Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Internet Taxation May Be Imminent

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the coming-and-going dept.

United States 859

redfenix writes " Here, there, and everywhere, the words "Internet Tax" are being uttered with intentions of bolstering state budgets. It may be inevitable that products purchased on the net will be taxed someday. The real question is: can the fragile internet economy really help local tax economies now?"

cancel ×

859 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

in soviet russia... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077117)

the internet taxes YOU!

Re:in soviet russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077185)

Shouldn't that be:

In Soviet Russia, the tax internets YOU!

???

Why not cut spending/waste/fraud? (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077121)

Why not just cut out all the waste/fraud before they raise taxes again?

Re:Why not cut spending/waste/fraud? (2)

Big Mark (575945) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077146)

That would be what is known as the "obvious" solution, that is why. When was the last time one of those was implemented?

Actually, that was when you had to click the start button to turn your PC off.

-Mark

Re:Why not cut spending/waste/fraud? (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077209)

This "Internet tax", it's not calculated per-packet, is it?

Re:Why not cut spending/waste/fraud? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077251)

Not yet. But just give them time, after all they still have a luxury tax on all phone lines. :->

Re:Why not cut spending/waste/fraud? (1)

Windcatcher (566458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077270)

They've got to buy those votes with something! Remember, voter turnout in the US is abysmal, and many people can't be bothered to go out and vote unless they think there's something in it for them. So politicians do their best to outdo each other in throwing people a bone.

All I have to say (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077122)

No.

firstus postus (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077123)

TAX THIS, BITCH!!!

I believe this is the first post! When will there be a first post tax?

schizzle ma' nizzle byatch.

-ac

Interstate taxes? (3, Insightful)

connsmythe96 (576445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077124)

Aren't interstate taxes unconstitutional? Or is there some kind of stupid loophole?

Actually you are 150% wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077149)

The Interstate Commerce clause allows Congress to regulate/tax/etc any Interstate commerce. The only reason the Internet hasn't been taxed yet is to "boost the economy". But its really not taxing the Internet, rather the stuff you buy from other states on it.

Re:Actually you are 150% wrong (2, Interesting)

connsmythe96 (576445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077177)

Umm...I learned in school that the constitution specifically forbid states from imposing tariffs (i.e., taxes) on other states' businesses. That would include sales made over the internet. Unless they taught me wrong, of course. Which is highyl possible with our education system. ;)

Re:Actually you are 150% wrong (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077223)

"Unless they taught me wrong, of course. Which is highyl possible with our education system"

What an unfortunate spelling error. ;)

Re:Actually you are 150% wrong (1)

PincheGab (640283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077230)

I learned in school that the constitution specifically forbid states from imposing tariffs (i.e., taxes) on other states' businesses.

Actually the constitution does not say this... It says a state cannot regulate interstate commerce. Taxes/tariffs are a tool for regulating commerce, hence the illegality of a state charging tax for interstate transactions.

Re:Interstate taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077150)

in what state is the internet located?

Re:Interstate taxes? (1)

friedegg (96310) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077225)

Little known fact: The entire internet is located within the state of Virginia.

Re:Interstate taxes? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077182)

Technically you are obligated to pay your own state sales tax on any purchase made outside your state and imported. This is strictly enforced (at least here in the northeast) on car purchases, but there is no enforcement for more or less any other purchase (I can't think of any other anyways).

Why do we need a new law when an old one will work perfectly fine?

Re:Interstate taxes? (5, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077260)

I think that is why there is a distinction between sales tax and use tax. The state can't apply a sales tax to out-of-state purchases but they can apply a use tax to those purchases.

Moral of the Story (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077125)

That's what you get when you liberals vote for tax and spend Democrats

Come 2004 vote for George Walker Bush
a true American Hero!

Re:Moral of the Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077154)

-1 flamebate I don't see any need to explain myself...

