Extension of Moratorium on Internet Access Taxes Introduced

A bill introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives would continue the moratorium on Internet access taxes.

The Internet Tax Fairness Act, introduced by Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, and Rick Boucher, D-VA, would permanently ban Internet access taxes and multiple, discriminatory taxes on the Internet. In addition, the bill would clarify the standards by which a state may levy taxes on corporations for business conducted within that state.

The current moratorium on Internet access taxes and multiple and discriminatory taxes on the Internet is set to expire Oct. 21.

Goodlatte introduced the legislation on the same day as a meeting on Internet taxes by the Congressional Internet Caucus.

The caucus was founded in 1996 by Rep. Rick White, R-WA; Boucher; Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT; and Sen. Conrad Burns, R-MT. It works to educate lawmakers about the promise and potential of the Internet. Goodlatte is co-chairman of the caucus.

The caucus hosts events and forums for policymakers, the media and the public to discuss Internet-related policy issues.

The Direct Marketing Association yesterday expressed its support for Goodlatte's bill. The DMA, which testified before the caucus, said that if Congress is to grant the states broad, interstate sales tax collection powers, it, and not the states, must first establish parameters for the simplification of the more than 7,600 tax codes.

The DMA said there are two key elements of sales tax simplification that the states seem to be resisting the most: one sales tax rate per state for all commerce, both remote and over the counter; and nexus standards for business activity taxes.

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