In this April 18, 2017, file photo, conference workers speak in front of a demo booth at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook and Instagram say it will charge goods and services taxes on online advertisements purchased through its Canadian operations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Noah Berger, File

Facebook, Instagram to charge GST on online ads by mid-2019

Facebook and Instagram will charge tax on online advertisements for their Canadian operations

Facebook and Instagram will charge the goods and services tax on online advertisements purchased through their Canadian operations, but other technology giants said they aren’t ready to follow suit just yet.

The U.S.-based social media networks said they decided to apply the taxes by mid-2019 in an effort to “provide more transparency to governments and policy makers around the world who have called for greater visibility over the revenue associated with locally supported sales in their countries.”

RELATED: Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

The federal government has long faced pressure to force foreign online services to apply sales taxes to their work, but has shied away from such measures, despite its international trade committee urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make online services pay the taxes so small- and medium-sized businesses don’t lose customers to larger firms based abroad.

The decision to charge the taxes could create a windfall for the federal government and bring it closer to the 2020 deadline it set with other G20 countries to develop an international tax plan to address companies that are based in one country but have the potential to pay taxes in another.

In the wake of Facebook and Instagram’s announcement, a spokesperson for Twitter Canada said it does not currently charge sales taxes on ads and a representative for Uber Canada said it already applies sales taxes on all of its rides and food delivery orders in the country.

Google referred The Canadian Press to statements the company made back in May indicating that it would comply with legislation, should the federal government create regulations to require the collection of such taxes on digital sales.

The company noted that it already plans to comply with similar legislation Quebec passed around its sales tax.

Meanwhile, streaming service Netflix said only that it “pays all taxes when required by law.”

Short-term rental company Airbnb previously asked the federal government for regulation around taxes.

RELATED: Facebook finds ‘sophisticated’ efforts to disrupt U.S. elections

“We think as a platform our hosts should pay taxes. I know people get shocked when we say that, but we do. We think we should be contributing,” Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s public policy manager in Canada, said in an interview.

“We just need to figure out what are the appropriate rules in place to do that and how can we facilitate that.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

500 pounds of turkey served at Cool Aid community Christmas dinner

Annual dinner serves hundreds of community members

VIDEO: Annual Tuba Christmas concert draws large crowd to Market Square

Over 100 tuba and euphonium players gathered to play festive tunes

Revisit Christmas past as Point Ellice House displays Victorian-era traditions

Antique bobbles, cards, decor and more are on display

Bold and brassy quintet touches down at UVic

Internationally recognized Canadian Brass performing with Victoria Symphony on Dec. 21

Saanich church kicks off holidays with peaceful Winter Solstice service

St. Luke’s song-filled Christmas services come later

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read