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

Due to local tax regulation updates in Taiwan, Google is now required to collect foreign app developers’ taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) registered in Taiwan.

This affects developers who possess either:

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

If the information is available, please submit your information via this form, by February 28, 2020 as this may impact your business taxes 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 (WHT) on the payment made to you for all of your transactions with users in Taiwan. In addition, if Google is applying the WHT, Google will not be able to provide a specific withholding tax certificate issued by the Taiwanese tax authorities in your name.

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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