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In the adopted bill supplementing the Anti-crisis shield 3.0 related to the coronavirus pandemic, the government plans to tax VOD and SVOD platform providers in Poland. Service owners will be required to pay 1.5% of their revenue to the PISF budget every quarter.
Streaming tax as support for Polish cinematography
In the adopted bill supplementing the anti-crisis shield 3.0 related to the coronavirus pandemic, the government plans to tax audiovisual media service providers for the benefit of the Polish Film Institute (PISF). These include streaming platforms – VOD and SVOD operating in Poland, both local and foreign. So far, the PISF budget, from which domestic cinematography is financed, has been supplied by, among others, cinematographers, distributors, TV stations and cable distributors. However, the epidemic situation and actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including cinema closures, have translated into significantly smaller PISF resources. As a result, the government is seeking additional sources of funding for the Institute.
Netflix, Ipla and Player.pl will allocate the largest amounts to PISF
During a pandemic, streaming services become even more important than before. The need to stay at home favours a larger audience of such platforms. Therefore, taxing them seems to be a rational solution for politicians. According to the draft law, all major VOD providers (the smallest entities are to be exempt from fees) will be obliged to pay 1.5% of their revenue to the PISF budget every quarter. The revenues will therefore have to be shared with the Institute by the owners of such platforms as Netflix, HBO GO, Apple, Amazon Prime Video, Cyfrowy Polsat Group (Ipla), Discovery (Player.pl) or even CDA Premium. According to the estimates of the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) quoted by the government, taxation of streaming platforms will increase PISF’s resources this year by PLN 15m and at least PLN 20m in the coming years.
This year, according to the EAO’s calculations, the PISF budget should be most strongly supported by the following platforms:
- Netflix – almost PLN 6.5m
- Ipla – over PLN 4m
- Player.pl – over PLN 1.5m
- Amazon Prime Video – almost PLN 0.7m
- CDA Premium – almost PLN 0.6m
A possible streaming tax may over time cause VOD platform providers to increase the fee for access to their services. The project of the Anti-crisis shield 3.0 assumes the introduction of the tax from this year. According to governmental assumptions, the act is to enter into force on July 1, 2020.