Re:Moral of the Story (1)

forand (530402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077155)

Oh I fogot we have a Democrat dominated congress, house, and president. . . oh wait no we don't! What are you talking about? This is NEW so you can't blame it on the Democrats.

Re:Moral of the Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077194)

Dumbass, I'll overlook the gross ignorance of the structure of American government you displayed with the phrase "congress, house, and president" but I can't overlook your blatent political bias. It is STATE governments that are imposing these new taxes, not the federal government. So your example is completely invalid.

Thanks for playing, though.

Re:Moral of the Story (1)

forand (530402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077275)

True and yet still the original parent makes no sense. Your corrections would be better listened to if phrased better yourself. no reason for name calling.

Re:Moral of the Story (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077188)

Yeah!

Follow the excellent example of his distiguished career: go AWOL boys!

Re:Moral of the Story (2)

enjo13 (444114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077191)

Yet all of this is being muttered against the backdrop of the most conservative government we've seen in MANY MANY years... not just at the national level, but at all levels of government. Go figure..

Re:Moral of the Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077234)

I don't get you folks... Bush has had what, 2 years to work on this economy that was going down in flames before he even took office! Look at the stock market dive! I think that bush has done well with all thats happened in 2 years. He has had a DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED HOUSE blocking EVERY move they tried to implement... "Billy Boy" had 8 years to F*ck around (quite litterally) while the economy went in the tank and did almost nothing to help, and even raised taxes.

Grrrr.... I don't like politics, but lets not rewrite HISTORY....

I could go on and on, but it's not worth my time...

Re:Moral of the Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077254)

Actually, this is the result of people who mistakenly fear all taxes as a result of the inefficienty of a bloated federal tax structure kept in place by republicans hell bent on defecit spending and a huge defense budget.

These people think all taxes are bad, even the ones that are used to keep their parks open, teachers paid, and roads fixed. They vote down every tax, levy or other way for states to make up for the missing tax dollars that Republican governments have told corporations they don't have to pay, shifting the responsibility to the individual while the corporations make out like bandits.

The states end up with massive budget shortfalls, and have to look elsewhere to make up the difference.

Re:Moral of the Story (1)

primus_sucks (565583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077258)

Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but I think liberal people would be against sales tax and more for progressive income tax. If all tax revenue came from sales, rich people would make out much better than they do now with the progressive income tax. (Not that it would ever work, but I'd like to see a progressive sales tax - the more you consume, the higher the sales tax is.)

Ok, so the net is now the lookup tool.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077129)

And we go back to mailorder, out of state purchases, called in by phone..

So.. (4, Insightful)

RaboKrabekian (461040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077131)

It seems to me that most internet retailers are operating on such razor-thin margins that adding a sales tax would probably shove them further over the edge in to non-profitability.

i don't really care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077176)

It doesn't really matter to me. I live in Oregon and we don't have sales taxes.

Re:i don't really care (2, Informative)

TokyoBoy (217214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077278)

Yes, but if a law like this passes, you will most likely end up paying sales taxes when purchacing items over the Internet from a store located in another US state. I doubt there is a way for the US to collect sales taxes when one purchases items from a company outside the country. However, they are likely to collect tarrifs, and other such fees before the item passes customs.

Re:So.. (2, Informative)

queequeg1 (180099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077228)

Except for Canadian retailers. DVD sales are a good example. Few retailers in the US can approach Canadian etail DVD outlets because of the exchange rates. Additional taxes will make this problem all that much worse.

Jay

Re:So.. (5, Insightful)

fname (199759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077240)

Uh, so what. Why shouldn't we be charged sales tax on internet purchases? Oftentimes, the lack of a sales tax is the primary driver in a purchase; this is distorting the system. If the whole reason that those retailers exist is because they thrive on buyers who seek them out to avoid paying sales tax, then they are not adding a lot anyway.

And what's with this whole notion of "the internet economy." There is no internet economy. That's a figment of the late 90's VCs who profited off the public gullability.

A completely seperate issue is taxing internet services, i.e. access charges, etc. And are digital downloads taxed? all these issues fall into the grey area, but there are several distinct shades of grey.

