Swiss referendum gives green light for digital streaming ‘Lex Netflix’ levy where foreign services do not invest in local production
Swiss voters on 15 May agreed to introduce a 4% levy on providers of digital streaming services such as Amazon, Disney+ and Netflix. This is expected to generate between CHF18 million ($19.3 million) and CHF30 million a year for the Swiss film industry, according to estimates from the culture office and the Swiss parliament.
Spain and Denmark are considering similar levies.
Non-resident streamers would have the option to instead invest the equivalent amount in Swiss-TV production. This requirement has been in place – investing 4% of their turnover – since 2007 for local television producers
The Levy was initially proposed in 2021, but opponents were able to raise over 50,000 signatures in a public canvassing, which triggered the referendum requirements. Swiss taxpayers currently give CHF 100 million to the Swiss film industry each year.
In addition to the tax level, being put forward by the Federal Office of Culture, would be a requirement on foreign providers to source at least 30% of their content from Europe.
Read our Swiss VAT guide.
European levies and investment requirements on streaming services
- France and Italy require up to 20% of turnover to be invested locally
- Denmark has imposed a 6% levy
- Portugal has imposed a 1% charge
- Romania is proposing a levy to subsidise local film making
Europe VAT on digital services
|Country (click for details)||Rate||Date||Threshold||Comments|
|EU 27 member states||17% to 27%||Jan 2015||€10k EU residents; Nil for non-EU|
|Iceland||24%||Nov 2011||ISK 2 million|
|Norway||25%||Jul 2011||NOK 50,000|
|Russia||16.67%||Jan 2017||Nil||B2C & B2B|
|Switzerland||7.7%||Jan 2010||CHF 100,000 on global income|
|Ukraine||20%||Jan 2022||UAH 1m|