extension courtesy of the latest Continuing Resolution, the ban on Internet access taxes is set to expire on December 11, 2014. With Congress only in session November 20, and December 1-4, 9-12, they have seven days to act to make sure that people don’t get saddled with additional taxes on their Internet use before the year is out.
Preventing new fees requires passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which passed the U.S. House and was received by the U.S. Senate on July 16, 2014. Now, it’s possible that the U.S. Senate will attempt to combine the Internet Tax Freedom Act with the more controversial Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act, legislation that allows state and local governments to collect sales tax on items purchased through online retailers in a particular state, even if the retailer doesn’t have a physical presence in the state of purchase. But the jury is still out on what Senator Harry Reid and his peers will attempt to accomplish during this lame duck session. Sources close to the issue say a combined MITFA/ITFA bill is dead in the water, as House leadership has already stated unequivocally that they will not pass any bills that increase sales taxes on Internet retailers. Most people agree that Internet access should remain free of taxation, however, debate is open as to whether state and local governments should be able to levy taxes against online retailers for goods purchased in their state (the key point of contention in the MITFA battle).
The greatest chance that the Internet Tax Fairness Act has of passing during this session of Congress would be for the Senate to pass the PITFA in the final days of the lame duck session.