Early in our great nation’s history the trend was set to oppose and reject any attempt by the government to impose unfair or unnecessary taxation. Many debates have formed from this issue and most recently, with incredible strides having been made in the technology sector, the discussion has turned to taxation over internet commerce and communication. Does the government have the right to tax interstate and international internet commerce? Can there be a tax levied upon e-mail that is sent and received? These questions have extended themselves into both Congressional and Senate forums and though many times overlooked by the general public, these very issues will affect innumerable people worldwide.
The European Union currently collects a value-added tax (VAT) that applies only to the purchases made by European Union residents from European Union online retailers. Any items purchased online from sources outside the European Union are non-taxed. This leads to loss of revenue by the business sector of the European Union and loss of tax revenue by the states of the European Union. However, purchases made from European Union businesses by U.S. consumers add greatly to the economies of those European Union states. So the question
consumers by attempting to increase revenues through taxation of those sales. "Given the billions at stake, that comes as no shock. The major downfall to this would be that companies would chose to move to locations where the tax rates were lower in an attempt to entice more customers. Imagine if you can a tax being imposed on every e-mail you send. This would be perfectly consistent with the way other products are sold. "The whole process has become thoroughly politicized. Placing such important decisions into the hands of others will certainly bring about a loss of our current low-cost freedom of access and we will no longer have the ability to go on-line and purchase items without having to submit the state and local tax lines. Because e-tailers have no "physical presence"--such as a store or warehouse--in most states, they are not required to collect sales tax from customers. The main street companies are forced to give their fair share to Uncle Sam so why not have the same rules apply to e-business One reason is fear. Bureaucracy may this time disrupt focus on the important issues. Though the United States Postal has been privatized since the Nixon administration, it still remains one of the largest, if not the largest, employer in the world. If they truly are concerned that these types of cross-border sales are tax-free and that this creates an unfair advantage over traditional "bricks-and-mortar" companies, why not simply have Virginia impose its sales tax on the transaction. With that focus being placed more than ever on efficiency of process, the internet provides incredible opportunity to speed up service while trimming the costs of supply and demand.