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Facebook to start sharing people’s business information with tax and investigative authorities

Facebook to start sharing people’s online business information with tax and investigative authorities from January 2023.

Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram’s parent company, Meta Platforms Inc., will change its rules in January to allow the tech giant to share information with tax and investigation agencies, giving the taxman a new tool to collect money from businesses using its platforms.

According to Facebook’s updated terms, which will take effect on January 3, 2023, business owners who use the platform to market or sell their goods will automatically give their consent for the sharing of their business dealings with a governmental body or entity if Facebook believes that disclosure would aid in a legitimate investigation.

The dealings cover any business information related to publicity posted on its site as well as the advertising materials.

Meta also cautioned failure to pay the advertising account’s dues on time may result in legal action.

The firm says if a payment method fails or an account is a past due, it will take additional steps to collect past due amounts including hiring a debt collection agency.

“You will pay all expenses associated with such collection, including reasonable legal fees. Past due amounts will accrue interest at 1.0 percent per month or the lawful maximum, whichever is less,” the company said.

Meta acknowledged it can use information about one’s interactions with ads and other commercial content, including monitoring one’s creditworthiness and categorizing clients as invoiced or non-invoiced.

“Meta may classify clients as invoiced clients based on factors such as ad spend and credit worthiness. You understand that, from time to time, we run tests on our Self-serve Ad Interfaces and related systems, which may affect your use and experience thereof, including campaign performance,” the terms of service read in part.

“If you are making direct debit payments, you agree that we can charge you any amount that falls within the range that you agreed to upon sign-up. We will notify you in advance if any charge will exceed the agreed-upon range.”

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which has recently expanded its surveillance on Kenyans exhibiting extravagant lifestyles on social media but paying little to no taxes, will benefit greatly from this new rule.

Additionally, the KRA has had challenges convincing businesses doing online transactions to pay the digital service tax, which is equal to 1.5 percent of the gross transaction value.

It has highlighted international companies as a major source of tax receipts in the upcoming years who derive or accrue money in Kenya through digital marketplaces, selling exclusively online or offering platforms for such deals.

The digital service tax came into effect at the start of January 2021. It is levied on the sale of e-books, movies, music, games, and other digital content. It also applies to foreign companies.

The KRA target signals that firms like Amazon and Netflix are forecast to generate sales of about Sh926 billion in three years.

Also read,

How to read your WhatsApp messages without notifying the sender

Important features and specifications to consider when buying a new laptop/computer

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Kenya’s internet quality ranked among the worst in the world, 106th globally

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