Popular streaming service Netflix is an affordable and convenient way to binge-watch a wide selection of TV shows and movies. However, the monthly price of a Netflix account may soon increase for South African after the Electronic Service Regulations Bill was tabled in Parliament this week.
A long legal battle came to an end this week when a final amendment was made to recategorize the exact definition of an electronic service. The definition has now been broadened to ‘any services supplied by means of an electronic agent, electronic communication or the internet for any consideration’.
This new definition means that certain industries, such as online training, gaming and broadcasting services will have to pay more tax, and ultimately push up prices to accommodate for the extra costs.
At present, Netflix costs a minimum fee of R99 per month for South Africans, but could cost invariably more in the new year. This updated regulation means that any businesses falling under the definition of ‘electronic service’ that make R1-million and above annually will be charged VAT accordingly, meaning patrons will inevitably pay more.
Official implementation of the new legislation will take place from April 1 2019 and although the day is associated with pranks and tomfoolery, this particular situation is no joke.
Now only time will tell what additional costs await Netflix subscribers in the future.