Half of Canadians Reject Taxes on Streaming Services

Quebec is the only region of the country where the idea is widely supported.

The idea of paying provincial or federal sales taxes for online streaming services is rejected by half of Canadians, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadians, 51% of respondents disagree with the idea, while more than a third (36%) agree with it.

Last year, the federal government suggested that companies that provide streaming media and video on-demand online—including Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and Spotify—should be taxed in Canada, with any revenues generated from this tax being used to fund Canadian film and television productions. Because these companies have no physical presence in Canada, they are currently not compelled to collect or remit provincial or federal sales taxes.

In the end, the federal government announced it would not tax streaming providers, and Netflix announced a $500 million investment in original Canadian film and television productions.

Rejection to a tax on streaming services is high across most provinces, with one glaring exception. While large majorities of Canadians in the Atlantic Provinces and the Prairies are opposed to this tax, 54% of Quebecers are in favour of it.

The Government of Quebec announced in March that it will require foreign-based online services to collect the general sales tax (GST) from its customers, starting in January 2019. Quebec claims it is losing up to $270 million each year by not collecting these taxes.

“This is an issue where Millennials and Baby Boomers across the country are in agreement,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “These two groups have the highest level of opposition to a tax on streaming services.”

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 7 to May 11, 2018, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca