ALERT: Internet Taxes Due Today!
Just in case you weren't aware, the United Nations recently approved a series of new Internet Taxes on all users, effective April 1, 2013. Read on to find out how much you'll owe, based on your Internet usage...
Understanding the New Internet Taxes
Several weeks ago, a small group of U.N. bureaucrats met to finalize their plan to tax virtually all types of Internet usage. This committee, known as the Global Online Tax Code for Human Advancement, inserted their proposal into the text of the Universal Human Rights Treaty, ratified during the 107th session of the U.N. Human Rights Committee. As such, it has become international law, binding upon all U.N. member nations.
Depending on how you use the Internet, various new online taxes will affect you. In addition to a 5 cent tax on all emails (both sent and received), email attachments will be taxed at 10 cents/megabyte.
Fortunately, you will not be charged for incoming messages that are automatically tagged as spam. Other usage-based Internet taxes include the following:
- A tax of 10 cents will be imposed on all searches performed via the Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines.
- A "download tax" of $1/gigabyte will be imposed on users who download freeware or shareware. (Files obtained from "file sharing" or "peer to peer" networks will be subject to a 100% surcharge.)
- Downloads of commercial (paid and licensed) software will be exempt in Phase One.
- Each Youtube video viewed will be taxed at 25 cents/minute, if the video is 2 minutes or less. To encourage workplace productivity, videos over 2 minutes long will be taxed at 50 cents/per minute.
- An e-commerce tax of 1.5% will be imposed on all online purchases.
- Other high-bandwidth activities, including Skype, Pandora, Netflix will be taxed at the rate of of $1/gigabyte.
Fortunately, casual Internet browsing will not be affected, although it's unclear from the text of the legislation whether time spent on social networking sites falls into this category. It is estimated that the average user in North America will be charged about $18/month in Internet taxes.
Your Internet service provider, along with Apple, Google and Microsoft, will assist the local government authorities by monitoring your online activities and reporting all taxable activities. Internet Taxes will be due quarterly, on the first day of the month. These new taxes are being imposed RETROACTIVELY, beginning on January 1, 2013. If you have not already received your first quarterly Internet Tax bill, it should arrive shortly in your email inbox.
A Phased Approach
The new Internet taxes will be rolled out in several phases. In Phase One, the taxes will be levied only on citizens of countries with more than 100 million Internet users, namely the United States, India, and Japan. (China, with 538 million users was exempted without explanation.) And beginning in 2014, Phase Two countries with at least 50 million users will have Internet taxes imposed. This list includes Brazil, Russia, Germany, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and France. In 2016, Phase Three will hit the remaining countries in the top twenty, based on the number of Internet users.
The rationale for this approach, according the Global Online Tax Code for Human Advancement (G.O.T.C.H.A) committee, was to discourage the "developed" countries from "wasteful online practices" (such as streaming music and video) and to "redistribute bandwidth" to the poorer nations. Taxes collected by the U.N. body would be used (in part) to provide free smartphones with unlimited data plans to people in underserved areas of the world. The result they seek is a "sustainable Internet", in which the "per capita usage of Facebook and Angry Birds reaches parity across geo-political boundaries."
What's your opinion of these new Internet taxes? Are they fair? Are the rates too high or too low? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 1 Apr 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- ALERT: Internet Taxes Due Today! (Posted: 1 Apr 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved