Tag Archives: netflix

Quebec’s Fight Taxing Out of Province Digital Sales

Quebec’s government has decided to start collecting taxes on digital sales, such as Netflix subscription, this year even though company that sells the services or goods does not have physical presence in Canada or Quebec.

Update: Saskatchewan has also recently followed Quebec by collecting taxes on “transmission, broadcast or distribution of data, programming or entertainment” on companies selling into Saskatchewan with no physical presence there.

This new tax has been called “Netflix tax” due to large number of users in Quebec that watch Netflix and now will need to pay this tax in Quebec.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposed Quebec’s tax enforcement of out of country digital sales saying that Canadians already “pay enough for the internet”.

The Canada Revenue Agency says that only companies with physical presence in Canada are required to register to collect taxes. Many out of Canada tech companies have decided not to collect sales tax from Canadians.

Quebec said it does not need Canada to join in, and it can go it alone by enforcing digital tax collection by itself. It said it plans to collect $30m in additional taxes. It is interesting to see why they are so excited to collect only $30m while their overall tax collection is around $17 billion. Some say this will alienate businesses to do business in the province or sell to users there. Some others say that Netflix , Amazon , etc. users might use addresses in other provinces to save hundreds of dollars a year.

Quebec now needs to account for thousands of companies selling digital goods and services to consumers in Quebec.

Quebec proudly proclaimed on January 9th, 2019 that 75 international companies have registered in Quebec to collect taxes including Google, Amazon, Spotify and Netflix. Facebook told Quebec to wait few more weeks before they can get around to it.

Quebec cautions businesses with no physical presence in the province but selling to consumers there that “the penalties provided for in the existing tax legislation will be imposed on non-resident suppliers that have not complied with the new obligations.”

Quebec’s imposed threshold for sales tax is very low at $30,000 in sales when compared to other jurisdiction. For example Japan requires $120,000+ and over while Switzerland requires $135,000+ to start collecting and ignore everyone else.

Some say that just remitting sales tax on those $30k will be a big headache for businesses everywhere as the accounting services will probably costs more than about $2.9k (0.09975% in Quebec provincial taxes) you will need to collect and remit.

Quebec might need to wait for some international standards to be set or Canada as whole to join in.

Netflix to add Production Hub in Toronto, To Create 1850 Jobs

Netflix just announced that it will be launching film and production hub at Toronto’s waterfront studio district.

They will have 84,580 square feet of space, that they are currently leasing, and will start filming within the next few weeks.

In 4-5 months Netflix is expected to move to even bigger venue with 164,000 square there.

This will help them with their production of series and films, including the horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro Presents Ten After Midnight, the film Let It Snow and others. Netflix claims that the new hub in Toronto will add 1,850 jobs per year.

Mayor John Tory has recently been talking and hinting about the Netflix studio over the last few months but it only got confirmed this week.

“I’ve been excited from day one about the interest Netflix has shown in establishing a much bigger presence in Toronto. Great crews, great studio space, great customer service and great companies like Netflix make Toronto the best place in North America to make television shows and movies.”

John Tory

Netflix has been in the news in Canada a lot lately due to their decision to invest $500 million into Canada and Quebec’s decision to tax foreign media companies including Netflix.

Netflix to Open Production Hub in Toronto? It’s a Strong Possibility according to Mayor Tory

Netflix perhaps will soon be opening its production hub in Toronto. That’s at least what Mayor John Tory told The Canadian Press.

“I have a very high level of confidence, without betraying confidences that aren’t yet concrete, that they’re going to. They’ve been in active discussions with our industry, with me, about wanting to create one of their hubs here.”

John Tory, Toronto’s Mayor

This new potential production hub will be in addition to recently announced hubs in New Mexico, US and Madrid, Spain.

Netflix declined to comment but Tory said that he will go meet with them again in February or March to see if it is possible to make it happen.

In September 2017, Netflix has committed over $500m to Canada to fund Canadian production.

Because it is not based in Canada, Netflix is not required to collect Canadian taxes or contribute to Canada Media Fund. This would change if they would open an office or production hub here.

Tory said his job is to get this deal done and he thinks Toronto is an idea place for Netflix to come next.

“Their message to us has been very consistent in the four years I’ve been there: Don’t mess with the money, meaning the tax credits; build more studio space; get us an even deeper pool of talent by working to have more people available behind and in front of the camera; and give us good customer service.” 

John Tory, Toronto’s Mayor

Netflix Canada to Increase Prices a Whopping 27%

Netflix has announced that they will be increasing their prices in Canada. The new price hike will be immediate for new subscribers and existing subscribers will be notified by email.

The new Netflix prices are below with exception of Standard plan that will be $13.99 a month, a Whopping 27% increase. Basic plan was $8.99 and is now $9.99. While Premium used to be $13.99 and is now $16.99.

Also if you live in a province of Quebec, you will get hit with an additional tax rate (QST) starting January 1st 2019 on top of your Netflix subscription fee. Quebec is the only province in Canada that has decided to charge users in that province. The new law that comes in effect in Quebec basically states that any company even if it does not have physical presence in the province needs to charge QST if they sell more than $30,000 a year in that province.

This price hike is due to ongoing struggle to keep up with their competition. They have to compete with offerings from recently launched Canadian Crave subscription that includes Netflix costs $20 a month as well as soon to be launched in Canada US based subscription Hulu.

Netflix users in Canada went to Twitter to vent about their dissatisfaction with this increase.

Canadian Govt is Picking Fight with Facebook, Netflix, others

The federal liberal government is warning technology media companies in Canada to play nice and add Canadian content ASAP or else.

