The Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications held a joint meeting last week to discuss the potential collection of a digital services tax.
The government plans to set up an inter-departmental working group to study the pros and cons of levying such a tax.
The meeting was held virtually and chaired by Minister of Post and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth. Representatives of professional and technical officials from the involved departments also joined in the meeting.
Sok Sopheak, secretary of state of the Ministry of Commerce, explained at the meeting the tax obligations that must be fulfilled by operators in Cambodia or cross-border e-commerce under the legal framework of the World Trade Organization.
He supported the initiative of establishing an inter-departmental working group to better study the global or regional taxation mechanisms and procedures for digital services.
He emphasised that before any collection of a digital services tax being undertaken, that the relevant parties should collect data and conduct extensive research to analyse and evaluate the impact and opportunities of the levy to ensure that the new policy is transparent, fair and balanced so that private companies that provide digital services, as well as other related departments are all clear going forward.
The digital service tax would be levied by the government on business activities including social platforms, online advertising, search engines, e-commerce and mobile payment services.
France was one of the first countries to impose a tax on digital services. In its digital tax bill submitted in March 2019, France unveiled plans to impose a 3 percent digital tax on internet giants including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, among others operating in the digital space.