Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ceisteanna (268)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

268. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if he is monitoring the success or otherwise of the SMS/MMS levy in Hungary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8502/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As I advised the Deputy in December, the matter of the introduction of an SMS/MMS levy will be kept under review by my Department.

I am aware of the recent introduction of a tax on messages and telephone calls in Hungary, and I understand that this tax is the subject of a formal challenge by the European Commission. Officials of my department are monitoring developments in this regard, and there are no plans at this time to implement such a tax in this jurisdiction.

As previously advised, the wider social and economic considerations which may militate against the introduction of a further tax on text messages would have to be taken into account, not least that mobile phone calls and text messages are already subject to VAT at 23%.

A levy on such messages could significantly increase the overall rate of taxation on mobile phone accounts, given that the average monthly spend per user is of the order of €35, and this would have implications for all sectors of society which would require careful analysis.