E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Taxes on all of the great new tech we just got? I was a guest on the Fox News show "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Monday, and Brian Sullivan asked me about all the new taxes we better get ready for on all of our new holiday gifts. That's right. We better get ready for taxes galore. In fact, it's worse than we think. Instead of just one set of taxes, if you download a program from one state and you live in another state, both states may tax you for the same thing. That's right, soon we may be paying enormous taxes.
Taxes suck. So Lets call it something else. I would love to buy something from a catalog, but when I see the processing and handling charges which cost almost half of what it is I ordered. I lose interest and go to the store. Stores now will actually charge you when you look up something at say Wal Mart for the item to be shipped to the store for you to pick up. Yet if you spend over $100 dollars shipping is free. Shipping companies suck too. Fed Ex actually called my house and asked me to meet them because the after 5:00 drop off I had requested was not convienient for the driver. Call me? Leave it and I will come get it. The best thing about ordering on the internet is reading customer opinions about what you are about to purchase. Sifting through them you can get a real sense of what the real issues people have about what you are about to buy and you can make a better decision unlike at a department store where some idiot doesn't know crap about anything they are pushing out the door.
Someone has to say stop to the spreading of speculation as fact like this article does.
Of course, there will be taxes on the internet but not in the fantasy world this article states.
This article is very short on facts and long on improbable scenarios.
It is technologically impossible to set up a system that will make one pay taxes on every state in which a signal passes as the path is different with every connection.
It is pure speculation to state that multiple states may tax you for the same thing. No one except this writer is talking about double taxing from multiple states and local governments.
The states are thinking about a single tax paid to one jurisdiction (probably based on point of sale or point of delivery like mail order purchases) not multiple taxes paid every jurisdiction.
Mail order taxes are paid to one jurisdiction so why would the Internet be so different?
This article was not well thought out and quotes no authorities.
In order to better tackle the issue, we must clearly break down these taxes, existing and proposed, into two categories:
(1) Taxes on communications services. As was stated in the article, these have been around since the early days of telephony. This is not a new problem in and of itself, but new ways of taxing - and double taxing - are the threat. For instance, if my Internet access is carried via a phone line (i.e. DSL) or via cable, I may already be paying tax on the basic phone or cable service, but should I pay a special tax just for accessing the Internet?
(2) Taxes on goods and services purchased via the Internet. The problem here usually presents itself in the form of an interjurisdictional taxation issue. A product or service is purchased from a vendor in one taxing jurisdiction and delivered, either physically or over the wire, to a customer in another jurisdiction. This, too, is not a completely new problem, but rather one that dates back to the days of the Sears Catalog. Whatever rules are applied here regarding sales and use tax can only be fair if they are medium-neutral. That is, the same rules should apply regardless of whether the purchase is made over the Internet, over the phone, or via an order form sent via US Mail. In the case of interstate commerce, there is clearly Federal jurisdiction to impose uniform taxation standards.