Tomorrow is Budget Day for the Australia Government meaning we will soon find out the full extent of the government’s plan on where it plans to increase or reduce spending, and introduce new fiscal policy. There are always budget ‘winners and losers’ but sadly, it looks like Aussie gamers may be on the losing side.
Dubbed the ‘Netflix tax’, Treasurer Joe Hockey today announced new measures to “level the GST playing field” in terms of digital distribution for online services based outside Australia, such as Netflix. It forms part of a scheme to reduce Australian tax avoidance and ensure companies pay appropriate tax on income earned in Australia.
This means the government will attempt to establish deals with online service providers of digital goods, such as movies, music, e-books, steaming services and yes, video games, to impose the 10% GST on purchases to be collected on behalf of the Australian Government.
This does mean – if the legislation is indeed brought into effect and the necessary deals established – that the prices of digital goods, including games, would likely rise.
Whilst there still is a way to go (and paying tax isn’t always such a bad thing), this won’t come as good news to those who already feel like they pay too much for digital services in Australia as it is.