Skip to main content

Online retailing tax crackdown

The US Senate is apparently considering legislation to require online retailers to pay state sales taxes. It would be misguided. Politicians and bureaucrats should accept contemporary realities. Transaction taxes have been made obsolete by technology. Corporation taxes have been made obsolete by globalisation, again partly through technology. Taxes on people have been made obsolete because they are becoming increasingly mobile. Instead of worrying about the leaks and talking about how to plug them, this is something that everyone needs to get used to.

The only viable tax in the future will be one levied on the annual rental value of land. Land isn’t going anywhere. It cannot disappear into cyberspace.