka to leave the country as well.

However, some platforms such as Airbnb have a history of collecting taxation from customers and providing them to governments, if requested.

Officials admitted that many budget accommodation units are not eligible to pay taxes, which would require amendments to existing legislation. This would mean that a majority of the taxes would have to be collected from the taxation of the value addition of the bookings, and the tourism levies that the online booking engines would have to pay.

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