BUSINESS

Brussels to probe levy on PCs, tablets

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Taxation, Technology

The European Commission is probing the 2 percent levy the government has imposed on computers and tablets. The new tax is imposed in favor of copyright holders, with the government reintroducing the law that had been abolished in 2002.

Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Monday that Brussels is examining the issue to establish whether this third-party levy complies with the objectives of the bailout agreement. He added that this assessment by the Commission has an urgent character and any decisions will be made before a visit by European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici to Athens next Tuesday.

The bailout agreement clearly dictates the reduction and gradual abolition of all third-party levies in Greece.

The new “tablet levy,” as the tax is commonly known in Greece, was passed by the Culture Ministry. It dictates the imposition of a 2 percent tax on any appliance with a RAM memory that exceeds 4 GB.

It followed a last-minute intervention by Minister Lydia Koniordou who changed the levy’s rate from the original 1 percent to 2 percent, while withdrawing the proposed tax on smartphones.

The law was voted last Thursday without any consultation by the parties concerned.

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