Personally, I'd just pass a constitutional amendment to ban all sales taxes, since 99% of all products cross state lines, the US gov't should be able to regulate it as interstate commerce. Let the states tax in-state produced & consumed good if they want-- but they won't.

Alternatively, everyone collects sales tax depending on the state of the buyer. And yeah, I'd keep the lid on access charge taxes; that's a juridstictional nightmare. Everyone will want to levy a "bit" tax.

Re:So.. (2)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077244)

The biggest argument I hear against taxing internet goods is that it would hurt the internet companies. That same argument can be used against anything that is taxed. Why don't we just get rid of sales tax altogether? Or maybe keep sales tax and get rid of income tax (or vice versa). The real problem is that we are being taxed when we get the money and when we spend the money. Unless and until we fix that, it just isn't fair to not tax internet companies.

And besides, I'm already paying taxes on a lot of my internet commerce.

--naked [slashdot.org]

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077245)

Eh, they'd all be adding similar levels of taxes which wouldn't do much to the level of competition with each other. Obviously, some states could make themselves a haven for online sellers by having a lower (or no) tax. I suppose the real question is whether people would be willing to put up with S&H for something that may cost exactly the same thing as at a store a few miles away.

The Reason? (2, Informative)

trite (614780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077132)

What would the reason for taxing internet users be? Do the even have one thats not just to get more money for the state?

Re:The Reason? (2)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077175)

What would the reason for having both a consumption and an income tax in the first place be? Other than most politicians being STUPID, that is?

Why shouldn't they be taxed? (3, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077135)

Theoreticaly, you're supposed to figure out sales tax for stuff you buy online and send it to your local government. All they'd be doing is enforcing this.

Re:Why shouldn't they be taxed? (1)

forand (530402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077172)

Do you have any evidence for this? I am not aware of something similar for mail order which the current model is based on as I understand but am not sure of.

Re:Why shouldn't they be taxed? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077231)

Search your states tax laws for something called the 'USE TAX'

Re:Why shouldn't they be taxed? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077233)

It's called a "use tax", and every state has one. You're required to pay it if you have purchased something tax-free from out-of-state. For example, here's a link to Maryland's version: http://individuals.marylandtaxes.com/usetax/defaul t.asp [marylandtaxes.com]

Yes (3, Insightful)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077136)

This makes a lot of sense. Sure, I'm a libertarian who believes in a very limited government, but I also believe that taxes should be used to pay for infrastructure and civil defense. So, with the Internet becoming an increasingly important part of our national infrastructure, it only makes sense for the states to be able to tax us for the upkeep and maintainence of this valuable service.

Re:Yes (1)

connsmythe96 (576445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077160)

Don't mostly large ISPs/phone companies pay for the upkeep of the internet? Or at least the federal governemnt as opposed to states? I've never heard of states laying the optical lines or anything. I think that's mostly the ISPs/phone companies.

Re:Yes (2)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077161)

By your logic where does taxing stop? Soon there will be a crossing the road tax to pay for troops stationed on the far side of the moon.

Re:Yes (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077166)

Except that, in large part, this national treasure is owned and operated by companies who already essentially tax Internet use at many points.

Re:Yes (1)

syphoon (619506) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077179)

But the Internet isn't owned by the state, its component factors are more held by private or public institutions, not the US Government, much less any State Body.

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

AltImage (626465) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077199)

It's not the governments that are maintaining the infrastructure of the Internet. Especially not the state governments who would be benefiting from Internet taxation. So you're saying we should tax the Internet and give the money to who? AT&T? MCI? Maybe Internet taxation would have saved the Woldcom situation, right?

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

brooks_talley (86840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077229)

You mean, tax us to pay for invasions of our privacy like Carnivore and Son Of Carnivore?

Otherwise, states don't pay for the "upkeep and maintenance" of the internet. This is not a gas tax that pays for roads, but a sales tax that goes into the general fund. If it's used for any internet-related purpose at all, it will be very anti-libertarian, like censorship, eavesdropping, etc.

