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ZAMBIA: Proposal To Tax Netflix Underway

By Published October 08, 2019

Zambia government is considering a proposed tax on online streaming giant Netflix arguing that the company generates revenue in the country without any contribution to the economy.

The government also argues that Netflix does not abide by local content regulations that require television stations in the country to have up to 60% local content that promote the nation’s culture.

Netflix is an American company whose main business is a subscription-based streaming service with over 150 million subscribers worldwide.

Digital taxation has been a challenge for countries around the world, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have moved from social networking to full blown money spinner making millions from advertising and data sale without paying tax in countries where they generate these incomes.

Last year, Ivory Coast imposed a 0.5 per cent tax on money transfers via mobile services. Kenya also increased its tax on mobile money transfer fees from 10 to 12 percent. Uganda introduced a levy of 200 shillings ($0.05) per day to access social media while Benin introduced a tax of 5 CFA francs ($0.01) per megabyte consumed on social media usage.

There has been growing pressure on government from local media content providers who felt they are being undercut by foreign streaming services who are not subjected to local regulations.

Zambia had earlier proposed a daily levy on consumers who use the internet to make phone calls.

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