As part of the “Media without Choice” campaign, Polish media have published an open letter to the authorities opposing the introduction of a new tax, referred to as the media tax. The charge on internet advertising is to amount to 5% of a tax base, while the tax base will be calculated considering the number of recipients of internet advertisements of a given service provider in Poland. Editors of PMR Market Experts support this campaign.
Open letter to the authorities of the Republic of Poland and leaders of political groups
We would like to address the announced new additional tax burden on the media operating on the Polish market, misleadingly called the “contribution”, introduced on the pretext of COVID-19 epidemic.
It is simply a levy that affects Polish viewers, listeners, readers and internet users, as well as Polish producers, culture, entertainment, sports and media.
The imposed tax will mean:
- weakening or even liquidation of some of the media providers in Poland, which will significantly limit the public’s ability to choose the content of interest to them.
- limiting possibilities of financing quality and local content. Its production currently provides a living for hundreds of thousands of employees and their families, and ensures that the majority of Poles have access to information, entertainment and sporting events, largely free of charge.
- much more unequal treatment of businesses operating on the Polish media market, where the state-controlled media receive PLN 2bn a year from the pockets of all Polish taxpayers, while private media will be burdened with an additional levy of PLN 1bn.
- in fact favoritism towards companies that do not invest in the development of Polish, local content over businesses that invest most in Poland. According to estimates, companies described by the government as “global digital giants” will pay only about PLN 50m-100m of the levy, compared to PLN 800m covered by other locally active media.
The asymmetrical and selective charging of individual companies is also scandalous. In addition, an attempt to change licence conditions during the period in which they are in force is unacceptable under the rule of law.
As media operating in Poland for many years, we have not evaded our duties and social responsibility. Every year, we pay an increasing number of taxes, levies and charges to the state budget (CIT, VAT, broadcasting fees, fees for copyright management organisations, fees and charges on licences, frequencies and related allocation decisions, VOD content, etc.). We also support the most vulnerable groups in the society with our charitable activities. We support the Polish society and the government in counteracting the epidemic, both by providing information and by allocating resources worth hundreds of millions zlotys for this purpose.
Therefore, we firmly oppose the use of the epidemic as an excuse to introduce yet another extremely severe burden for the media. Moreover, this tax will be permanent and will outlast COVID-19.