On November 16, 2023, within the framework of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Tajikistan, an open dialogue among stakeholders was conducted to shape the ecosystem and foster the development of e-commerce. The discussion primarily focused on the taxation fundamentals for legal entities. The event was organized by two business associations, the American Chamber of Commerce in Tajikistan and the National Association of Small and Medium Business of Tajikistan.
Nasibakhon Aminova, Executive Director of the National Association of Small and Medium Business of Tajikistan (NASMB RT), inaugurated the event, highlighting its significance as a logical continuation of previous meetings since 2020. These discussions have been part of the ECOMSYS 2.0 project, supported by the USAID Entrepreneurship and Business Enabling Environment Development Project.
Aminova emphasized that past meetings involved dialogues contributing proposals for the Electronic Commerce Law project. This law, enacted on December 24, 2022, regulates public relations in e-commerce, aiming to protect the rights and legitimate interests of citizens and legal entities, ensuring the free operation of e-commerce.
Participating in the public-private dialogue, NASMB Tajikistan noted that the enactment of the law raised further questions, particularly concerning the taxation of business entities, including legal entities, merchants, and others. The current dialogue provided an opportunity to receive information directly from the Tax Committee under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and pose questions related to regulating these relationships.
Sobir Vazirov, the speaker from the Tax Committee, presented a wide range of tax aspects for legal entities, focusing on the nuances of regulating the activities of companies selling goods or services on online platforms or marketplaces.
Addressing taxation regimes, it was emphasized that the amended legislation now includes a simplified regime in innovative technological activities until December 31, 2026. Although a list of such activities exists, it requires further specification and detailing of the types falling under the regulation of this norm. The development of the IT park law is also in progress, encompassing regulatory regimes for innovative activities. This aspect sparked lively discussions among participants, suggesting a business-level review of the list to define innovative directions and solutions deserving state support.
Speaking about the existing value-added tax (VAT) regime, the speaker pointed out that the VAT rate for taxable transactions and taxable imports will undergo changes towards reduction. From January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2026, the rate will be 14%, and from January 1, 2027, it will be reduced to 13%.
The discussion on the collection of the “Google tax” drew interest, as the digital economy posed two challenges for tax collection: how to collect value-added tax (VAT) and corporate income tax.
Participants were curious about the introduction of a simplified regime for the e-commerce sector. The speaker also shared the experience of neighboring countries in the region, implementing a simplified regime for legal entities fully transitioning to online trading on marketplaces. Despite its introduction, the experience is novel for neighboring countries, and analytics based on a two-year period is currently under processing. The Tax Committee’s analysis will allow a review of existing regimes and potentially incentivize the e-commerce sector.
Throughout the meeting, participants had the opportunity to pose additional questions, addressing general taxation of legal entities through the lens of individual case studies.
It’s worth noting that this event was organized by NASMB Tajikistan as part of the E-ComSys 2.0 project, “IMPLEMENTATION AND PROMOTION OF THE ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ECOSYSTEM IN TAJIKISTAN,” with the support of the USAID Entrepreneurship and Business Enabling Environment Development Project.
Dialogue of Parties: “Taxation of Legal Entities and E-Commerce Subjects in Tajikistan”