Online businesses identified as important services

According to the online vendors, there is particular concern among online businesses over the upcoming taxation and directive orders after the designation of the businesses as essential services.
In accord with Section 4 and Subsection (c) of the Essential Goods and Services Act, online sales activities have been declared as essential services starting from 4 July.
The Ministry of Commerce has been empowered to issue prohibition orders, regulatory orders, supervision orders, protection orders, and necessary actions related to this service.
“Since the Ministry of Commerce has been given the authority to issue orders, tax issues may continue to arise. Some sell online, but I see that commercial sellers and self-owned sellers may suffer more. There is no problem with charging those who sell diamonds and gold jewellery items, but if the tax rate is the same for online sellers who sell just one a day, a minority may suffer,” said U Myint Swe, a resident of Mingala Taungnyunt Township.
Most online sellers are worried about the regulatory issues related to business licences and taxes.
“Domestic online sales have been strong again during the period of Covid-19, so I think that the officials have responsibility for handling the tax issues and controlling over the products. Taxes are paid wherever transactions are conducted. This kind of online sales is a form of tax avoidance. This may be done because of the loss of taxes for the country,” said U Aung Gyi, a retired employee.
Some of the traders have been selling local and foreign products including food, clothing and cosmetics online, but now some are selling housing and building materials, mobile phones, cars, lands, apartments and gemstones online.
According to the Essential Supplies And Services Law enacted in 2012, if goods are identified as important goods, the ministry authorized by the Union government may regulate or prohibit import, sale, possession, storage, transportation, distribution, etc.
This is done in order to restrict and prevent goods and services that may harm the interests of citizens, and to prevent the domestic transportation of goods and animals that may cause dangers, epidemics and unacceptable problems.
Violation of the law is punishable by a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of not more than K500,000, according to the law. — TWA/KZL

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