DStv Pays Taxes In Zim, Why Not Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba..? – Mthuli Ncube

In his maiden budget presentation before parliament in November last year, Finance Minister, Mthuki Ncube bemoaned the fact that companies like Netflix provided services in Zimbabwe but did not pay taxes locally. In his Mid Term budget review, the minister has repeated this thinking:

Income earned in Zimbabwe by foreign domiciled satellite broadcasting services and electronic commerce platforms is deemed to be from a source in Zimbabwe for tax purposes.

However, technological advancements have enabled the development of other electronic commerce platforms, which facilitate the utilisation of digital media services and content. Such platforms are not covered within the definition of satellite broadcasting services.


I, therefore, propose to extend the scope of revenues deemed to be from a source in Zimbabwe for tax purposes to include amounts received by or on behalf of a radio or television broadcaster domiciled outside Zimbabwe or an electronic commerce operator domiciled outside Zimbabwe.

Still nothing concrete and we know why

The above is the only mention of this tax on Netflix et al. The problem is it is very difficult to effect such a tax without the cooperation of the global companies themselves. Getting that cooperation is very tricky because Zimbabwe is a very insignificant market for these services. Why would they go through the hurdles of complying when they can just remove Zimbabwe from the list of countries their services can be accessed from? Nanhasi (up to now) Spotify is not available in Zimbabwe…

The best option for the minister is to just introduce a tax similar to his 2% tax, only that this time it will be levied on us whenever we use locally issued cards to pay online. He has done it before, he will probably do it again because he seems to particularly want a piece of the few thousands that are going to Netflix.

He is right though

Is the minister right? Yes he is. These global players are reaping our subscription fees and whatever we spend on their platforms. The right thing for them to do is to pay taxes to our government. Even South Africa has gone down this path.

However, right as it may be, it is probably not going to happen any time soon unless the tax is added as an extra cost to you and I just like the 2% tax.

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12 thoughts on “DStv Pays Taxes In Zim, Why Not Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba..? – Mthuli Ncube

      1. Ztv is free, Netflix is not – you subscribe. Tax is paid by subsriber as a percentage of subscription fee

  1. Always trying to milk the nation and really give nothing. Even our pensioners get nothing in south africa they get a grant. 1600 rand something like that. Taxation for Zanu ministers luxurious life that is is painful part.

  2. With that line of thinking even Facebook should pay because they make money from Zimbabwe. Netflix is not a Zimbabwean company. Dstv has multichoice as a company here hence the tax. Netflix has no local operations not even a single server.

  3. I don’t have problem with the tax itself. I have problem with the government and widespread corruption.

    France also introduce a bill to tax internet and technology giants on their digital sales. The bill companies will pay a tax of three percent on much of their digital sales in France.

    Zimbabwe can do the same, but we demand accountability. People and companies will be happy to pay taxes if they are used to uplift people’s lives.

  4. Because, Honorable, Multichoice is registered in Zimbabwe and Netflix is not.
    If you order them to pay tax, they’ll just block Zimbabwe and we’ll have to Netflix using VPNs.

  5. this is so ridiculous…. Netflix doesn’t have premises or employees in zimbabwe. same as the UK doent charg tax to Star FM. We all stream star FM from different countries i have never heard of them paying tax in any those countries.

  6. He forgets that when you pay for your DSTV online, the Zim taxman doesn’t get a single cent from that transaction. Just as if you were paying Netflix. The only reason they get money here is because of a protected Multichoice, that is allowed to collect in USD. If DSTVwas paid ZWRTG$, as it should be, he wouldn’t even care about their revenue. They just have their eyes on any USD they can get their hands on.

    When the silos are empty, you go for the fields. When the fields are empty, you go house to house. House to house is next.

  7. It will be insane and running out of ideas on how to move the country forward.The government has failled and they don’t wanna admit it

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