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US states seek to tax internet sales

US states and local governments are appealing to Congress in an attempt to begin taking tax revenue from on-line sales. Up to 30 states will attempt to amend sales tax codes which presently give special immunity to internet sales.18 Dec 2000

An existing three year moratorium on internet taxes is set to expire in October 2001. The tax immunity for dot.coms is criticised by bricks-and-mortar businesses that argue unfair competition. In addition, states and local governments have lost from a trade which, according to Forrester Research, has been worth $490 billion world-wide this year.

New legislation is being drafted by a task force that, if introduced, would simplify tax codes and allow certified third parties to calculate and collect taxes.