-b

Re:NO (2)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077238)

Since when do state governments maintain the Internet?

The US government doesn't own the Internet, it just thinks it does. If we had to say anyone owns and maintains the Internet, it would be MCI, AT&T, et al.

Re:Yes (1)

MrWa (144753) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077239)

I'm assuming that is sarcasm. How much of the State's budget goes to upkeep of the Internet?

A couple of good points have come up though:
1. How do you verify location of buyer? Do you pay taxes on something bought from a company out of state?
2. If you do pay taxes for out of state purchases - isn't that taxation across state borders, which is illegal?
3. Someone else mentioned that "maybe they wouldn't need to tax internet sales if Bush weren't pushing a $674 Billion Tax Cut", which would be fine and dandy - if that tax cut was coming out of state taxes and not the federal taxes.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077266)

I just wanted to get a maybe in the list of responses here.

Something I've always wanted to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077141)

They tax you when you make money, they tax you when you spend it.

THIS IS ILLOGICAL AND MORALLY WRONG.

There should either be no sales tax or no income tax. But not both.

Can anybody explain to me WHY we have both types of taxes?

Re:Something I've always wanted to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077173)

>Can anybody explain to me WHY we have both types of taxes?

To piss you off! Suck it up and pay The Man.

-ac

Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077174)

Why not?

I dont see the basis for your argument other than it is "illogical and morally wrong". Doesn't seem illogical to me. This taxes people when they make money and the spend so the government can allocate more money accross the board, instead of concentrating it in one area.

Besides, sales tax is for the state, income for the fed, they're fairly independant.

Re:Something I've always wanted to know... (2)

jejones (115979) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077218)

Sure. Power (i.e. government office) can be won by promising to use the power of government to take money and things from some people and give it to others.

The recipients become government dependent, terrified of losing their goodies, and can be counted on to keep voting for whoever keeps them attached to the trough. (The major example of this is currently the elderly.)

Income tax rates are highly "progressive," which means that very few people pay the vast majority of income tax. Once the majority of people are in the goodie recipient category, whoever is in power is in power securely...at least until the minority decides not to put up with it any more (a la Atlas Shrugged).

Re:Something I've always wanted to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077222)

How else are you going to pay for the 17-year old mothers of two or for the leeches who have no interest in working? You can't possibly expect equal social participation from everyone in the touchy-feely haven the western world has become and you don't dare say otherwise.

So, enjoy reaping what has been sown by your bleeding heart buddies.

how taxes work (4, Insightful)

Kallahar (227430) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077142)

If the goverment takes more of our money, that doesn't help the economy recover -- it hurts it. When taxes are lower people have more money to put back into the companies that power the economy. While it is true that the government is the biggest "company" in the country, it is also one of the most inefficient and wasteful.

Perhaps the states should learn how to use their existing funds better, rather than forcing people to give them more money.

Travis

Blame it on the regime (0, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077143)

Maybe they wouldn't need to tax internet sales if Bush weren't pushing a $674 Billion Tax Cut [216.239.33.100] .

So Long, budget surplus! So long, fiscal responsibility!

Re:Blame it on the regime (2)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077183)

How about the goverment cut spending to pay for the tax cut? Why is a spending cut NEVER an option?

Re:Blame it on the regime (2, Informative)

forand (530402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077203)

They are completely unrelated one is a STATE tax(internet taxes) the other is a FEDERAL tax(Bush). I don't like Bush but it is unfair to blame this on him.

Re:Blame it on the regime (2)

schussat (33312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077280)

They are completely unrelated one is a STATE tax(internet taxes) the other is a FEDERAL tax(Bush). I don't like Bush but it is unfair to blame this on him.

