Mobile content to raise additional tax revenues in Belarus in 2017
As of January 1st, 2017, the Ministry of Taxes and Duties plans to charge VAT on mobile applications and games. Payments to Internet companies providing paid content will be regarded as providing services in Belarus. Most foreign companies sell their content through foreign payment systems. As a result, consumers will have to pay more for their mobile content. Some smart phone users may open bank accounts in foreign banks in order to avoid payments from Belarus. In addition, foreign companies, which refuse to cooperate with the Belarusian tax authorities, may have problems with access to their services from Belarus. As the Belarusian government is urgently looking for additional budget revenues, it may introduce taxes on any payments by Belarusian resident to foreign companies and private persons.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.