In “Taxes Have No Place On The Internet” by Don Reisinger on CNet’s Digital Home, he makes an important point that I thought would have gotten more discussion and coverage:
The ban on the Internet tax is one of the most compelling and important bills to cross legislator desks in years. A tax of the Internet would be an utter mistake that could cause even more ridiculous spending on the part of this government at the expense of hard working individuals that rely on the Internet for entertainment, well being, employment, or any combination of those attributes…
We live in an environment where we’re overtaxed and under-rewarded. With grand promises of better education, more paved roads and public works, lawmakers do whatever they can to take our tax money. And unfortunately, we sometimes fall for it.
But when it comes to the Internet, there is no good justification for taxing our access. I hate to get too deep into this discussion, but in my mind, a taxed Internet means less disposable income that can be used on something far more important — your family.
The rumors of an Internet tax has been going around for years, but now the US government, and many governments around the world, want money from the new economy called The Web.
There are many levels to Internet Taxes. There is the issue Reisinger addresses which is the application of a tax on Internet Providers for every user on the Internet. It could be that you might soon be paying for your blog, or at least access to it. But how far will this go?
It used to be easy to buy things on the Internet and not pay sales tax for purchases outside your state. Now, that’s not longer true nor consistent.
Collecting taxes is expensive. Accounting for taxes within businesses is expensive. Getting your own personal taxes figured out is expensive. All is time consuming and time costs money.
And what about all that money you are making on the web? Are you paying income taxes on it? Do you even report it? Do you get tax reports on the income you earn from the various advertisers, and do they in turn report your income to the government as is required by some countries? Which government? The one the company is based in, or yours?
Do you want to pay a tax for having a blog? Do you want to pay taxes on your email services? What about paying a tax fee for every dollar generated from the ads on your blog? It’s a “sale” in one way of thinking, right?
Taxes and the Internet are a messy business, but there are billions to be made in taxes if the governments can come up with ways to grab more of your money from this new source.
Should the Internet be totally free of taxes?
Or maybe, as one friend suggested, we should stop all other taxes and just tax the Internet. It’s the future of the economy, so why not just switch all taxes online and let those not participating in the online economy get a break for one? Weird thought. It’s going to take some very creative thinking to handle taxing the Internet.
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.