The Ministry of Finance in Laos has issued a notice requiring foreign e-commerce and tech platforms to register for Value Added Tax (VAT) in the country and to implement the Tax Obligations of the E-Commerce and Digital Platform No. 0541/MOF, dated 24 February 2022.
The move comes as a number of countries in Southeast Asia enjoy the benefits of taxing tech giants that make earnings in their territory.
Laos has quietly begun taxing non-resident e-commerce companies and digital service providers, with non-resident companies not registered in Laos now subject to tax.
These include companies like YouTube, Zoom, and Netflix, as well as advertising companies, online hotel booking services, and e-commerce platforms such as Lazada.
Any non-resident company which makes more than LAK 400 million (about USD 34,000) each year will be required to register to pay the Lao VAT by creating a Tax Identification Number. An additional profit tax will also be required.
The decree also covers resident and non-resident individuals who earn income from e-commerce of digital platform services.