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Exception culturelle: taxation of smart devices in France

May 19, 2013

The article below caught my eye. It appears there is a proposal to impose a tax of up to 4% on the sale of Internet linked devices, including tablets and smartphones.

This could be a smart move in terms of revenue raising. It is no different in structure to 'luxury taxes', such as different rates of VAT on luxuries: those with long memories will recall that when VAT was introduced into the UK, there was a different (higher) rate for luxuries.

Each year I give talks to both colleagues and clients about UK taxation: often seeking to take a broader view, rather than focus on specific measures. For some years now I had thought there might be luxury rates re-introduced; I have also postulated that a 'stamp tax' on text messages might be a worthwhile revenue raiser: it won't happen of course- definitional problems – what is a text- is instant messaging covered-technological changes-unpopularity with young voters- cost of systems changes for e.g all inclusive tariffs- there would be issues galore; where iTax scores is that it is one off and arguably an impost on something which a person doesn't need to buy. The exception culturelle is a nice Gallic way of making the new levy seem acceptable.



From → Taxation

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