In the latest in a series of moves to figure out how to make money off of Net commerce, China levies a 20% tax on virtual goods. Governments, even if they are racking up huge reserves as China is, but especially when they are in a tax revenue crunch (think USA) will be exploring these options. For example, I live in Massachusetts and every year I pay state tax on what I purchase out of state on the Net.
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Oh, how they love taxing the staple essentials and the unstoppable – always having ‘special rates’ and formats (excise, duty, license) for things that people keep on using in good times and bad times. From salt, booze and cigarettes – to fuel/transport and phone calls. None of these things is so heavily taxed to discourage usage, but precisely because usage goes on no matter what.
Speaks tons about the place the Net has taken in our lives 🙂