A(nother)Look at Internet Taxation

While I preoccupied with closing down my house and moving to Hawaii two years ago, then-President Bush signed off on the Internet Tax Freedom Act Amendment Act of 2007.  It too me two years to notice, but I’m still happy about it. The act kees in place – until 2014 – a moratorium on charging taxes for Internet access or applying multiple taxes to a single online transaction in 1998. It effectively prohibits tax schemes that would discriminate against online businesses.

“One of the main benefits of Web-based businesses is that the ability to reach such a large potential universe of customers cheaply provides an opportunity for small one- and two-person companies to thrive without a tremendous amount of start-up capital. The cost of compliance and tax collection alone for these small businesses could be enough of a deterrent to keep them from participating in the marketplace,” said then Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Orson Swindle back in 1999.

A lot  has changed since then, but it remains true that the web provides eceonomic opportunities to those who have the drive but not the means to establish a brick and mortar business. Countless people are making a comfortable amount of money off ebay and Craig’s List.

The best part about the ITFA renewal is that it provides me with a cheap opportunity to pimp out an article I wrote on the subject back in 2003. Regardless of the fact that some of the numbers have changed, and that I attributed the about quote to Eugene R. Quinn, Jr, who himself used it in a law review article, the points still stand. Read and enjoy:



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