Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hungary looks to levy big tax on internet use...

Hungary is planning to start taxing internet use by the amount of data individuals downloaded as part of an effort to increase government revenues – and the controversial idea has already sparked outrage online and calls for protest.

If the proposal passes as part of the 2015 tax bill, Hungarians would be charged 150 forints for each gigabyte of data they start to download. That’s roughly 62 cents per gigabyte, meaning that residents could expect to pay a substantial amount of extra money every month. Downloading between 50 to 100 gigabytes of data would cost $30 - $60 in taxes on top of whatever people are already paying for monthly service – since the service providers are expected to try and pass the burden on to users.

What’s more, there is apparently no cap limiting the amount that customers would have to pay out. How this tax will affect businesses that rely on the internet is also unclear.

 Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Margit Feher called the proposal “the latest in a series of extraordinary taxes” that have been implemented since the Fidesz party came into power in 2010. Full story...

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