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 that developers consult with a professional tax adviser to understand your individual tax implications in the affected markets and for guidance on the potential impact on your business.

Region- and country-specific guidelines

Brazil

If you offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via any available form of payment by customers in Brazil, Google or its payment processor partners will deduct the full cost of Brazilian withholding taxes (WHT), equal to 25% of the customer purchase price, from your revenue share payments.

Withholding taxes are applicable to non-local developers only. However, if you are a Brazilian developer paid in non-BRL currency, withholding taxes will be deducted from your revenue share payments. You can migrate to a BRL account by following the steps detailed here, and find additional details about currency support for Brazilian Real and required taxes.

As part of our service to developers, Google is constantly monitoring changes to tax regulation and will modify/notify developers of changes to Google’s approach accordingly.

Egypt

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

India

Starting on 1 December 2020, if you're located in India and offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases, Google will deduct Indian withholding taxes (WHT) from your proceeds and deposit such WHT with the Government of India. The amount of such WHT is equal to:

  • 1% (which is temporarily reduced to 0.75% until 31 March 2021) of the customer purchase price (excluding India GST) from proceeds due to you from Google, if you have provided your permanent account number (PAN) to Google; or 
  • 5% of the customer purchase price (excluding India GST) from proceeds due to you from Google, if you have not provided your PAN to Google. 

To apply the correct rate of withholding tax, Google is required to collect your Indian PAN. Here’s how you can provide Google with your PAN:

  1. Open Play Console and go to the payments profile page (Setup Settings > Payments profile).
  2. In the 'Settings' section, click Manage settings.
  3. Scroll down to 'India tax info' and click the pencil icon Pencil icon/edit icon.
  4. Enter or update your PAN.
  5. Click Save
Kuwait

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

As of 1 December 2019, Google or its payment processor partners stopped deducting any WHT from purchases made via DOB in Saudi Arabia. Any amounts deducted relating to the December 2019 period and after were credited back to developers in October 2020.

Sri Lanka

If you offer Google Play Store app and in-app purchases made via direct operator billing (DOB) by customers in Sri Lanka, beginning 1 August 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 that you have made to end users in Taiwan through the Play Store. The ruling, issued in January 2018, was retrospectively effective from 1 January 2017. Google has been actively engaging with 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 minimise impact on your cash flow

Taiwan withholding tax (2017–2019)

Jan 2020 – Jul 2020 Aggregated amount to be deducted in equal portions up to 6 months starting from August payout to minimise impact on your cash flow

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.

Withholding tax documents

The following withholding tax documents are available for download from the Download financial reports page (Download reports > Financial) in Play Console. You must have the View financial data, orders and cancellation data survey responses permission.

Withholding tax information statements 

Google will provide a withholding tax statement for the year ended 31 December 2020, which reflects the withholding rate and the amount deducted from your revenue proceeds by country. In addition, an historical statement has been prepared for sales to customers with legal addresses in Taiwan for the years 2017–2019. 

These information statements are not official government documents and have been prepared by Google for your informational purposes only. They are not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your tax adviser for specific advice regarding the information statement.

India withholding tax certificates (Form 16A) 

India withholding tax certificates (Form 16A) are provided quarterly for developers with a merchant account based in India. The details (e.g. PAN, the legal name of the PAN holder, etc.) that you provide in your payments profile must be correct.

These certificates will be available 15 days after the filing date for the quarter. For example, the Q4 2020 filing date is 31 January 2021, so certificates will be accessible from 15 February 2021.

Frequently asked questions

Global questions

Why is the developer responsible for these charges?

Withholding taxes are taxes on developers’ earnings from sales to users in these local markets.

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

Yes, the WHT will show up as a line item on the developer’s earnings report. The WHT will be shown as:

  • Direct operator billing (DOB) transactions in SA, LK, KW, EG: 'Direct operator billing withholding tax' 
  • All forms of payment transactions in BR: 'BRAZIL_IRRF' and 'BRAZIL_CIDE'
  • All forms of payment transactions in TW: 'TAIWAN_WITHHOLDING_TAX_2017_2019', 'TAIWAN_WITHHOLDING_TAX_2020' and 'TAIWAN_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 operator billing (DOB), 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.

India-specific questions

What is a PAN?

A permanent account number (PAN) is a ten-character alphanumeric identifier, issued by the Indian income tax department. It's considered the tax identification number for income/direct tax purposes.

Why is the name mentioned on the withholding tax/Form 16A different from the name that I provided to Google?

Please note that the name on the withholding tax certificate/Form 16A is based on the name belonging to the PAN that you have provided Google, as is available with the Indian Income Tax Department. Google cannot amend the name shown on the certificate, which is generated based on records of the Indian Income Tax Department.

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