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Ottawa is considering taxing Netflix, other streaming services: reports

Last Updated Jan 17, 2017 at 10:13 am PDT


Consumer groups don't like the idea of taxing online streaming services

Ottawa confirms it is an idea that's on the table

OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – Consumer rights groups aren’t happy after hearing news that the Trudeau government may be considering the possibility of a so-called ‘Netflix tax.’

Right now, Canadian streaming services are forced to charge sales taxes to their customers, but that isn’t the case for more popular internationally based sites such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

There are reports that briefing notes for the federal heritage minister show the government is considering the option forcing these groups to tax Canadian customers, which is upsetting to Bruce Cran with the Consumers’ Association of Canada. “Any new tax is a problem for everybody. This just seems like another burden that they want to put on the backs of consumers. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous they are even considering something like this.”

He adds it’s a slippery slope when government begins trying to tax every service on the Internet. “That could open more doors in the future where similar things could be treated in the same manner.”

The federal finance minister’s office doesn’t deny this is an option on the table, stressing the department regularly assesses the tax system to make sure it’s fair and fiscally responsible.