Last month’s federal budget includes an ‘accidental’ iPod tax, as discovered by associate professor Mike Moffatt from the Richard Ivey School of Business, who believes the inclusion might have been ‘accidental’.
Moffat says the Conservative government might have accidentally included levy on iPods and other digital music players due in part to complicated tariff codes. The added 5 per cent tax increase was discovered by Moffat in a smaller section related the general preferential tariff regime for developing nations. Other similar tariff increases discovered include tricycles and wigs used by cancer patients.
The professor said on Twitter “no one noticed because this stuff is maddeningly complex”.
The NDP were quick to jump on the Harper government, noting in a press release the iPod tax is contradictory and reeks of hypocrisy, since the latter stated in 2010 such a tax would be hurtful to families and consumers:
“(Heritage) Minister James Moore and (Treasury Board President) Tony Clement must be furious about this development, since it contradicts previous statements they’ve made against implementing an iPod tax,”
In December 2010, Moore and Clement released the following statement in regards to taxes on iPods:
“During this fragile economic recovery, the last thing Canadian families and consumers need is a massive new tax on iPods.”
The following is a breakdown of the tax increases on three of Apple’s iPod products (via The Globe and Mail):
The three models of iPod that will experience tariff increases include the iPod shuffle (tariff code 8519.81.29), which will be assessed a 5-per-cent tariff where none was charged before. The iPod nano (8521.90.90) and iPod classic (8521.13.90), which were previously tariff free, will now be charged a 6-per-pent tariff.
Thoughts on these new tariffs on iPods? Was it really ‘accidental’?
Update: MP Tony Clement says the tariffs do not apply to iPods and the media is wrong, in his conversation with @swerve99: