ITFA Gets Year Extension In Funding Bill

Wyden Will Continue to Push for Permanent ITFA
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The moratorium on Internet access taxes will be around at least for another year.

A one-year extension is part of the omnibus--1,603-page--government funding bill expected to pass in the next few days to avoid a government shutdown. That moratorium sunsets Dec. 11 unless it is renewed and could lead to a "swift increase" in Internet access bills, said one bill backer.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) has been extended three times since it first passed in 1998. It had been scheduled to expire Nov. 1, 2014, but was extended as legislators worked on a House-passed version that would have made it permanent, and a Senate version that combined it with the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), which would give states and localities the ability to tax online sales.

Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who helped write ITFA back in 1998  but opposes MFA, praised the extension, though said he will continue to press for a permanent extension. “By extending this bill, the Congress has, for the short term, ensured that this longstanding policy keeps Internet access tax-free," said Wyden. I’m going to continue fighting to ensure that these protections will bolster the digital economy for the long-term.”

Wyden pointed out that there are 52 co-sponsors on his version of a permanent ITFA.

The moratorium applies to all but seven states, whose taxes were grandfathered back in 1998 when the original, "temporary," moratorium was passed.