France considering tax on tablets, smartphones
Consumers buying iPhones and Galaxy tablets in France could soon be paying a little extra to get their digital doses of mobile technology.
The government there is also weighing the possibility of taxing foreign music and video streaming services, such as YouTube.
What could possibly prompt a government to stack an extra fee on to a smartphone, or a viral video from Psy?
In France, there are several taxes and fees tacked on to various items – these are taxes and fees that help pump almost a billion dollars into the country’s film industry, for example.
That money helps filmmakers produce French films. But as more people get music from iTunes and watch video from YouTube – on mobile devices – the government (and artists) miss out on possible revenue.
So it seems the solution, at least in the eyes of French policymakers, is to add a new tax.
A special panel set up to solve this cultural crisis has pitched a 1 per cent tax on “Internet-connecting devices,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
This levy would apply to everything from smartphones to tablets to laptops and desktops – even web-enabled TV sets and gaming consoles.
It’s not all about rolling out new tax grabs. The WSJ also reports that the panel suggests the government nix a massive and expensive anti-piracy department, that’s been as successful at convicting illegal downloaders as the Leafs have been at advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
France isn’t the only country considering new revenue sources from digital streams. The United States Senate has approved a tax on things bought over the web.
The motion still needs to get approval in the House of Representatives, but it’s passed at least one hurdle.
Would you be opposed to paying a tax on your smartphones? Or on the music and video you get over the web, just to support the cultural entertainment industry?