Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Legislation to prevent federal Internet tax

Filed under
Web

A U.S. senator said today that he will soon introduce a bill that would prevent Congress from extending a long-standing telecommunications tax to Internet access.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) said legislation is needed after Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation in January suggested an expansion of a 3% federal excise tax (FET) on telecommunications to Internet traffic, including e-mail and data services. Allen plans to introduce his bill, which would exempt Internet access from the FET, early this week.

The FET, first enacted in 1898 to fund the Spanish-American War, raises about $6 billion a year for the U.S. government. At points during the past 107 years, the tax has been eliminated, reinstated and raised to 25%. Congress made the tax, which applies to local and long-distance calls, permanent in 1990.

"We won the Spanish-American War over 100 years ago," Allen said at a news conference. "This tax represents an unnecessary service tax on consumers."

The Joint Committee on Taxation in January presented three options for the FET, one being the proposal to tax all Internet traffic. A second option would extend the FET just to voice traffic over the Internet, with a third option redefining how long-distance calls are taxed, with no taxes on Internet data or voice.

In November, Congress passed the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act, which extended a moratorium on new Internet-only taxes passed by state and local governments. But that bill, also sponsored by Allen, didn't apply to the existing FET, Allen said. His new bill wouldn't prohibit taxes on voice-over-IP (VoIP) calls. That issue would be addressed under a separate bill likely to be introduced later.

The January report from the Joint Committee on Taxation noted that the growth of wireless voice services and the Internet have created confusion about how the FET should be applied. "The present communications excise tax provisions were enacted before the development of most modern technology -- the growth of computers and new electronic means of communication," the report said. "The proliferation of wireless communications technology and the Internet, and in particular broadband access, has blurred the lines between 'data' and 'voice' and between the functions of transmission and application. Consequently, service providers have found it increasingly difficult to determine which services are taxable communications services and which are nontaxable information services." continued>>

More in Tux Machines

Videos: Akademy 2017 Talk, Upgrading Linux Mint, This Week in Linux

  • Akademy 2017 talk
    The talk by Jean-Baptiste Mardelle’s at Akademy 2017 is released along with many other interesting talks. Akademy is the annual world summit of KDE, one of the largest Free Software communities in the world. It is a free, non-commercial event organized by the KDE Community.
  • How To In-place Upgrade Linux Mint
    This video shows how to upgrade Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.3 while keeping all of your personal data intact. Please be sure to give EzeeLinux a ‘Like’ on Facebook! Thanks! Also check out http://www.ezeelinux.com for more about Linux.
  • Linux Kernel 4.14, Firefox Quantum, Fedora 27, Munich? Meh | This Week in Linux 14
    On this episode of This Week in Linux. The first 6 Year LTS Linux Kernel was released this week. Huge Update from Mozilla with Firefox Quantum. New distro releases from Fedora and Slax.

LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.2.1 MR

LibreELEC 8.2.1 is a maintenance release that includes Kodi 17.6. It also resolves a minor time-zone issue after recent daylight saving changes, a resume from suspend issue with the Apple IR driver, and it provides two new SMB client configuration options in Kodi settings. You can now set a minimum SMB protocol version to prevent prevent SMB1 from ever being used, and a ‘legacy security’ option forces weak authentication to resolve issues seen with the USB sharing functions on some older router/NAS devices. If updating to LibreELEC 8.2 for the first time PLEASE READ THE RELEASE NOTES below here before posting issues in the forums as there are disruptive changes to Lirc, Samba, and Tvheadend. Read more

Microsoft Worker Leaves for Google, Criticizes Post-Windows Vista Dev Strategy

Microsoft employee Tim Sneath, who spent no less than 17 years with the company, announced in a blog post that he’s leaving the software giant to work for Google on the new Flutter mobile framework. Sneath started his post by emphasizing how great Microsoft is, explaining that he company has “incredibly diverse interests” and is “filled with talented people.” Despite the good parts, however, the former Microsoft Program Manager who worked on a series of projects for developers, discussed what he described as the “missteps” that the Redmond-based software giant embraced beginning with the Windows Vista era. Read more Also: ‘Goodbye Microsoft, hello Linux’

LiFT Scholarship Recipients Advance Open Source Around the World

Fifteen people from 13 different countries have received Linux Foundation Training Scholarships (LiFT) in the category of Linux Newbies. This year, 27 people received scholarships across all categories — the most ever awarded by the Foundation. Now in its seventh year, the program awards training scholarships to current and aspiring IT professionals worldwide who may not otherwise have the means for specialized training. The Foundation has awarded 75 scholarships worth more than $168,000 since the program began. Read more