The government announced that they will take 18 months to study how they can force tech companies operating in Canada to add more Canadian content without any cost to Canadians. Meaning at least for now unlike in Quebec, Government of Canada will NOT be adding GST tax to your Netflix bill.

Melanie Joly took a tough stance against foreign media companies in Canada announcing on her twitter.

  • “All players – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify, etc. – that are in the system must contribute to the system. There is no free ride.”
  • “New technology, like streaming services, has changed the way that Canadians connect with each other, do business and discover, access and consume content. Now more than ever, Canadians go online.
  • To keep up with these changes we must modernize our legislative framework so that Canadian artists, artisans, businesses, consumers and broadcasters can adapt and thrive in a changing environment.
  • I announced the launch of the Review of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act. A review of the Radiocommunication Act will also be carried out.”

Canadian artists applauded the initiative saying that thousands of jobs and our Canadian identity depend on it.

mojzagrebinfo / Pixabay

Netflix has long resisted to be covered by framework that applies to traditional broadcasters. But Netflix did say that they intend to spend $500m dollars in Canada over the next few years.

Facebook has also resisted to government intervention by caling for fewer not more rules. Kevin Chan, Facebook Canada public policy said:

 “The continued growth of different online video offerings − user-generated or otherwise − depends on a flexible regulatory environment that allows for innovation and experimentation.”

Other experts wondered how the government can restrict businesses passing on the cost to consumer?

Lawson Hunter, a regulatory lawyer and former executive at Bell Canada, said in interview with Globe and Mail:

“It’s hard to expect that you can add cost to any service provider and expect them to say they will swallow it and not pass it on to the consumer. That is not how the market typically works.”

Not everyone was happy with the announcement. Quebec’s left leaning NDP government’s Critic for Culture and Heritage, Pierre Nantel said:

“Netflix makes revenues in Quebec, so it should make investments in French [in Quebec],” said the president of the CRTC.

Subtitle…

Melanie Joly’s “Netflix agreements”, without GST or Franco content, are a cul-de-sac for our culture.”

Quebec Punishes Netflix Users with Tax

Netflix recently announced that it will be investing around half a billion dollars into Canadian media production. You would think Canada and its provinces would be happy? Turns out not so much for Province of Quebec, mainly French speaking province.

Quebec provincial government has decided that they now need to tax video services across the province even though the service is not taxable federally or in other provinces. Starting 2019 Quebec will require all video services to add QST , provincial service tax, to providers of video like Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.

JoeBreuer / Pixabay

Quebec said it does not matter if a company is based physically in Quebec or Canada, but as soon as it hits $30k in revenues, it will require that service to start adding QST to their pricing schemes or face penalties.

It will be interesting to see how they will try to enforce it when Quebec has no jurisdiction outside its province and Netflix does not have an office or physical presence in Quebec. What happens if Netflix won’t comply?  Will they ask Videotron and other Internet Providers to ban the video streaming websites outright like China does?

Twitter users were not so happy this this announcement:

Why is Quebec so overzealous on collecting taxes no other state or province in North America collects? Simple, even though Quebec is the highest taxed province in North America – it wants to collect even more tax dollar from foreign billion dollar internet companies.

Quebec believes it’s losing out on $226.8 million annually in tax revenues from e-commerce and by taxing media services Quebec says it will add $150m to their tax coffers.

Toronto Public Library Launches Netflix like Free Movie Streaming Service

Toronto users rejoice! No need to pay for Netflix if you want to watch quality movies. Toronto Library has got you covered. All you need is a library card and few minutes to setup your account.

Toronto Library have introduced the free video streaming service to over 30,000 streaming videos with their partner company Kanopy, based in San Francisco. In comparison, Netflix offers a total of around 13,300 titles worldwide.

jarmoluk / Pixabay

We’re adding 30,000 new streaming videos to our collection! The selection of films is outstanding. It includes titles from producers including the Great Courses and PBS, as well as award-winning indie, documentary and Canadian films. Hundreds of new titles are added each month.

How much it will cost you ask? Absolutely nothing. Free. Zilch!

The interface is unbelievable and it  feels like you are browsing Netflix. Almost feels like stealing.

So how does Toronto Library Movie Streaming works?

  • You can access Kanopy films with your smartphone, tablet, PC or Smart TV
  • Kanopy is compatible with Roku, Android, iOS and Apple TV
  • You have three days to watch each film
  • You can access up to eight films a month
  • All films are fully accessible, with captions and transcripts, and are compatible with screen reader software such as JAWS

What’s there to watch?

You have access to over 30,000 streaming videos. Films like Maudie, Brooklyn, Ingrid Goes West, Paterson and I am Not Your Negro, the Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, are available for you to start watching right away.

Who Gets It?

You have to be a proper city Toronto resident to obtain a FREE library card unless you are a non-resident who works, goes to school, or owns property in Toronto.

If you reside outside of the City of Toronto – you might consider the option of paying a fee to obtain a card that is valid for either 3 months or 12 months at a time. The fee for non-residents is $30.00 for 3 months or $120.00 for 12 months.

Ottawa Library also uses Kanopy so you can use that library card to get connected as well. Also if you are going to university or college – you will be able to get access through that as well.

Last but not least, there is competing service called Hoopla where you can borrow digital music, video and comics to stream, and it covers roughly 7,000 libraries in the United States and Canada; a full list is available here. If you live in Oakville for example, you can access it here.

What are you waiting for?

Watch out Netflix, with library card you have the power. What are you waiting for? Sign up here to watch Toronto Library streaming service free.