Published Feb 19, 2020Streaming just got more expensive in British Columbia, as the provincial government has imposed a so-called "Netflix tax."
As part of the province's new budget reveal on Tuesday (February 18), BC will now demand that any companies that earn more than $10,000 in revenue selling "software and telecommunications services" to British Columbians must start collecting sales tax.
The move follows similar changes in Saskatchewan and Quebec, and the 7 percent PST tax hike in BC comes into effect on July 1.
The tax also applies to other streaming companies far beyond Netflix, including those that stream only audio. This means that in addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV, CraveTV and YouTube Premium are all affected, as well as music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Google Music
"Effective July 1, 2020, new registration requirements apply," reads the budget. "Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunications, will be required to register as tax collectors if specified BC revenues exceed $10,000."
It adds, "These requirements will result in provincial sales tax being collected by a greater number of businesses in the digital economy."
Of course, some British Columbians aren't too happy about the move — especially since it comes at the same time as the announcement that sweetened, carbonated drinks will also go up in price.
In the first nine months of the 2019 fiscal year, Netflix brought in $780 million in revenue from Canadian subscribers. In 2018, it raked in $835 million from Canadians.