Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=175666
 
 

References (44)



 
 

Citations (10)



 
 

Footnotes (11)



 


 



Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Taxing Internet Commerce


Austan Goolsbee


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jonathan Zittrain


Harvard Law School and Kennedy School; Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Berkman Center for Internet & Society

May 20, 1999


Abstract:     
Current tax law makes it difficult to enforce sales taxes on most Internet commerce and has generated considerable policy debate. In this paper we analyze the costs and benefits of enforcing such taxes including revenue losses, competition with retail, externalities, distribution, and compliance costs. The results suggest that the costs of not enforcing taxes are quite modest and will remain so for several years. At the same time, compliance costs are also likely to be low. There are benefits to nurturing the Internet but they tend to diminish over time. When tax costs and benefits take this form, a moratorium provides a natural compromise.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

JEL Classification: H2, K3

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Date posted: September 13, 1999  

Suggested Citation

Goolsbee, Austan and Zittrain, Jonathan, Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Taxing Internet Commerce (May 20, 1999). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=175666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.175666

Contact Information

Austan Goolsbee
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-5869 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jonathan Zittrain (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School and Kennedy School ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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References:  44
Citations:  10
Footnotes:  11

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