LAHORE: The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) on Thursday served separate notices to two international video-sharing websites — YouTube and Dailymotion — and a local website Mustakbil.com for registration under Section 25 of the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Act 2012 by June 17.
The authority has, otherwise, warned of compulsory registration under Section 27 of the Act, without any further notice in case of non-compliance of first notice which has been sent through official postal service.
Previously, the authority has sent similar notices to popular social media networking websites of Facebook and Google two weeks ago seeking tax on Punjab-specific advertisements being displayed on these websites.
Officials argue as citizens of Punjab are regular user of all such websites while individuals and companies get their advertisements booked on such websites they are liable to be taxed.
They further say the tax is justified when Punjab based companies are availing services of such websites.
In separate correspondences to the management of both leading websites, the authority states as per section 3(1) of the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Act 2012, any person providing services, listed in the Second Schedule to the Act, in Punjab from his office or place of business are required to be registered with PRA in terms of Act.
“It has come to the notice of the authority that you have been providing services of ‘other advertisement including websites or internet’ listed at serial number 12 of the Second Schedule without registering your business with the authority and have resultantly evaded Punjab ST on services,” the PRA said in its correspondence.
“Now, therefore, through this notice, you are being provided an opportunity to get your business registered with the authority immediately of receipt of this advance notice,” it added.
“As you are providing taxable services in Punjab Pakistan you, therefore, are liable to comply with the rules under this jurisdiction. In case you wish to be heard in person or via mail you may appear before the undersigned on June 17 or can ask any query on email@example.com’.”
Sources privy to the development told Dawn that the process of serving notices was a first step to bring international websites of social media, entertainment and e-commerce.
They said in case of non-compliance, the authority was mulling writing to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to place an embargo on those websites violating the PRA notices.