Russia: Facebook and other global digital giants agree to pay ‘Google Tax’

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On June 29, 2016, the government has approved the VAT Law for foreign companies selling online services to Russian consumers. Therefore, over a hundred foreign corporations have already registered in Russia. Among these companies are: Alibaba, Amazon, Apple Distribution International, Bloomberg, Financial Times, GoDaddy, Google Commerce Ltd, Microsoft Ireland, Netflix International B.V., as well as Wargaming Group (the Belarusian publisher of World of Tanks) and Chelsea football club as a video content distributor.

Recently, the social media giant Facebook has also joined the list of IT firms registered with Russia’s Federal Tax Service as a foreign company selling electronic content in Russia. By introducing this tax the government is trying to create equal conditions for all companies working on the Russian market.

Remarkably, LinkedIn also registered, in spite of the fact that its site is no longer accessible from Russia. It was blocked in November last year for non-compliance with Russia’s legislation on personal data storage.

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