Zambia’s government has signaled its intention to impose tax on online video streaming service giant Netflix.
According to the government international online companies like Netflix do not pay taxes for broadcasting their content.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Chanda Kasolo is quoted by the BBC as saying that “We want to level the playing field and protect local content.
We want to look at ways where companies like Netflix should also start paying broadcasting levy which we call television levy because other television companies are already doing that.”
But it is not clear if the government will be able to implement such a proposal.
In 2018 a new tariff on calls made on social media apps was announced but yet to be implemented.
Opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema from the United Party for National Development has condemned government’s proposal to tax Netflix.
— Hakainde Hichilema (@HHichilema) October 3, 2019
But the Minister of Information, Dora Siliya has reacted to the criticisms saying “You want an American company, Netflix, using our ICT infrastructure paid for by tax kwachas, to enjoy free profits with no local jobs, nor contribution to health education etc.
Why do you think USA/China have trade war? Try no taxes in USA.”
Careless way of looking at business. You want an American company, Netflix, using our ICT infrastructure paid for by tax kwachas, to enjoy free profits with no local jobs, nor contribution to health education etc. Why do you think USA/China have trade war?
Try no taxes in USA.
— Hon. Dora Siliya, MP (@Dora_Siliya) October 3, 2019
Netflix, founded in 1997 is an American media-services provider. It is also a production company headquartered in California.