Out-Law News

Germany abandons tax on use of the internet at work

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder this week dismissed a proposed tax on businesses for non-work related internet use by employees that had been put forward by the Finance Ministry.

In a speech to business leaders in Hanover he said, “Private use of the internet in the workplace is tax-free.” He added that those who access the internet from their own personal computers for work are entitled to tax breaks.

The plan to impose the tax had been met with industry criticism, arguing that it would discourage use of the internet in Germany, notwithstanding the bureaucratic nightmare of regulating the tax.

However, the German government is still planning to levy a recently announced tax on equipment such as computers, modems, printers and CD burners that can be used to reproduce material subject to copyright laws.

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