Facebook, on their Business Help Centre, announced that they will be charging Zimbabwean advertisers Value Added Tax (VAT). The tax, which is pegged locally at 14.5% will apply to businesses and individuals whose “Sold To” country is set to Zimbabwe. Facebook will be charging VAT for ads regardless of whether they are for business or personal purposes. This measure will come into effect on the 1st of September 2020.
Businesses and individuals who are VAT registered can add their ZIMRA VAT ID in the Ad Accounts Settings of Ads Manager. Facebook goes on to say that you don’t have to enter your VAT ID, but if you do your ads receipts will come with your VAT ID and this may help in claiming VAT from ZIMRA.
With the date set for the first of September its safe to say that Facebook and ZIMRA are at an advanced stage of some sort of integration. The Zimbabwean government has been talking about taxing global internet platforms as far as their services are offered to Zimbabweans. The most recent time this was mentioned was in Mthuli Ncube’s 2019 national budget.
Of course the VAT on Facebook ads is not really Facebook being taxed. It’s Zimbabweans who are being taxed.