Australian government to introduce a 'Netflix Tax'

Netflix Taxed

With the Federal Budget for 2015 due to arrive tomorrow night, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has confirmed that the rumoured 'Netflix Tax' on digital services will be introduced by the Australian government.

Though Netflix launched in Australia under the notion that it would be GST-free, Hockey said during a press conference this afternoon that Netflix, along with other digital services, would have to charge a 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax set by the Federal Government.

Mr Hockey stated that "It is plainly unfair that a supplier of digital products into Australia is not charging the GST whilst someone locally has to charge the GST."

Tax off… Tax on

While Netflix is the focus of the new tax, there's reason to believe that it will extend to other overseas digital services such as Uber and Steam.

Hockey admitted that digital services are new territory for GST legislation, stating that "it did not anticipate the massive growth in the supply of digital goods like movie downloads, games and e-books from overseas."

Quickflix founder Stephen Langsford should be quite pleased with the news, having made his displeasure on Netflix getting out of charging GST very clear in the past.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.