The words of the year (4/6): “tax Netflix”, the iniquity of tax, in the era of dematerialization

In this appellation more or less controlled, Netflix becomes the baobab tree digital that hides a forest of online businesses.

The minister Mélanie Joly believed to proudly unveil a cultural policy and an agreement with one of the american giants of the Web in October, after months of consultations and negotiations. The promise not to impose a “tax Netflix to Canadians” in exchange for investments of at least $ 500 million over five years to the american company in the original production in Canada (without quotas French-speaking, however), it was soon wickedly turned against the minister of canadian Heritage and the federal government.


The formula ” taxing Netflix “, refers to the california company for the production and online distribution of films and tv series. In fact, it does not, however, a special fee for this single company. In this appellation more or less controlled, Netflix becomes the baobab tree digital that hides a forest of online businesses.


The tax Netflix, in the jargon technopolitique, this is the one that applies or should apply to the online consumption of a good or a service. It is, for example, the QST and the GST paid when a Quebecer buys a product on Or even when he subscribes to the service of Netflix through the iTunes Store of Apple, which collects the taxes.


“The tax Netflix, it does not exist, a summary prior to the crisis, in September the ex-minister of Culture Luc Fortin. We talk about the GST and the QST. “


The fee Netflix is not a, but is one anyway. It almost excuses the minister to have lost his franglais.


Other tax measures


This system of taxation must be distinguished from other tax measures specific to the digital. The Google tax means, for example, the tax of this enormous undertaking in Great Britain. Tax YouTube allows France to levy 2 % of the advertising revenue of online publishers of free videos.


Madame Joly, of the colleagues in the liberal cabinet and prime minister Trudeau were repeated before and after the last elections that they would not increase the tax burden on Canadians by taxing online services. It was also the position of the conservatives and the NDP in 2015. In this case, rather, it would be to force the tax equity. More than one hundred jurisdictions in the world impose this measure of taxation on all firms, without exception.


His own officials had warned the minister of canadian Heritage, that this exemption from the taxes paid by all except the fraudsters go wrong in the population. As soon as the announcement was made, the critical reaction has actually befallen madame Joly with the force of a tropical storm. All the circles of quebec, the unions, the arts, the major competitors broadcasters of the country, even the employers Council have denounced the agreement. A columnist in the Globe and Mail has outright spoken of” fail miserable “. Rarely have we seen so much a common front, similar on a cultural issue.


After weeks of statements nebulae adding confusion to the hodgepodge, the minister Joly explained last week on Radio-Canada that the agreement with Netflix was one of transition, the time to change the laws. It is also recognized to have experienced a fall hard…

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