Items tagged with Tax

If Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler gets his way, phone bills will go up by 16 cents a month, or $2 per year, as part of a plan to fund faster Internet access in schools. This would apply to the E-Rate fee that appears on phone bills, which is a program to fund Internet access to schools and libraries. Wheeler and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) fielded a conference call to introduce the proposal. Both are in agreement that the current program needs rebooted, stressing that there's a growing divide between schools in well-to-do neighborhoods and those in lower-income, rural areas over Internet access. Image Source: Flickr (Michael Surran) "The failure to do so will mean children... Read more...
We doubt this will do much to close the budget deficit, but who knows? The Internal Revenue Service is considering taxing the use of work-issued mobile phones, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. According to the report, the IRS has proposed that employers assign 25% of an employee's annual phone expenses as a taxable benefit. In other words, take the service plan costs for an employee, and use 25% of that as taxable income. As many of these workplace-issued devices have data plans, the cost per year could be high. The WSJ estimated that a worker in the 28% tax bracket with wireless device costs of $1,500 a year would see $105 in additional federal income tax. Not a huge amount,... Read more...
We've always heard that the best things in life are free. We've also heard that nothing great lasts forever. Mix those two mantras together, and you get this. Down in Louisiana, a $0.15 surcharge is being tossed around as an idea to stop online criminal activity (and raise state income, no doubt), which would be levied on Internet access across the state. Sadly, the House has already voted in favor with an 81-9 vote, though Governor Bobby Jindal strongly opposes.The idea here is to raise money to finance a division that investigates Internet crimes, particularly online sex crimes against children. According to those who got the ball rolling, the measure would raise some $2.4 million per year... Read more...
You'll probably remember the portent of things to come: New York State's new sales tax on Internet retailers, which went into effect in June. Both Amazon.com and Overstock.com have sued over the tax, in fact, which was written so as to apply "physical presence" to retailers who had affiliates (generally, web sites advertising for the retailer) based in New York. Formerly, only retailers which an actual brick-and-mortar presence in a state were required to collect sales tax. New York legislators went so far as to nickname the new tax the "Amazon tax." The announcement was made to Newegg customers residing in New York in an email on Friday. The email said:Dear Valued Newegg Customer, As a result... Read more...
All right, readers, we're sure some among you participate in the downloading of somewhat dicey material (read: copyrighted). If you could have a license to illegally download as much as you wanted - and yes, we suppose, if you had a license, it would no longer be illegal - how would you feel about it?On the other hand, if you had to pay such a fee (tax?) even if you didn't download illegally, how would you feel about it?Those are the questions on the table as rumors fly about such a possible fee in the U.K. The Independent reports that today John Hutton, the Business Secretary, and Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, will unveil proposals which include ISPs sending letters to thousands of repeat... Read more...
With the so-called "Amazon Tax" taking effect in New York state on Sunday, Overstock.com filed suit Friday against New York, joining Amazon.com, which filed a similar lawsuit in early May.Overstock.com, which is based only in Utah, has no operations in New York, and sells exclusively through the internet, views the new law as unconstitutional under both New York and federal constitutional provisions, including due process clauses under both constitutions and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution as well. The complaint filed in the New York Supreme Court calls upon the court to issue an injunction and to declare the law unconstitutional. It names as defendants in the suit the New York State... Read more...
On Sunday, June 1st, the so-called "Amazon Tax" will go into effect in New York state. While formerly only retailers with brick-and-mortar stores in a state were required to collect sales tax, New York has enacted a law which forces etailers to collect tax on sales, if they have affiliates which redirect traffic to their sites (e.g., Amazon.com affiliates).Starting June 1, Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) will charge a sales tax to shoppers who live in New York, even though the retailer maintains no physical operations in the Empire State.Why the crackdown? With the economy in the tank, the State of New York was getting desperate to fill its budget gap. So it expanded its rules about what constitutes... Read more...
The State of New York enacted a statute requiring Amazon.com to collect NY sales taxes on orders going to New York State residents. Technically, all Internet sales have long been subject to sales tax; the NY consumer was supposed to report such purchases and pay tax on them. You can imagine how little tax was collected by relying on consumers to drop a dime on themselves on their yearly tax returns. So New York decided to make it Amazon's problem to keep track of and collect taxes from New York residents. How did they turn Amazon into a New York retailer overnight?Generally, only those companies that have a physical presence — like an office or store — in the state where the purchase is made... Read more...
