Singapore is the latest Canadian tree partner to expand its sales tax to foreign digital content providers like Netflix, Apple and Google. In Canada, the NDP are pushing the federal government to adopt the same policy.
Pierre Nantel, an NDP member, says that Canada is “lagging behind its global counterparts” like Australia, the EU and some U.S. states which already enforce a “Netflix tax.” Currently, Canadians only pay GST on domestic digital content.
"It's such an obvious unfairness," Nantel stated. "We are absolutely behaving as trailers, as non-leaders on this issue."
Perhaps the only place in the country where there is some significant support of a “Netflix tax” is in Quebec, where the provincial government has vowed to apply a sales tax on foreign digital content despite Ottawa’s inaction.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given vague responses toward the issue, though it seems he is leaning more against the implementation of a “Netflix tax.”
"It is not the web giants they want to pay more in taxes; it is taxpayers," he said on Feb. 6. "We made a commitment to taxpayers that they would not have to pay more for their online services. We on this side of the House plan to keep that promise."
Mélanie Joly, the Heritage Minister, further supported Trudeau’s statement, saying that the government has “made a promise and [they] plan to keep it.” However, she also mentioned that the government is aware that a global solution for taxing digital content providers is necessary and would need to be developed eventually; on a long-term basis.