"Netflix pays nothing": Finance defends taxes on digital platforms



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The Minister of Finance, Felipe Larraín, defended raising taxes for digital platforms such as Netflix, Spotify and Airbnb, up 19 percent, within the framework of the government's fiscal modernization project.

Initially, the Treasury initiative provided for a 10% special tax, retaking the OECD proposals, but now the Executive seeks to raise that amount in the same way that VAT is paid today, as explained by the Secretary of State in his response to a series . petitions of opposition parliamentarians.

Later in Congress, he stated that "Airbnb, for example, competes directly with all local hotels that pay rent and VAT, do not pay anything ".

"And if you ask me, Netflix with what competes? Well, it competes, for example, with DirecTV, with VTR, with all other vendors who pay, but they also pay income taxes because they are established in Chile. Netflix does not pay anything ", Larrain emphasized.

They warn of higher costs for users

For this item only, the Treasury expects to collect $ 40 million per year, although doubts remain if this impacts on higher costs for users.

However, the tax attorney Hernán Fuentes acknowledged that "it is very difficult not to think that this cost or this tax will not be recharged to the final consumer, for customers."

"In fact, there was not even a sign of the companies that provide these services in the sense that they will assume a part or the total, therefore, in general, all these surcharges generated in most cases are assumed by the final consumer"he said.

Idea to legislate is voted on in April

The measure is part of the package of points being studied by opposition parliamentarians, who will make a decision during the first week of April, when the idea of ​​legislating tax reform is voted on.

After statements by Minister Larrain on the initiative, the Communist Daniel Núñez He said that "there are two crucial structural issues that the minister still does not clarify." The first is how the famous integration will be compensated"

"Although this is not resolved, it is very difficult to give support or approval to a project with these characteristics," he warned.

In turn, the second vice-president of the Lower House, Pepe Auth (Ind), indicated that "the fact that the Minister of Finance has responded in writing one by one, our proposals is a very significant advance." I believe we are much closer than we were the previous week to continue with the legislative process"

While the right tried to vote until the last minute on Wednesday the idea of ​​legislating in the House Finance Committee, which did not prosper, although the Executive dramatized that vote in April.

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