Canada taxing Internet use to pay down deficitMatrixManiac (448609) writes "Critics are calling it the iTax. The federal government says it will soon tax Internet usage in an effort to pay down the country’s swelling deficit. The bills are piling up and we need to find new streams of revenue to keep up,” said government spokesman Earl White.
“This isn’t really a tax. It’s more of a user fee. Those who don’t want to pay, can just live offline. The majority of Canadians do just fine without the Internet.”
While White wouldn’t say precisely when the tax will bite users, insiders say it will happen in days.
White says the plan will force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to monitor customers’ web surfing and turn a usage report over to the feds at the end of the year for taxation.
The plan is to tax each site visit based on the page’s content.
News and so-called sin sites — those offering pornography, gambling or social networking — will be the most heavily taxed, he said, though the rate of taxation has not yet been set. However, White pointed out, all government web sites will remain free of the tax, though there will likely be a small fee if you use Google to get to them.
“If people don’t want to pay the levy to get news on what’s happening in government, they can get their news directly from the government free of charge,” said White. “Kind of makes sense to go directly to the source.”"
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