Yes, you saw it right. South Korea has introduced this new tax which refers to what can be called as the world’s first tax on robots. This measure is out of the fear that automation will soon replace the human effort, leading to mass unemployment.
This proposal placed by Moon Jae-in administration does not literally suggest that the tax will be directly levied on the robots. What they really meant by this is that the policymakers have come up with the plan of limiting tax incentives on investments in automation.
Right now, any business in South Korea investing in Industrial automation technology is eligible for a corporate tax deduction of 3 percent to 7 percent, with the rate varying on the scope and size of the business in question. This is supposedly ending this year.
The current proposal is likely to reduce the deduction rate by up to two percentage points.
This measure is basically an attempt to make the country realize that unemployment will be the biggest blow to South Korea’s tax revenue, in the coming days.
Initially, Bill Gates spoke about imposing the robot tax owing to the argument that if human workers can be taxed for earnings attached to productive output, then governments should tax the robots also if they are the human replacement for that work.
This issue of robot tax has occupied the prime position of global tax discussion, as quite a number of stalwarts and lawyers are suggestive of the fact that the rising reliance on automation will see the dependency diminishing on human workers. Further, this would add to the problem of joblessness and a fall in tax revenue, as now the low amount of taxpayers will be paid for their labor. Lastly, the logistical questions about such a tax would be levied and what would qualify as a tax, remains the basic point.