- Days left
George Harrison wrote the Beatles tune "Taxman", which has become an anthem for anti-tax activists. Ironically, even as the Beatles song finally becomes available as a digital download, a little tax may be added to its cost.

Digital entertainment had, in many states, been given a bye in taxation as part of the 'nurturing the internet' process. However, as states see their budgets strained to the breaking point, many are looking under every rock for new revenue. Smokers have had the last puff of smoke wrung out of them, the ignorant have gambling opportunities shoved in their face at every opportunity, and red light cameras are spitting out tickets like Lou Pinella spits sunflower seed shells. And still they need more.

The download tax is already in effect in a number of states, and seems bound to spread. It requires little effort on behalf of the state. The vendor is responsible for determining what taxes a buyer owes, collecting those taxes, and paying them to the state in question. And once all states start feeding from this rice bowl, they will have a strong incentive to join the music industry's war on file-sharing. Obviously, online anonymity is a serious problem for tax collectors, so it too will come under fire.

An 'iTunes Tax', as it is called, would also extend to movies, books, any digital entertainment/information you download. Given the growth of streaming content, for which we pay per iteration rather than buy to play in perpetuity, look for states to include a tax on these fees under the digital tax umbrella.

Of death and taxes, I suspect we'll be more likely to see the former drop from the ranks of the inevitable than the latter.

thanks, Engadget

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

8 Things You Think Are Tax Deductible That Aren't

There?s a fine line between looking to save money on your taxes and taking deductions that will raise eyebrows at the Internal Revenue Service. Some taxpayers are tripped up by expenses that they assume are tax deductions, but don?t qualify under IRS guidelines. Here are a dozen items that can lead to unpleasant surprises in case of an audit.

9 Things You Didn't Know Were Tax Deductions

Few realizations are more painful than realizing that you forgot to include a tax deduction that would have lowered your tax bill or increased your tax refund on your tax return. Here are some tax deductions that you shouldn't overlook.

A Comparative Look at State Taxes

Ever wondered which state has the highest gas tax or the lowest overall tax burden? Interact with the infographic below to compare income tax, property tax, and other taxes by state.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum