Russia's Internet czar looks to squeeze more taxes from App Store and Google Play

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin's top advisors is looking to raise taxes on digital purchases made in Apple's App Store and iTunes Store, along with Google's Play Store. German Klimenko, a Russian businessman, and the recently-appointed Internet czar for the country, is calling for an increased value-added tax (VAT) of up to 18% to be applied to digital purchases. The proposal would impact not just Apple and Google, but other non-Russian companies as well.

From Bloomberg:

Klimenko, 49, is pushing to raise taxes on U.S. companies to help level the playing field for Russian competitors such as Yandex and His efforts mirror those of governments across Europe and beyond to squeeze more revenue out of Google, Apple and other multinationals with increasingly complex billing and ownership structures.

Product categories affected by these new taxes include games, movies, and ads. Currently, VAT is charged on digital goods created by Russian companies, an issue that foreign businesses like Apple and Google don't have to deal with.

Source: Bloomberg

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.