Withholding tax (WHT)

Due to requirements in some local markets, withholding taxes (WHT) may apply to developers offering Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made in those countries.

We strongly recommend developers consult with a professional tax advisor to understand your individual tax implications in the affected markets and for guidance on the potential impact on your business.

Region & country-specific guidelines

Egypt

If you offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct carrier billing (DCB) by customers in Egypt, beginning March 2020, Google or its payment processor partners will deduct up to 20% of withholding tax (WHT).

Kuwait

If you offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct carrier billing (DCB) by customers in Kuwait, beginning August 1, 2019, Google or its payment processor partners will deduct up to 5% of withholding tax (WHT).

Saudi Arabia

If you offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct carrier billing (DCB) by customers in Saudi Arabia, beginning August 1, 2019, Google or its payment processor partners will deduct up to 8% of withholding tax (WHT).

As of December 1, 2019, Google or its payment processor partners stopped deducting any WHT from purchases made via DCB in Saudi Arabia. Any amounts deducted relating to the December 2019 period and after will be credited back to developers.

Sri Lanka

If you offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct carrier billing (DCB) by customers in Sri Lanka, beginning August 1, 2019, Google or its payment processor partners will deduct up to 10% of withholding tax (WHT).

Taiwan

Under the local Taiwan tax legislation, Google is obligated to withhold tax on payments made to you, where such payments are associated with sales you have made to end users in Taiwan through the Play Store. The ruling, issued in January 2018, was retrospectively effective from January 1, 2017. Google has been actively engaging the Taiwan tax authorities on this ruling and only received clarification recently. No Taiwan withholding taxes had been applied on our payments to you to date, as we were pending clarification from the Taiwan tax authorities. 

This affects developers who do not possess either:

  • A Taiwan VAT ID (8 digit numeral number),
  • or A foreign TIN registered in Taiwan.

If you are unable to provide any Taiwan VAT ID or tax registration in Taiwan, Google is obligated to apply a 3% withholding tax on the payment made to you for all of your transactions with users in Taiwan. In addition, if Google is applying the withholding tax, Google will not be able to provide a specific withholding tax certificate issued by the Taiwanese tax authorities in your name.

Starting in August 2020, Google will deduct 3% withholding tax on your share of revenue derived from the sale to end users in Taiwan. Please refer to the table below for more details.

Earnings period

How will the deduction be applied?

How will it be reflected in Google Play Console?
Jan 2017–Dec 2019

Aggregated amount to be deducted in equal portions up to 6 months starting from August payout to minimize impact on your cash flow

Taiwan Withholding Tax (2017–2019)

Jan 2020–Jul 2020

One-time deduction from August payout

Taiwan Withholding Tax (Jan–Jul, 2020)

Aug 2020 and onwards

Deduction from monthly payout

Taiwan Withholding Tax

 

If you have any questions or require assistance, you can contact Google Play developer support for help.

DCB information statement

Effective August 1, 2019, Google Play began deducting amounts attributable to local withholding taxes from your revenue proceeds generated via direct carrier billing (DCB) from Google Play Store app and in-app purchases by customers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Sri Lanka. These deducted amounts are reflected on your developer earnings report as “Direct Carrier Billing Withholding Tax.”

Google has prepared an information statement for the year ended December 31, 2019, which reflects the withholding rate applied by the carrier and the amount deducted from your revenue proceeds by country. The information statement is not an official government document and has been prepared by Google for your informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. There is no warranty or guarantee of your right to claim a tax credit, deduction, or refund for all or any portion of the deducted amounts. Please consult your tax adviser for specific advice regarding the information statement.

To obtain a copy of the information statement for the year ended December 31, 2019, please send an email to developer-WHT@google.com requesting the statement.

You will need to provide your Payments Profile ID in order to confirm your identity. To locate your Payments Profile ID: 

  1. Sign in to your Play Console.
  2. Click Settings Settings > Developer Account > Payment Settings > Manage Settings.
  3. Scroll to the ID listed under your Payments Profile.

You will receive an email response including a PDF of the information statement within 48 hours.  If you have any further questions, please contact us at developer-WHT@google.com.

Frequently asked questions

Why is this change occurring? Why now? Why didn’t Google pass this cost on from the beginning?

The regulatory environment is frequently changing in local markets, we are constantly making efforts to ensure all parties are in compliance with local requirements and implementing the changes as needed. Withholding taxes are taxes on developers’ income from sales to users in these local markets. Until now, Google has covered this cost for developers while we put measures in place to be able to pass the cost of the applicable obligation on to developers.

When will I start to incur these charges?

In the first statement of the month when changes were implemented for the specific country or region. For example, changes implemented on August 1, 2019, will impact your August earnings.

If Google or its payment processor partners deduct withholding tax (WHT) from Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct carrier billing (DCB), will the withholding tax show up as a line item on my reporting? Where can I see it?

Yes. it will show up as a line item on the developer earnings report as “Direct Carrier Billing Withholding Tax”.

If Google or its payment processor partners deduct withholding tax (WHT) from Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct carrier billing (DCB), will I owe Google back taxes for the amount Google covered historically?

No.

Can I opt out of having taxes withheld?

No. These taxes arise on your income from sales to users in this country or region.

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