Some performers are trying to put a new tax on your next Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Apple Store Seoul
Apple Store Seoul (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Some high-profile creators in the UK are trying to impose a tax on new iPhones, Macs, and iPads.
  • They want the money to go into a fund for creatives in the country.

Olivia Colman, John Nettles, and Joanne Harris are just some of the names backing a move by UK creators and performers to convince the government to impose a tax of up to 3%. The money, they say, could rake in as much as £300 million for a new creative fund, they say.

There is no official proposal yet, according to a BBC report, but that isn't for the lack of trying.

In a letter in Tuesday's Times newspaper, they claim a centralised "Smart Fund" could generate up to £300m per year for the UK's creative sector.The levy would be between 1% and 3% of the overall price of a device.However, critics say it would amount to "a new tax" on consumers.It would apply to everything that can "store and download creative content".

Creators are concerned that they do not receive any payment whenever someone downloads a clip of their work and believe that a tax on any product that can download content would be the best way to deal with that. Tech UK, a network for the country's tech sector, isn't convinced.

"Shoppers buying a new phone or laptop might have a lot of questions about why they should have to pay such additional charges, when they already pay a significant amount of VAT."

I know I'm no fan of the idea of my iPhone 13 costing more than it already will, although no such move would be in place by September — if ever.

This move only affects those in the UK right now, but should it go ahead it will surely only be a matter of time before a similar move is suggested for the United States and elsewhere.

In the meantime, can I suggest everyone check out the best UK iPhone deals? While you still can!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.