Will Google and Apple pay? New tax on apps and online games announced in Belarus

Starting 2017 Belarus plans to collect tax from sales of mobile applications and online games. The relevant decision was announced by the Taxes and Duties Ministry at a press conference in Minsk on Friday, July 8.
“Next year new tax rules regarding electronic services provided by non-resident companies will be offered to the Tax Code. They will apply to sales of mobile applications, music, e-books, movies, and games. This kind of business is actively developing now, and we are inclined to attract revenues to budget from such activities, which in principle corresponds to the prevailing international practice”, officials said.
The Ministry is now working on a mechanism of the implementation of this idea.
Answering the question about whether foreign companies will just leave the Belarusian market after the new tax is introduced, the representative of the Ministry stressed that the authorities have no intention to prohibit or restrict anything.
“This is rather complicated from the technical point of view, and will require corresponding efforts. No restrictive measures will be imposed on January 1, 2017. We are not interesting in closing Belarus from the rest of the world. We’re interested in companies to continue working as they do but complying with tax requirements on the territory of our country”.
Earlier, the Belarusian authorities had voiced an intention to monetize services of instant messengers such as Skype and Viber. However, these plans remain on paper so far.