Australian online marketing media have been left scrambling to cope with the internet marketing tax and are calling for the government to introduce new taxes to help fund its $6.2 billion annual budget.

The online media sector employs more than a quarter of the Australian economy, and a large proportion of the industry is reliant on digital media revenues to fund its operations.

Internet tax is expected to cost the industry $3.8 billion this financial year and it is expected the government will introduce new tax measures, including a 20 per cent internet marketing media levy, in coming months.

The tax is one of the top five revenue-generating areas for the Government.

While some industry leaders have criticised the tax as “anti-competitive”, a report released last month by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the National Broadband Network Alliance (NBNAA) found that it has resulted in “substantial” savings for Australian consumers.

The research found that consumers were saving an average of $300 over two years by switching to online media, while the NBNAA said they had seen a net reduction in bills of $250.

The Coalition has been lobbying for the internet tax to be introduced and is planning to introduce a number of changes to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to bring them in line with the levy.

The Government is also considering whether it should impose a 3 per cent tax on the cost of using the NBN.

The NBNAA has also criticised the CSE’s cost-benefit analysis, saying it has failed to consider the cost to consumers of a national broadband network.

The ACCC has previously called for the Cse to be abolished and a national network should be built for the purpose of providing the NBN with a fast and reliable internet service.