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Swiss streaming services tax could go to the polls

Switzerland’s lawmakers recently passed a law mandating a levy on streaming services. The revenue is earmarked for a special fund that will support the Swiss film industry. 

Often known colloquially as the ‘Netflix tax’, the levy has precedents in other countries. For example, Romania planned a similar fund, aimed at bolstering the local film industry. 

Let the people decide?

However, the Swiss streaming tax may now be subject to a referendum. Under Swiss law, if enough signatures are collected within a specified timeline, new laws can be potentially vetoed by a public vote. 

For instance, Swiss voters previously participated in a referendum on a proposed carbon tax. 

A group in Switzerland reportedly managed to collect approximately 65 000 signatures within the specified time limit. That’s more than the minimum of 50 000 signatures. If the signatures are verified, and shown to be genuine, the path is open for a referendum. 

VAT on electronic services, worldwide

Not every country is creating a special levy on streaming services to fund local TV and film production. However, taxation on digital services more broadly (including streaming services) is now very common

If customers around the world pay for services on your company’s digital platform, you probably have VAT obligations around the world. 

The bad news? VAT is extremely complex, especially when you have multiple compliance oblgiations. 

The great news? There’s a centralised VAT solution that manages your global digital services VAT obligations. That means you can worry about more important things, like growing your business. 


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