The Liberals are getting desperate. Their spending is so out of control, the Finance Department released a report days before Christmas projecting federal budget deficits until 2050. Two years ago under a Conservative Government that same Finance report said Canada could have its entire national debt paid off by 2050.
With deficits as far as the eye can see, it’s no wonder the Liberals are trying to find new things to tax and new ways to tax them. The latest Trudeau Tax Target is foreign digital streaming services like Netflix. The Liberals would like to force Netflix to start charging you HST on your monthly bill.
The Liberals are claiming it is all about fairness. They claim that because Canadian companies like Bell have to charge HST for digital streaming services, foreign companies should charge HST, too. Of course, Liberals think the fair solution is to raise taxes rather then cut taxes for Canadians.
Not only is this Netflix tax not fair to already overtaxed Canadians, it won’t work. According to public servants briefing the Liberals:
Beyond voluntary compliance, little can be done to enforce a sales tax regime, even when a foreign-based company has registered with the relevant tax authority. Tax authorities have very little recourse in cases where a foreign-based supplier does not remit any sales tax or where there is a dispute over the amount of tax remitted. They also have a very limited ability to enforce audits beyond their national jurisdiction and to send auditors abroad.
Just like the Liberal carbon tax, a Netflix tax will raise prices for Canadians while undermining innovation and leave us at an economic disadvantage.