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

KDE and GNOME: Kubuntu, Krita, GNOME Development

  • Kubuntu 18.04 LTS Could Switch to Breeze-Dark Plasma Theme by Default, Test Now
    The latest daily build live ISO images that landed earlier today for Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) apparently uses the Breeze-Dark Plasma theme for the KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment by default. However, we've been told that it's currently an experiment to get the pulse of the community. "Users running [Kubuntu] 18.04 development version who have not deliberately opted to use Breeze/Breeze-Light in their System Settings will also see the change after upgrading packages," said the devs. "Users can easily revert back to the Breeze/Breeze-Light Plasma themes by changing this in System Settings."
  • Interview with Rytelier
    The amount of convenience is very high compared to other programs. The amount of “this one should be designed in a better way, it annoys me” things is the smallest of all the programs I use, and if something is broken, then most of these functions are announced to improve in 4.0.
  • Grow your skills with GNOME
    For the past 3 years I’ve been working very hard because I fulfill a number of these roles for Builder. It’s exhausting and unsustainable. It contributes to burnout and hostile communication by putting too much responsibility on too few people’s shoulders.
  • GTK4, GNOME's Wayland Support & Vulkan Renderer Topped GNOME In 2017
  • A Lot Of Improvements Are Building Up For GIMP 2.9.8, Including Better Wayland Support
    It's been four months since the release of GIMP 2.9.6 and while GIMP 2.9 developments are sadly not too frequent, the next GIMP 2.9.8 release is preparing a host of changes. Of excitement to those trying to use GIMP in a Wayland-based Linux desktop environment, GIMP's color picker has just picked up support for working on KDE/Wayland as well as some other Color Picker improvements to help GNOME/Wayland too. GIMP's Screenshot plugin also now has support for taking screenshots on KDE/Wayland either as a full-screen or individual windows. Granted, GIMP won't be all nice and dandy on Wayland itself until seeing the long-awaited GTK3 (or straight to GTK4) port.

Red Hat and Fedora

OSS Leftovers

  • How Open Source Databases Unlock Faster Computing
  • The art of the usability interview
    During a usability test, it's important to understand what the tester is thinking. What were they looking for when they couldn't find a button or menu item? During the usability test, I recommend that you try to observe, take notes, capture as much data as you can about what the tester is doing. Only after the tester is finished with a scenario or set of scenarios should you ask questions.
  • This open-source interview approach will help you avoid unconscious bias
    The lack of diversity in tech has been front and center this past year. Large tech companies have publicly vowed to fix the problem. But how? One answer is recognizing, acknowledging, and eliminating unconscious bias from the hiring process.
  • Microsoft Goes All In With Kubernetes
  • OpenBSD Now Officially Supports 64-bit ARM
    OpenBSD has graduated its 64-bit ARM (ARM64) architecture to being officially supported. As outlined in the OpenBSD Journal with a change made this week by lead OpenBSD developer Theo de Raadt, OpenBSD's ARM64 support is now considered officially supported.
  • LLVM Clang 6.0 Now Defaults To C++14
    Up to now LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler has defaulted to using C++98/GNU++98 as its default C++ standard, but fortunately that's no more. Clang's default C++ dialect is now GNU++14 version of C++14 rather than GNU++98 (C++98). The older versions of the C++ standard remain available and can be set via the -std= argument, just as those previously could have specified C++11 / C++14 / C++17, but now in cases where not specified, GNU++14/C++14 is the default.
  • Tor Browser 7.0.11 is released
    Tor Browser 7.0.11 is now available from the Tor Browser Project page [1] and also from our distribution directory [2].

Android Leftovers