Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone and iPad could be taxed in the near future in France. Pierre Lescure, former chief executive officer for Canal Plus, was asked by the French government to come up with a new way to fund cultural projects in the country. The economic downturn has caused a lack of funds for the country’s cultural programs. Lescure suggested that since consumers spend more money on popular electronic devices than content, they should charge a one percent sales tax on all internet-compatible devices.
The Tax Could Affect Others Too Beside Apple Inc. (AAPL)
This new tax would also affect Android and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) tablets. This particular plan could earn them up to 86 million Euros a year. The funds would go towards French music, videos, and images. There is already a similar tax that internet service providers, television users, TV, and Radio broadcasters pay. In France, some creative sectors like music and cinema fall under a cultural exception. This helps protect the country’s cultural mediums from other countries.
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Culture Minister Aurelie Fillipetti explained, “Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators.”
The office for France’s prime minister Francois Hollande made a statement that they want lawmakers to review the recommended legislation by July, as the parliament takes a break from late July to mid-September.
Fillipetti further explained that culture tax would be minimal and widely distributed. It could also be part of a budget law that’s expected to be submitted to the parliament in November.
The country’s officials also hope to ensure that cultural products, particularly those in the audiovisual sector, will remain exempt from free trade talks during the planned trade agreement session. U.S. President Barack Obama will pay a visit to Europe to kick start talk sessions regarding the potential for the world’s largest free trade block.