I hope this is the right SE site to ask this question.

Recently, in Lebanon, the government decided to impose a daily tax on the first call made using WhatsApp call feature, equal to 0.2$.

Now people are debating whether this is legal or not.

Some of them are using this script (emphasis mine):

Fees and Taxes. You are responsible for all carrier data plan and other fees and taxes associated with your use of our Services. We may charge you for our Services, including applicable taxes. We may refuse or cancel orders. We do not provide refunds for our Services, except as required by law. Source

to claim that this is legal.

Others are using this (emphasis mine):

Harm to WhatsApp or Our Users. You must not (or assist others to) access, use, copy, adapt, modify, prepare derivative works based upon, distribute, license, sublicense, transfer, display, perform, or otherwise exploit our Services in impermissible or unauthorized manners, or in ways that burden, impair, or harm us, our Services, systems, our users, or others, including that you must not directly or through automated means: (a) reverse engineer, alter, modify, create derivative works from, decompile, or extract code from our Services; (b) send, store, or transmit viruses or other harmful computer code through or onto our Services; (c) gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to our Services or systems; (d) interfere with or disrupt the integrity or performance of our Services; (e) create accounts for our Services through unauthorized or automated means; (f) collect the information of or about our users in any impermissible or unauthorized manner; (g) sell, resell, rent, or charge for our Services; or (h) distribute or make our Services available over a network where they could be used by multiple devices at the same time. Source

to claim that it's illegal.

My simple question is if imposing taxes on using WhatsApp call is legal or not (with the explanation between the different part mentioned above). If not, could WhatsApp sue the Lebanese Government?

  • 1
    The WhatsApp terms of service can't override the law. Any part of them that conflicts with Lebanon's law would be held invalid in Lebanese courts. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


Neither of those clauses has anything to do with whether a tax on the use of Whatsapp is legal:

  1. The first clause tells users that they are responsible for any taxes that may be owed. It says nothing about whether such a tax is or is not legal.

  2. The second clause says that users may not charge for Whatsapp services. It says nothing about whether the government may impose a tax for the use of the services.

That is all beside the point, though. Even if the TOS explicitly said, "No one may tax the use of our services," that would have no legal effect. Saying that you're exempt from taxation does not make you exempt from taxation.

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