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The House of Representatives Passes The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act



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On Tuesday, June 9th The House of Representatives passed H.R. 235 entitled the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act” (hereinafter “PITFA”) by voice vote permanently banning states from taxing internet access or placing multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. It should be duly noted that the PITFA legislation would simply remove the current end date of October 1st of 2015 from the Internet Tax Freedom Act which was originally signed into law in 1998.

PITFA’s bipartisan legislative intent is clearly aimed at keeping the current moratorium on taxes on internet access in place and extending it indefinitely. As a historical synopsis, Congress passed a temporary moratorium on multi-state taxes collected for internet access back in 1998. The ban has been extended numerous times in the 17 years since, but is set to expire once again this fall. Rather than merely rely on a future Congress to pass additional extensions, the House of Representatives has voted again to make the moratorium permanent. As a reminder it should be duly recalled that back in 2014, a similar piece of legislation was approved by the House of Representatives but failed to pass the Senate floor. It remains to be seen if a similar outcome awaits the 2015 version of PITFA.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) issued the following statement after the passage of PITFA:

“We applaud the bipartisan passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act today in the House. PITFA is a necessary measure to keep Internet access free of taxation. Internet access drives innovation and the success of our economy. It is a gateway to knowledge, opportunity, and the rest of the world. The American people deserve affordable access to the Internet and the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act will help prevent unreasonable cost increases that hurt consumers and slow job creation.”

Peter J. Scalise serves as the Federal Tax Credits & Incentives Practice Leader for Prager Metis CPAs, LLC a member of The Prager Metis International Group. Peter is a highly distinguished BIG 4 Alumni Tax Practice Leader and has approximately twenty years of progressive public accounting experience developing, managing and leading multi-million dollar tax advisory practices on both a regional and national level.

Peter is a highly acclaimed thought leader in the fields of accounting and taxation with deep subject matter expertise in connection to designing, implementing and defending sustainable methodologies for specialty tax incentives including, but not limited to, research tax incentives; orphan drug credits; therapeutic discovery credits; accounting methods and periods; energy tax incentives in connection to green building envelope efficiency and benchmarking, solar energy, bio energies, fuel cells, wind turbines, micro turbines, and geothermal systems; and comprehensive fixed asset analysis incorporating principles of construction tax planning, cost segregation analysis and the final treasury regulations governing tangible property.

Peter is a renowned keynote speaker and an extensively published author on specialty tax incentives, tax controversy matters, and legislative updates from Capitol Hill for NAREIT, AGRION, USGBC, AICPA, ASTP, NATP, ABA, AIA, and TEI. Peter serves as a member of the Tax Faculty for CPAacademy, iShade and TaxConnections University (“TCU”). Peter serves on both the Board of Directors and Board of Editors for The American Society of Tax Professionals (“ASTP”) and is the Founding President and Chairman of The Northeastern Region Tax Roundtable.

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