German Chancellor Gerhard Shröder rescinded an earlier plan to impose a tax on personal use of the Internet in the workplace. “Private use of the Internet in the workplace is tax free,” Shröder said at the World’s Fair in Hanover.
Companies had complained of the hardship the proposed tax would have caused, arguing that tracking such computer usage would have been a bureaucratic nightmare and that the tax would have discouraged the use of the Internet.
When the plan was proposed, Germany’s Finance Ministry argued that personal use of the Internet should be taxed, just as personal use of company cars is taxed. Critics ridiculed the idea, calling it “insane,” and claimed it would impede attempts to encourage more access of the Internet among German citizens.