Certainly, there's no lack of accidental data breaches. Companies, even countries like the U.K. have accidentally exposed sensitive information about customers or citizens. But to do it deliberately? Whoa.There has been outrage in Italy after the outgoing government published every Italian's declared earnings and tax contributions on the internet.The tax authority's website was inundated by people curious to know how much their neighbours, celebrities or sports stars were making.The Italian treasury suspended the website after a formal complaint from the country's privacy watchdog.The information was put on the site with no warning for nearly 24 hours.The release of the information was one of... Read more...
Yes, the end is nigh.  Not only has New York State's "Amazon Tax" been signed into law, it will take effect on June 1st.New York Internet shoppers, take note: in five weeks, sales tax-free shopping will end on many Web sites thanks to rewritten state rules that are trying to force Internet retailers to collect.At Chrono Tech Watches in White Plains, Jerry Nally is glad the clock is ticking on many Internet retailers that don't charge New York sales tax. Nally says those so-called "e-tailers" steal his customers."They'll come in our store, look at our product, touch it, play with it, look at the warranties, then go back to the web and buy it tax free," says Nally.The fact of the matter is,... Read more...
Filling out our California income tax this year, we laughed when we came upon the "Use Tax" section. Did we buy anything from out-of-state retailers that we owed California sales tax for? Of course we didn't! But whether or not we did, New York state is close to closing that loophole for its residents with the so-called "Amazon Tax."The so-called "Amazon tax" closes a loophole for Internet retailers who derive sales through affiliate programs in which Web site owners place a link to the merchant on their site and earn a commission on sales made from referrals. In lobbying for the bill, the industry group representing New York retailers had argued that the exemption from the sales-tax collection... Read more...
Right?  We all pay it if we live in California or other states which, when residents order from online retailers, aren't charged the normal exhorbitant sales tax (8% or more, depending on county, in California).  Sure we do.One advantage of online shopping is that many Web sites don't charge sales tax in California, making what you buy that much cheaper.But state officials want to remind shoppers that they still owe taxes on their purchases. Just report and pay what you owe when you file your annual tax returns.And of course, since it's the honor system, we all pay it right?  Of course we do.  Don't worry, California, we figure soon enough there'll be a online sales tax for... Read more...
Subprime mortgage market? Stock market? What are you talking about? I was referring to BusinessWeek's report that municipal wireless networks are colossal money losers, and the companies that partnered with many cities and counties to offer it are tired of losing their shirt on expensive infrastructure and operating costs based on demand that never materialized. And so the taxpayers are being lined up to bear the cost of municipal Wi-Fi, whether they want it or not. For now, a tiny user base can't even begin to cover an operator's costs. Take Lompoc, Calif., population 42,000. The city deployed its 11.3-square-mile Wi-Fi network last September, at a cost of more than $2 million so far.... Read more...
Tax collecting agencies are wising up that many people are making money on the internet, and some of them might be... less than enthusiastic about paying taxes on it. And they're sending out spiders, just like Google or Yahoo or any other search engine, and looking for taxable transactions. The "Xenon" program -- a reference to the super-bright auto headlights that light up dark places -- was started in The Netherlands in 2004 by the Dutch equivalent of the IRS, Belastingdienst. It has since been expanded and enhanced by international group of tax authorities in Austria, Denmark, Britain and Canada, with the assistance of Amsterdam-based... Read more...
This will probably sound absurd to most of you, and rightfully so, but there's some question as to whether items obtained in an online game can be taxed. Even if there is no real world financial gain, player to player item transfers may one day be taxable. You know the saying, the only assurances in life are death and taxes, and without some serious objection to this, you may one day be taxed to death in your favorite MMO. "Given growth rates of 10 to 15 percent a month, the question is when, not if, Congress and IRS start paying attention to these issues," said Dan Miller, a senior economist with the Congress' Joint Economic Committee,... Read more...
The news is moving at a slow crawl this weekend, but have no fear, it will be back to normal once the week starts. Heh, yesterday a friend brought over his computer because it wasn't working... well come to find out it stopped working when his CPU Fan broke, and he used the computer any ways... while it was overclocked ;) As dumb as it sounds, he's still fairly new to computers and only used it to finish a school report. However this was unlike the time another customer had his CPU Fan stop working, I told him not to use it, and he insisted he had to because of a Pogo.com tournament he had to play in... now that is good stuff :D Hardware [M]adness in 2004: a Recap @ Madshrimps "The year... Read more...