December 2, 2021
Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and other U.S. streaming video operations in Spain will reportedly avoid being subjected to a proposed 5% tax on revenue generated in the country until 2023.
Under the government’s “Digital Spain 2025” initiative, foreign streaming services generating at least 50 million euros ($56.7 million) would be levied the tax, with the funds used to support independent Spanish cinema and public television network RTVE, among others.
Reuters reported that at least 6% of the streaming platforms’ content must be in Spain’s co-official languages: Catalan, Galician or Basque. The requirement is part of a broader European Union mandate requiring foreign streamers produce at least 30% of their original content in Europe.
The tax proposal, introduced this year in the Spanish Parliament, was shelved for a year until regulators obtain the streamers’ 2022 local tax returns — a contentious issue as many platforms are officially based in tax-friendly countries such Luxembourg and Ireland.
The EU has upped efforts to enforce regulatory measures on U.S. tech/media giants such as Google, Amazon, Netflix and Disney, which it claims often take steps to avoid paying regional sales taxes.
Spain last year passed a law imposing a 3% tax on internet behemoths Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, with individual global revenue of at least 750 million euros ($850 million) and 3 million euros ($3.4 million) in Spain.