Not entirely true -- because state taxes are partly calculated on the basis of federal taxes paid, the states are in position to get hit hart by Bush's tax cut. And, because all but a handful of states are in serious budget trouble right now, a decline in their incoming taxes poses a particularly huge problem. See, for example, this recent AP story in the Sacramento Bee [sacbee.com] .

Re:Blame it on the regime (3, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077226)

"Maybe they wouldn't need to tax internet sales if Bush weren't pushing a $674 Billion Tax Cut [216.239.33.100]."

Um. This is insightful? Somebody doesn't know the difference between state and federal taxes, but that's okay because they made an anti-Bush joke?

Re:Blame it on the regime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077227)

You're an idiot.

Tax cuts are always good. Reducing government spending is always good. Keeping more of MY hard earned money rather than giving it to people who have had kids or couldn't be bothered with school and a job is always good.

Re:Blame it on the regime (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077252)

At least he cut $300 million from the budget that funds paying for heating in homes that have trouble affording their gas bills. That oughta help.

Re:Blame it on the regime (1)

hikousen (636819) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077259)

How about repealing a double-tax? ..and they already do tax internet sales.

Why? (1, Redundant)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077147)

Why not just cut out all the waste/fraud before they raise taxes again?

Take tips from the English goverment (3, Funny)

nother_nix_hacker (596961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077151)

If this happens do you think it would work like English road tax (the older the car the less you pay?) My 1Ghz box should be cheap to tax by then! :)

Re:Take tips from the English goverment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077261)

Huh?

What the fuck are you talking about? You tax PURCHASES MADE ONLINE. You don't tax computer usage. God, you brits really ARE idiots.

Re:Take tips from the English goverment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077277)

What the fuck are you talking about? You tax PURCHASES MADE ONLINE. You don't tax computer usage. God, you brits really ARE idiots.

You see that smiley face at the end of the post...

Not really. but ..... (1)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077157)

can the internet economy help the local economy ? nope, at least not in its current state.

now there maybe a side effect - people finding it cheaper in stores. (the extra 8% online plus shipping might even out the cost) but again your just killing online commerce by doing that. and not really helping out the local economy either.

i think somebody has the idea that the pr0n sales online are actual "commerce" transactions. *whoops*

Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

bach37 (602070) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077163)

An internet tax will do nothing more but hurt internet sales. Shipping charges and taxes??
The cost to buy something "cheaper" online would become a internet myth.

-Scott

Already done, at least in Washington (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077167)

As a Washington resident, I already pay sales tax to online retailers - most recently Amazon and Half.com.

Microsoft has the best idea, copy them! (4, Funny)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077169)


Just call it Tax#, and everyone will just jump on board!

hm... (1)

rlthomps-1 (545290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077171)

If a state like Wisconsin loses $300 million or $400 million or $500 million a year in revenue because of untaxed catalog sales, someone, someplace in the Badger State is going to pick up the difference. Who? You and I; through either increased income or property taxes.

Yes, but in that sense, "you and I" are also the people who are buying and "saving" the money. In the end its a wash. The average person who spends money online will save X and will then pay Y in increased taxes. I've got a feeling that X and Y are pretty close.

Money movement (1)

Skevin (16048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077187)

Politicians will always want to tax anything where there's a movement of money.

Therefore, from now on, I will think about politicians whenever I need to make a movement.

But seriously, simply just destroy *credit card based* E-Commerce, plain and simple... It won't destroy commerce over the web - i.e. Amazon might offer their wares on a COD basis, thus bypassing the fact that any transaction actually "occurred" on the internet. Also, mailed checks may still be applicable: "This check I've mailed you is for SKU#8546294 I saw on your website on 2/14/03..." Long before I had a credit card, this is how I conducted purchased on various homepages.

[Blows off dust from his paper checks]
Solomon

Tax Spam (2)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077189)

They should tax spam. It's not fair, but fuck em.

Push a Spm Tax Instead (5, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077190)

I keep telling people to push a Spam Tax instead.

This will solve several problems, and make the states lots of money. Also, there is plenty of precedent for taxing spam as part of interstate commerce.

