Hungary could introduce ‘Google tax’

History

Hungary could introduce an extraordinary levy on “multinational internet-based companies”, commonly referred to as the “Google tax”, Tamás Deutsch (pictured), the governmentʼs commissioner for online national consultation on digital developments (InternetKon), said at Media Hungary’s conference yesterday in Siófok, near Lake Balaton.

Deutsch referred to a question in the 20-item questionnaire, which raises the idea of potentially taxing internet-based multinationals, such as Google and YouTube, however, the exact details are still unknown.

The item in the questionnaire translates as follows:

19. Should multinational, internet-based companies contribute financially to the development and sustainability of Hungarian-language content and services?
a. Yes, but it is the market players’ responsibility to settle the issue among each other.
b. Yes, the [Hungarian] government should support a European Union-wide, or even wider, regulation, as Hungary alone is powerless.
c. Yes, until a European Union-wide, or wider, regulation is created, the Hungarian government should individually be involved by creating regulations or reaching agreements with Hungarian players, thus allowing companies to contribute to the development of quality Hungarian content and services.
d. No, I do not believe this is a problem.
e. I do not want to answer the question. 

The Hungarian government appointed Deutsch to launch a national online consultation following the governmentʼs proposed levy on internet usage that users would be required to pay, a measure which resulted in approximately 100,000 people – according to Reuters estimates – demonstrating on the streets of the capital in opposition to the levy.

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