TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Internet Taxes Are Coming

Interesting article on CNET News:  The Taxman Cometh Back, by Steven Musil:

If you once scoffed at those e-mails warning of an e-mail tax, brace yourself: you may soon be paying a lot more to use the Internet. The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful. State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other Internet-service connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail.

Pro-tax advocates this week advanced a flurry of proposals pushing in that direction. A bill was introduced that would usher in mandatory sales tax collection for Internet purchases. Then, during a House of Representatives hearing the same day, politicians weighed whether to let a temporary ban on Net access taxes lapse when it expires on November 1. A House backer of another pro-sales tax bill said to expect a final version by July.

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This is an attempt to control the internet but the US Governments push to control the cyberworld is doomed to failure.This will have the same result as if they tried to clamp peoples noses and charge an air tax

Posted by: mark | May 26, 2007 9:22:27 AM

its time to realize the government is an enemy...I advocate massive and targeted violence against zog....itz them or us.

christopher garrett grimes

Posted by: christopher grimes | May 26, 2007 10:33:44 AM

Would the Founding Fathers have stood still for this? NO!

Ridiculous. When are we going to stand up as people and say "enough is enough"?

Posted by: larissa | May 26, 2007 10:54:29 AM

Shut up all of yous. I'll tax what I want when I want. Pay it or go to jail.

Posted by: The man | May 26, 2007 11:12:26 AM

Unable to solve *real problems* like health-care, unemployment, excessive military spending, illegal immigration etc, lawmakers are proposing solutions for non-problem issues. Total non-sense.

Posted by: JohnSmith | May 26, 2007 11:52:48 AM


Posted by: George | May 26, 2007 12:05:00 PM


Posted by: Mark | May 26, 2007 12:08:53 PM

Revolution is the Solution!!!

Posted by: Tim | May 26, 2007 12:10:48 PM


Posted by: Tom | May 26, 2007 12:13:54 PM


That may be more real than we care to admit... And a lot closer...

Posted by: TexasFred | May 26, 2007 3:48:48 PM

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9 says: "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."
That seems clear enough to me. Are these bills in Congress proposing an amendment? If not, wouldn't they be unconstitutional?

Posted by: mlb | May 26, 2007 3:54:18 PM

Maybe getting a Canadian internet address would solve the problem.

Posted by: Jacob | May 26, 2007 4:31:46 PM

Despite the "informed" commentary above, a minute tax on Internet use seems an appropriate means of raising revenue. The same commenters who complain so bitterly about such a tax most likely pay $15-20 in taxes each month that are buried in their phone bill.

Posted by: Jake | May 26, 2007 4:39:47 PM

To Jacob,

"a minute tax on Internet use"

and just WHERE will that money be going? Most likely to the stupid war in Iraq. Which means the roads, schools, hospitals and other public buildings & infrastructure still will NOT be repaired.

No thanks, I'm not paying any taxes on the net if its only gonna go to pay for that stupid war started by that stupid chimp in office who is too stupid to say STOP.

Posted by: Historia | May 26, 2007 5:38:46 PM


The income tax started as a minute tax, only on the very wealthy. Wake up, government is the problem, not the solution. It must be starved to death.

Posted by: ed42 | May 26, 2007 9:26:44 PM

Next there will be a sex tax. Would the government "wash their hands" on that?

Posted by: john mccarthy | May 26, 2007 11:37:30 PM

Back in the early-mid 90s there was a lot of utopian writing about the democratising effect of the internet: Free speech would not longer be abstract unless you happened to be a media baron but open to all.
I was a bit skeptical of the idea that small scale websites, bloggers, amateurs and the like could really gain audience but now reading a wide range of blogs and forums has equal weight to skimming the websites of the established news media.
After monopolising the channels of communication it was inevitable they would move to water-down and restrict the power of the web. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. Tax is just one of many tools to do this.

Posted by: lowbudgetlife | May 27, 2007 9:02:03 AM

Incredibly-but true-the
govts at all levels are
awash in $TRILLIONS that are not listed in the Federal, State , County, city 'budgets' -but you will be able to find these 'hidden in plain sight' funds in what is called the CAFR's (Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports). See for the breakthrough exposure of this massive fraud on the American people.Incredibly, again,these govt entities own over half of the Stock Market-plus golf courses,etc. etc. that are NEVER listed in their budgets! Yet they yell "We have no money in the 'BUDGET' so we have to eliminate social programs(so libraries cut hours, bus routes cut, etc.)and INCREAS taxes' . They never mention the (total of over $60 trillion !!) CAFR's! The govts can be financed with NO taxes at all , even paying each of us a dividend yearly, if these $trillions of investment earnings were to be used to run the govts. Check it out!

Posted by: dave connors | May 28, 2007 10:43:21 PM

If the FEDS could find some way of making us pay taxes on the air that we breath they would. The government needs to back off.

Posted by: Robert Provins | May 29, 2007 9:20:10 AM