Forced registration of spammers (a spammer's license) would enable people to track them down (spam hunting) and make money from the spammers. Money strapped countries around the world could get on board with this one.

The extra bonus brownie points for having a bounty on spammers avoiding the law just sweetens the deal. And Spamming would no longer be a free ride on the back of the internet.

This is a match made in heaven.

Why not use the greed of the law makers to our advantage?

Taxation without representation (3, Insightful)

Synithium (515777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077197)

How am I represented with my tax dollar in the state of Ohio when the tax income is going to the state of, say, California? That's the whole reason interstate taxes don't exist in the first place. Ah well, it's all for the better.

The more taxes we pay, the more Iraqi we can eradicate. Thanks Mr. Bush.

Easy! (1)

Tar-Palantir (590548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077200)

What drives the Internet economy? Pr0n.

What should they tax? Pr0n.

"It'd certainly make chartered accountancy more interesting."- Monty Python.

How smart of slashdotters? (2, Insightful)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077208)

ah do you guys realize that most sales tax laws in all states read like this:

"Items bought withint the state shall be charged a sales tax of.."

If it snot bought in the state you cannot be charged a sales tax because states cannot charge taxes on intyerstate commerce only feds can..

Now please will someone read something before they post it.. please.. the FUD is getting deep in here and I am drowning in it...

I don't mind paying tax... (2, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077210)

.. but don't make it terribly complicated. Wish I had something more insightful to say than that, but I don't. Every time I hear this topic brought up, everybody and their mother wants to make it more and more complicated just to make it more fair. Personally, I don't care what the diffrence between 5% and 7% is, and I don't care which state it goes to. Hell, make it a flat tax and let me choose which state the taxes go to. :P

Online companies lobby too! (1)

fetta (141344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077212)

Hopefully, companies with significant Internet sales (Land's End, Amazon, etc) have enough lobbyists on retainer to slow down the implementation of these taxes. I suspect that we'll eventually see Internet transactions taxed in some way, but the additional bureaucracy involved in figuring out which of the thousands of taxing authorities has jurisdiction over each sales will be a nightmare.

Taxing Internet transactions in a fair and equitable manner will require wholesale changes to the way taxes are collected in the U.S. at the federal, state, and local levels. We're not ready to make this change yet.

personaly, (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077213)

I see no reason to not have sales taxes enforced on internet purchases.

In the country I live we pay sales tax anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077216)

Unless you basically prove that the goods are going overseas.

I guess that is the advantage of one state being the whole country.

Are the states in America united ;)

Bah.

Enough (1)

hikousen (636819) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077221)

governors are coveting more than ever the billions of dollars of sales tax revenue they could be taking in to fund schools and pave roads.

Sorry fellas. The average taxpayer sees 40%+ of their income go to various confiscatory taxes already.

We're spending $9000 per student per year on schools, which is enough to chauffer students to class in limosuines, and there are already massive taxes on gasoline, et al. to fund paving roads.

ENOUGH. Cut spending. Get rid of the 40,000 state workers with nothing to do. Quit borrowing money to build schools. Stop the waste. Right there is enough to balance any budget.

There are already taxes on internet sales, by the way. The internet is not a "tax free zone." New taxes should not be allowed. Period.

Why would I buy off the Internet anymore? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5077224)

As far as I can see, there's already an inherent tax on the Internet. It's called "shipping". The shipping costs are about the same as my state's sales tax. So if I have to pay state tax, then that's the same as doubling the tax. Why would anyone do this?

Convenience? Maybe. Or not. It can be a real pain trying to return something. Or resolving a dispute.

Most of the time, I'll be buying off the internet because of a price discount. But if the prices become equal, I'll just shop locally.

It would be far better if the politicians learned to reduce state spending - starting with their salaries, and cutting their own staffs. Somehow, none of them ever think of that.

Commerce is taxed (3, Insightful)

Tomster (5075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077236)

It's nearly a natural political-economic law. There are few transactions that don't fall under the purview of a tax.

