E Commerce Tax Policy Project

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Public Policy Groups

  • Government Agencies

    • U.S. Department of Commerce 
      The Department of Commerce through the Secretariat for Electronic Commerce maintains a web site disseminating information about the U.S. Government policy regarding electronic commerce
    • U.S. Treasury
      An introduction to certain federal income tax policy and administration issues presented by developments in communications technology and electronic commerce
    • National Governors' Association
      Learn where your state stands on the eCommerce taxation issue
  • Private Internet Groups
    • Center for Budget and Policy Priorities 
      The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities conducts research and analysis on government policies and programs. See their publication listing under "Areas of Research" and "State Tax Policy" on their web site for reports on e-commerce issues
    • The e-Fairness Coalition
      The e-Fairness Coalition advocates fairness for businesses and consumers. It supports a level playing field that ensures consumers are treated fairly regardless of where they choose to shop - in traditional or online stores. The Coalition represents brick-and-mortar and online retailers, retail corporations and associations, publicly- and privately-owned shopping centers, outlet centers and independently owned shops and a total of over 350,000 retail stores nationwide
    • The Heritage Foundation
      A leading conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation debates the issue of eCommerce taxation. Their “Heritage Research” link includes a section on Internet and Technology, where you can find articles such as “The Internet: Why the Taxman Should Not Cometh,” http://www.heritage.org/Research/InternetandTechnology/wm362.cfm  The section on Taxes under Heritage Research includes an article on the Value Added Tax , and Measuring Fairness in a Tax System

Industry Associations

Commercial businesses have a direct financial interest in eCommerce policy. We have listed several below who have provided their views and interests at stake on their websites.

  • ITAA
    The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is the leading national trade association representing the computer software and services industry. The Policy Issues tab on the website includes links for Internet and Tax policies discussions
  • IBM
    This is the company’s corporate site.  Within the research portion, you can find IBM’s report on E-Business Models, read technical papers from their Institute of Advance Commerce.  http://www.research.ibm.com/


    • Illinois v. National Bellas Hess, 386 U. S. 753 (1967). This is the original case that protected mail order sellers from collecting and remitting state sales taxes if the seller's only physical "nexus" with the state was solicitation of sales through catalogues and delivery of goods through the mails.
    • Quill v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992). This case reaffirmed National Bellas Hess, but clarified that the U.S. Congress has control over this matter of interstate commerce.
    • Goldberg v. Sweet, 488 U.S. 252 (1989). In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld state taxes on interstate long distance phone calls, an analysis that may be applicable to taxes on internet service provision.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act, 47 U.S.C. § 151 note (1998).

  • Kendall L. Houghton & Walter Hellerstein, State Taxation of Electronic Commerce: Perspectives on Proposals for Change and Their Constitutionality, 2000 BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIV. L. REV. 9 (2000). Hellerstein is the pre-eminent expert on state and local taxation in the United States.
  • Robert D. Atkinson & Randolph H. Court, Internet Taxation: A Software Solution, 5 VA. J.L. & TECH. 1 (2000).
  • Jeffrey A. Modisett & Cindy M. Lott, Forum: Cyberlaw and E-Commerce: A State Attorney General's Perspective, 94 NORTHWESTERN. UNIV. L. REV. 643 (Winter, 2000).
  • Leslie, Lance, The Internet Tax Freedom Act and Sales Tax, 30 THE TAX ADVISER 244-45 (1999).
  • Timothy Fallaw, NOTE: The Internet Tax Freedom Act: Necessary Protection or Deferral of the Problem?, 7 J. INTELLECTUAL PROP. L. 161 Fall, 1999
  • Aaron G. Murphy, Will Surfing the Web Subject One to Transient Tax Jurisdiction? Why We Need a Uniform Federal Sales Tax on Internet Commerce, 22 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1187 (1999).
  • Anna M. Vanderhoff, Comment: The Tax Man Cometh: A Realistic View of the Taxation of Internet Commerce, 27 CAP. U. L. REV. 929 (1999).
  • Walter Hellerstein, State and Local Taxation of Electronic Commerce: Reflections on the Emerging Issues, 52 U. MIAMI L. REV. 691 (1998).
  • Charles P. Gray, Jr., The Constitutionality of Federal Preemption of State Taxation of Internet Transactions, 17 ST. LOUIS U. PUB. L. REV. 451, 459 (1998). This commentator asserts that most Internet services could be taxed by the "billing address" state and meet the constitutional requirements articulated by the Supreme Court in 1988 regarding tax collection on long distance phone calls.
  • Cain, "The Political and Regulatory Environment of Internet Taxation: Opportunities for Learning Abound," 18 Journal of Legal Studies Education 277 (2000).This article discusses the in-class uses of the Internet taxation topic for business law and other MBA courses.
  • Cain, “Global Privacy Concerns and Regulation – A Timely Pedagogical Tool.”  20 Journal of Legal Studies Education 35 (2002).
  • Cain, “Global Privacy Concerns and Regulation -- Is the United States a World Apart?” 16 International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 23 (2002).
  • Cain, The Domestic and International Landscape for Internet Taxation, 13 GLOBAL FOCUS 49, (2001).
  • Arthur J. Cockfield, Balancing National Interests in the Taxation of Electronic Commerce Business Profits, 74 TUL. L. REV. 133 (1999).
  • Jonathane M. Ricci, Electronic Commerce and Non-Resident Aliens: The Internal Revenue Service Versus International Cyberspace Transactions, 6 RICH. J.L. & TECH. 7 (Fall, 1999).
  • Patrick Thibodeau,. Europe Wants U.S. Firms to Pay E-commerce Taxes, 33 COMPUTERWORLD 41 (Aug. 30 1999).
  • Adrian J.Sawyer, Electronic Commerce: International Policy Implications for Revenue Authorities and Governments, 19 VA. TAX REV. 73 (1999) (characterizing the OECD as "the leader in international work on taxation issues arising from electronic commerce.")
  • John K. Sweet, Comment: Formulating International Tax Law in the Age of Electronic Commerce: The Possible Ascendancy of Residence-Based Taxation in an Era of Eroding Traditional Income Tax Principles, 146 U. PA. L. REV. 1949 (1998).
  • David Hardesty Outbound Transactions, ELECTRONIC COMMERCE TAXATION AND PLANNING (1999). Chapters 10 and 11 explain international tax implications.
  • Ferrera, Lichtenstein, Reder, August, Schiano, CYBERLAW -- TEXT AND CASES (West, 2000). Chapter 6 is devoted to Internet Taxation.

No claim is made to government documents or to other authors' works linked here.

© 2008 Rita Marie Cain & Larry Garrison