Author Topic: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax  (Read 10491 times)

Venerable Bede

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2008, 06:13:15 pm »
and you and i will keep downloading stuff for free and avoid paying taxes altogether, so why not tax all the other people.

e-commerce should be treated differently, but that's just my ill-informed opinion....
OU812

vansmack

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2008, 07:28:56 pm »
and you and i will keep downloading stuff for free and avoid paying taxes altogether, so why not tax all the other people.

e-commerce should be treated differently, but that's just my ill-informed opinion....


Yes, because taxes have caused a run on thefts of CDs at Bricks and Mortars stores too.  Oh, and yes, that extra 4 cents NY charges is much more important than the 99 cents Apple charges and is BOUND to increase digital thefts probably ten fold.  That comment is the most ill-informed thing you've said yet.

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vansmack

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2008, 08:20:30 pm »
i was meaning to imply, last i checked californians yet havent started taxing regular soda and also having to put calorie counts everywhere. and i somewhat believe schwarzenegger must be able to come up with a better plan than paterson.

We have not yet, as a state, taxed a soda more than we would tax any other food or non-alcoholic drink, although it has been brought up here in SF (hence Venerable's frustration in the other thread).

smackie - out of curiosity im going to look at my cable bill to see the breakdowns of how we're taxed: i have no clue what hbo and pod is?? maybe an ondemand charge?

12/22-01/21 HBO And Pod
 $14.95 
-View Taxes and Fees
       
12/12 Franchise Fee $5.21 
12/12 FCC Regulatory Fee - Cable $.07 
12/12 Federal Universal Service Fund $.82 
12/12 State And Local Sales Tax $2.63 
12/12 State And Local Telecom Excise Tax $1.76 
12/12 State Gross Receipts Tax $.12 
12/12 E-911 $1.00 
12/12 Mctd (186e And 184) $.29 
12/12 Regulatory Recovery Fee-federal $.10 

Jesus Christ!  Well, I don't know what the "POD" stands for but on demand access is a pretty good guess.  It doesn't look like a tax though - it looks like it's part of your regular HBO fee.  A lot of the taxes on your bill are telecom taxes though - do you have a triple play package from Comcast?

Franchise Fees are specific to cable and every city has a different rate (though no more than 5%).  The idea behind it was to charge the customer a percentage of gross reciepts and give that money to the city who presumably paid for some of the infrastructure costs.  The arguments around this are huge.

The FCC regulatory and recovery Fees basically pay the bills at the FCC to keep an eye on the industry.  It's a nationwide charge and satellite has one as well.

The Universal Service Fee is densely populated areas paying more so that rural areas can have phone access, otherwise, the argument goes, the phone company wouldn't pay the money to lay phones lines all across America, especially when it would serve one/two customers.  They hide it under the guise of helping schools and hospitals, but I wouldn't believe them.  It is also a nationwide charge.

The State and Local Excise tax varies per state, but it's a fancy name for a sales tax on your use of the phone.  For example, the US government had a telephone excise tax for years that was used to pay for the Spanish-American War.  Of course, nearly 100 years after the war it was repealed.  I'm guessing NY had a bright idea, taxed the phone to pay for it, and never repealed it.

The MCTD tax are special taxes for residents in the NY Metro Commuter and Transportation District.  I don't know what they're used to pay for, but they are also taxes on your phone used to pay for something in that district.  You pay it simply because you live there.  If you wanted to know what it pays for, look up sections 184 and 186 of your local tax code.

And E-911 pays for your emergency service.

The best part of all of this is that you are likely double taxed on all your telecom stuff because you have a wireless phone too.  You will find similar taxes over there.

I'm sure this is more than you were asking, but I do like tax policy.

For comparison, my DirecTV tax is a meager $.42 - that's right - 42 cents.  That's it.

And my Showtime says:

SHOWTIME 12 Mos Free: Anniversary Gift     0.00

Just another reason why friends don't let friends use cable...

We don't have a landline either.  We signed up for the cheapest plan to simply have a landline in case of emergency.  It was billed as a no frills $12 a month plan.  When the bill was nearly $30 because of taxes and fees, we cancelled it and only use wireless now.

as far as netflix - heres my monthly charge: $16.99 $1.42 $18.41  tax is the middle item.

and netflix is definitely taxed. i thought that was everywhere, but maybe not? although i dont understand if i already pay for HBO why would I pay an extra tax to watch HBO on demand? or is that not the same?

We are taxed on movie rentals in CA as well (I pay approximately $1.44 as well on my $17 per month charge).  It's a service based tax, so you're taxed on the service.  If there's no charge for the service, then you can't tax for it, right?  So OnDemand is going to be tough to implement.  You will likely see a pro-rated version of OnDemand from your $15 bill.  That's one of the nice things about the all-you-can-eat rental service like Netflix - you're taxed on the charge, not the number of transactions.  In the old days, you'd be dinged for every movie you rented.  Of course, if you didn't rent any, you didn't pay any taxes either so it's give and take.
 
btw - what im most pissed about - a movie theater tax. now thats ridiculous. esp with movies $14 as it is. at that price im much more picky about what i see - you add taxes to it - and theyre talking 18% fuck no!

There was a similar argument made in CA - we tax movie rentals, why not tax movie tickets?  Good luck with the Hollywood lobby though - the CA government didn't stand a chance with that one.
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xneverwherex

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2008, 12:26:01 pm »
yeah thats a time warner cable triple plan. im actually going to change it as its just absurd in costs. and i dont even need the landline. i didnt have a cell phone i was using regularly before i moved to nyc. but its absurd. and TWC was the only choice i had. i tried for verizon's service, but nope - couldnt get it in my apt complex.

thats one hell of a breakdown tho. its hard to believe that NYC film people would let that tax go through. As Im sure as of now NYC and maybe LA has the most expensive movies of anywhere. The movies are already getting less crowded, cant imagine thats a good thing.
HeyLa

sonickteam2

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2008, 12:31:20 pm »
all this tax talk sure is exciting!!  :-*

Venerable Bede

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2008, 03:40:11 pm »
i was meaning to imply, last i checked californians yet havent started taxing regular soda and also having to put calorie counts everywhere. and i somewhat believe schwarzenegger must be able to come up with a better plan than paterson.

We have not yet, as a state, taxed a soda more than we would tax any other food or non-alcoholic drink, although it has been brought up here in SF (hence Venerable's frustration in the other thread).


The best part of all of this is that you are likely double taxed on all your telecom stuff because you have a wireless phone too.  You will find similar taxes over there.

since we're on the topic of breaking down how we're taxed, any idea why my cell phone is taxed at d.c. rates instead of california rates?  i'd have thought that moving to california and having a california number would shift me into california tax territory, but, i'm paying taxes to d.c. for my cell phone. . .my wife's sister is charged illinois taxes but has a california number.  i suppose i should figure out if i'm coming out ahead or not.  also, i can't imagine that there's that many stranded costs. . .

yeah, food taxes based on supposed health claims, that are increasingly dubious, are something i don't care for.
OU812

vansmack

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Re: A more pertinent tax issue: iTunes Tax
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2009, 01:00:28 pm »
Clearly you have never read Quill v North Dakota.  Simply operating in interstate commerce is not enough to be exempt from Taxes.  Congress set the rules that said if a state could show a nexus between the Corp and the State in can force them to collect taxes on behalf of the state.  Even your boy Scalia agrees with this (that Congress has the power to alter the Commerce Clause)

And thus, Congress appears prepared to act:

Tax-Free Internet Shopping May be at an End
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