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[FYI] The Futility Of An Internet Sales Tax
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- Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 07:29:20 +0100
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The Futility of an Internet Sales Tax
Politicians think they?re going to make a ton of money taxing
Internet sales. They won?t.
by Alan Reynolds
[back to table of contents]
Enthusiastic articles about the awesome potential of the Internet-based
economy-including my own ?The Coming E-Commerce Boom? in this journal
last spring-may be doing more harm than good. The reason: big numbers
dollar signs attached are irresistible bait for state politicians and
collectors. Tossing these numbers around is like throwing a bucket of
catnip at a bunch of hungry tigers.
To be generous, then, let?s assume that U.S. consumers will
account for $100 billion of the $189 billion of anticipated
e-tailing in 2003-up from approximately $20 billion in 1998.
Even if online retailing does grow that rapidly, the $100
billion estimate will still prove to be a wild exaggeration
of the sales volume that supposedly escapes state sales tax.
Let?s consider a few reasons why much retail e-commerce would
remain exempt from state sales taxes.
1. Most services are exempt.
2. Most Internet sales of tangible goods are already being taxed.
3. Online sales are like catalog orders.
4. Most states don?t tax drugs and groceries.
5. Digital products are hard to tax.
"..also stell Dich nicht so an/Runter in den Keller/und reiss Dich
Aus dem Dunkel dringen/seltsame Geraeusche/doch was immer da unten
Du wirst es verscheuchen/wenn Du Mut hast/und dieses Lied singst."
-- Die Antwort, "Runter in den Keller"