Quebec wants to charge provincial sales tax on Netflix

Netflix

While the federal government may have let Netflix off the hook when it comes to a so-called ‘Netflix Tax,’ Quebec is keen to impose its own sales tax.

“Netflix’s service is taxable and we intend to ensure that consumers pay the tax in the name of [tax] equity,” Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Tuesday morning, October 3rd, according to La Presse.

“There is no question of abdicating anything,” he continued, reportedly adding that the government must nevertheless have Netflix’s collaboration to collect the province’s sales tax from Quebec customers.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly recently revealed Canada’s new cultural policy plan, which features as its centerpiece a $500 million CAD deal with Netflix that involves opening a permanent production “presence” in the country.

The plan doesn’t include new taxes on digital platforms, despite pressure from various stakeholders, including traditional television providers, to impose a levy on the popular streaming service that would potentially contribute to the Canadian Media Fund (CMF), commonly referred to as a ‘Netflix Tax.’

Minister Joly has since tweeted, however, that “Netflix’s Canadian production house is subject to the same corporate taxes as any other business” — though it’s likely that Netflix’s Canadian production division is not going to generate significant revenue given it’s producing original content for the streaming service and not earning subscriber revenue.

In addition to Leitao’s comments, Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications Luc Fortin has also been critical of the plan, stating at a press briefing following the announcement: “I am rather angry, I would say, and especially that we have abdicated on the question of language, among other things, that we are not assured that there is a definite portion of original French-language content, while the same is required of other Canadian platforms.”

La Presse reports that over the next few weeks Leitao will speak with his federal counterpart, Bill Morneau, to hear his opinion on the subject.

Source: La Presse

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Author: Rose Behar