Congress Makes First Steps Toward Digital Goods Tax Fairness

This week, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced identical versions of the ‘Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act’ in the U.S. Senate (S. 851) and House of Representatives (H.R. 1643) respectively.

This bipartisan legislation prevents digital goods and services purchases, such as apps, music and ringtones, movies and TV episodes, e-books and video games, from being subject to multiple and discriminatory taxes.

Right now it’s possible to be taxed by several different jurisdictions for the same digital goods purchase. For example, let’s say you pay your wireless service bill in one area code, but you buy something with your device when you’re in another one, from a company in yet another part of the country. Under today’s tax regulations, you can potentially be taxed by all three jurisdictions!

With state and local governments desperate for new revenue sources, that scenario is quite possible, and there’s currently no law in place to keep that from happening. That’s why it’s important to make sure wireless consumers are treated fairly and that we have a “national framework” or some “rules of the road” for how the digital marketplace is fairly taxed at the state and local levels.

We thank Senators Thune and Wyden, and Representatives Smith and Cohen for their leadership on this issue and encourage Congress to quickly pass this much needed legislation!

 


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Introduction of ITFA in Senate, Wireless Wearables, Investigating Your Cellphone Bill and More.

Check out this roundup of industry news we shared on social media this week:

Senators Thune and Wyden Introduce Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act

For 17 years, we haven’t been taxed on our Internet access, and Senators Thune and Wyden are working to make that permanent. via USA Today

Wireless Wearable Changing for the Future and the Better

Wearable technology continues to change and innovate to become more personalized, efficient, accurate and seamless for consumers. via Wired

Breaking Down Your Cellphone Bill in Massachusetts

Tax expert Scott Mackey explains Massachusetts wireless consumers monthly bills and what happens to those taxes and fees. via WWLP

Florida Moves to Reduce Communications Sales Tax

Florida is the nation’s 4th highest wireless tax rate, which is why Governor Rick Scott  trying to  cut the tax by $470 million, and getting a lot of support from Floridians. via Sunshine State News

 

 


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Congress Moves Forward to Make Internet Access Tax Free Forever

Today, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and 38 other bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (ITFFA). House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced the companion bill (Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), H.R. 235) in the House of Representatives last month.

Internet access is increasingly essential, especially as wireless devices and services become even more integrated into our daily lives. Taxes on Internet access would serve as a barrier to broadband adoption and the vital benefits it offers. For the past 17 years, your Internet access has been tax free, which helped lead to the widespread adoption and benefits we enjoy today.

We applaud the Senate’s action, and encourage Congress to move quickly to make Internet access tax free forever.

 


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Wireless Data Growth into 2019, Tech Helping the Blind, The Comm Act Turns 19 and More.

Check out this roundup of industry news that we shared on social media this week:

Wireless Data Growth Caused by More Smartphone Users

According to Cisco, worldwide wireless traffic will grow ten times today’s numbers by 2019 due to the growing market of wearables and smartphone users. via Re/code

Wearables Leading the Blind

Oxford University researchers developed a new wearable to help blind consumers see again using 3D camera technology to detect depth perception and facial recognition. via NBC News

Millennials Changing the Way We Vote

Young people don’t have the best track record for going to polling places to vote, so it makes sense that nearly half of 18 to 34 year olds think that an online voting system would encourage them to vote. via The Hill

The Telecommunications Act Turns 19

Telecommunications and wireless are constantly evolving, but the Telecom Act was last updated in 1996. It’s time for The Telecom Act to join the 21st century with a #CommActUpdate! via Energy & Commerce Committee

 

 


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High Wireless Taxes in NY, Saving Your Phone’s Battery and More. 

Check out this roundup of industry news that we shared on social media this week:

New Yorkers Paying Third-Highest Wireless Taxes

With their state having the third-highest wireless tax rate in the country, New Yorkers are paying over 23 percent on their wireless bills – that’s 6 percent more than the average rate! via Watchdog.org

Senate Version of ITFA to be Introduced

Senator Thune is reintroducing the Senate version of the Internet Tax Freedom Act in the next few weeks to hopefully make the moratorium on Internet access taxes permanent. via Multichannel

FCC Spectrum Auction 97 is Now Closed

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai showed just how important mobile broadband spectrum is by highlighting the gross winning bids from Auction 97 – nearly $45 billion! via @AjitPaiFCC 

Save Your Phone’s Battery This Winter

Science shows that your phone battery will run out quicker in the cold. Here are some tips to help keep your phone charged longer this winter. via Time

 


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