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Sweden imposes Television tax to affect computer, decisions on smart phones and tables awaited

Monday, 24 June 2013
Watching television or films on personal computers in Sweden has now attracted the Swedish government to stretch the television tax to PCs blaming it on technological evolution. However, it remains unclear as to whether it also applies to mobile phones and tablets.

This means that if a household does not have a television but only computers, it would means that that household or individual would pay the new TV tax just as if he or she or the household had a television.

According to  Radiotjänst, the organisation that collects and manages TV licence fee in Sweden, on its website, it writes that "if you can receive television sent online on devices such as computers or tablets, then you are liable to pay the radio and TV fee. Most people own a television set and are covered by the fee they already pay."
Described as unique judgment that was carried out today, which presses owners of computers to pay the television fee many computer users who had appealed to Radiotjänst have seen their appeal rejected.
The judges holds that the ground for the decision has to do with the of what a TV receiver is.

A TV-receiver has been defined as a technical equipment that is designed to receive a transmission or retransmission of a TV-programme, even if the equipment also can be used for other purposes, as contained in the Swedish Radio Service Act (1989:41).  The judges used this definition to bolster their decision.
Since February, Swedish television has been broadcasting all or most of its channels over the Internet and also TV4 has been broadcasting live on the Internet since last fall. As such it is now interpreted in the Radio Service Act that TV fee, to include connected devices such as computers, mobile phones and tablets.

Many people watch TV via the internet. "Even a computer, because the Court considered a technical equipment which is intended to receive the transmission or retransmission of television programs. It is therefore contributing," according to the court.
What this law means now is that anyone who owns a computer whether watching TV on it or not will be rammed by the system requesting them to pay the taxes. This is breeding anger in the system right now.

As if not yet hurt enough, there is expected ruling on the use of tablets and mobiles phones, and the administrative judges says they will try to get decisions in all cases expeditiously.
It is likely that the Court would comes to the same conclusion regarding tablets and mobile phones when the already settled cases have been justified by the definition what a television receiver  and related technology and the development have been cleared.
Radiotjänst writes that smartphones, that are able to receive TV-broadcasts via the internet, are TV-receivers in a legal sense. This means that in case one has no other TV-receiver than a smartphone in the household, they are obligated to pay the radio and TV fee. It conclude here that "however, we believe that this affects very few households and therefore we don´t explicitly ask about possession of smartphones when talking to prospective clients."
Some of the judgement will most likely be appealed as the decision has just ignited a wave of growing anger especially among the young people who are the most users of new technology in the communication arena. Business fear that sales of such devices many fall as a result of the extra tax.
by Scancomark.com Team

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