So the question to ask is not if Internet transactions will be taxed -- but when and how.

-Thomas

Does it affect people out of the US? (0)

Mex (191941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077242)

Will amazon.com charge me extra now for my clean underwear?

Depends (3, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077243)

Depends on what you use it for. The money I pay when I stop at a toll on the road is a tax used to pay to improve the roads. The social security tax I pay on my paycheck is used, for social security (the fact that it's dying is anohter story). So if there is an internet tax, it should be used to improve/maintain the infrastructure of the internet. Otherwise, screw it.

Semantics! (3, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077247)

"Internet Taxation May Be Imminent"

So... if it may be imminent, then it's not imminent, right? Heh.

So Now What? (1)

DredPirateRoberts (585155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077248)

Are all the states involved going to create Internet Taxation Departments to waste all the new money they'll make with these tax revenues or will they be able to waste the money with the current level of corruption and graft?

Lets make the internet like every other industry (1)

jmuzic1 (637784) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077253)

Let's make it so inhospitable to do business in the US that companies have to locate their servers out of country and move yet another industry and even more jobs overseas. That sounds like a good way to boost state revenue!

Another view. (1, Interesting)

forand (530402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077256)

Disclaimer: I am not sure I agree with what I am going to say but I have to say it does make some sense. If internet retailers were required to collect taxes based on the purchaser and return those taxes to the pertinent state it would seem reasonable since: 1) In essence their business has a presensce in every State and thus should follow current laws(the location of a internet server means nothing these days) 2) If I have the abilty to buy things without tax I will stop buying things in my own state and thus not be supporting the infrastructure that I use. This is already done within California with sales tax on cars. The sales tax you pay is based on where you live NOT where the business is, this was implemented to stop people from all buying their cars in the boondocks to save some money but they go and drive their cars all over the streets their tax dollars were not supporting the maintanece of.

Kansas is jonsing (2)

rosewood (99925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077257)

A store in wichita that sells golfing stuff online aparently pulled in 6 million between thanksgiving and christmas. Im sure with that info out and our horrible budget here in Kansas, they would LOVE to get a bit of that pie.

They are already here (2)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077263)

Here in Minnesota, taxes are not optional - it does not matter whether you buy stuff on the Internet, mail order, or purchase goods the old fashion way. You buy it in state, you pay sales tax; buy it out of state, pay use tax.

To quote our lovely tax form [state.mn.us] ,
Use tax protects Minnesota businesses from unfair competition. If tax is not paid on items brought into your community, the local businesses are at a competitive disadvantage.

(note bitter sarcasm in my voice)
So you see, it was never about maximizing revenue in tough times - it is about unfair competition.

This thread is going nowhere (1)

Dougthebug (625695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077267)

A thread like this popped up on fark.com the other day, this quote seemed to shed some light on the issue.

"Why shouldn't the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them."

Edward Albert Filene (1869-1937)

Lower taxes or Raise taxes? Make up your mind! (2, Insightful)

fishbert42 (588754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077276)

With the current bipartisan agreement that a tax cut is a good idea to stimulate the economy (they just seem to argue over who's taxes should be cut), I have to wonder what the real thinking is behind all this talk of adding a new internet sales tax. Ok, maybe some states will be just enforcing laws already on the books, maybe not, but it's still a new tax payment for a great majority of folks.

What is it?! Should my federal taxes be lowered so that I can pay some new internet sales tax to the state? Why don't they just give money directly to the states and ignore the general populous instead?

It seems that either:
A) state politicians are too chickenshit to cut their budgets and piss off their over-demanding constituency
B) they're greedy for more funds and don't give a hoot about the national economy as a whole
C) a combination of the two.

Either way, I think an internet sales tax would (at least partially) cut any federal tax-cutting stimulus package off at the knees.

Don't want Internet Taxes? (3, Informative)

Anenga (529854) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077281)

Then you can sign this petition [nomorenettax.com] .
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>