Buying things over the Internet and not having to pay taxes has come to almost feel like a birthright. Except, of course, it’s not.
That was simply a combination of an anti-tax mood at a time when it seemed that credit card users would go on swiping their plastic forever. Now wallets and purses have much shorter opening hours than a year ago.
States are hard hit by the falling economy since collections from sales and use taxes are plummeting. And even if
With 300,000 unsold homes and a $2.4 billion shortfall,
People are supposed to voluntarily pay taxes on Internet purchases in
It’s time Congress considers biting the Internet bullet. Not only does voluntary reporting not work, as more and more business move to the Web, states are going to lose the ability to tap into revenue. And as much as I don’t want to pay more taxes, I also don’t want to drive on bridges that collapse, have parks close or have schools that have no backup from a state’s ability to raise revenue.
Vendors who make sales and use tax software say that tax audits are going to mushroom as taxing authorities try to close loopholes and round up the tax dodgers.
There will be screams, of course. But as one vendor put it, 2009 will probably be the best chance for enacting Internet taxation we’ve seen. Unless someone can produce the revenue from somewhere else—the sin taxes are going to stop being productive if pushed high enough—it’s time to meet the need.
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