Pandemic Promises, Fights For Online Tax Revenues

No new taxes in a pandemic? President Biden wants to repeal upper-income tax cuts that were included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But Hill Democrats are more focused on the pandemic relief bill and its $1,400 direct relief payments, as well as a provision to waive taxes on unemployment benefits. They may eventually need to discuss how to raise revenue to pay for a next round of economic stimulus.  

Will a monthly child tax credit payment survive reconciliation? Senate Democrats are considering a Plan B if efforts to shift the Child Tax Credit to a monthly payment are dropped from the budget reconciliation process as a result of Senate rules. While the House bill would make the change for only a year, Democrats have made no secret of wanting to make these changes permanent.  

Maryland has started a new fight over taxing e-commerce. TPC’s Howard Gleckman charts the state’s plan to tax online advertising. Howard asks: Is such a tax permitted under federal law? Is it good policy? Is it realistic to expect individual states to solve the tax challenges raised by an increasingly virtual world? He concludes “absent some way to impose uniform taxes on the vast and growing range of digital services that do not know borders, the likely result will either be tax chaos, or an excuse for digital services to avoid tax entirely.”

Will Florida’s online shoppers pay sales taxes? The state’s lawmakers are closer to passing legislation to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on items Florida residents buy online.  Nearly every other sales tax state made the change after the US Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision in 2018. 

The Manhattan District Attorney has received former President Trump’s tax returns and related records. Cyrus Vance’s office received the documents—millions of pages—on Monday, right after the US Supreme Court rejected Trump’s second effort to block their release. 

Tens of millions of people have already filed their tax returns. The IRS reports that it received 55 million tax returns in the first weekend of tax filing season, well ahead of the April 15 deadline. The returns may be a mix of individual and business returns. Tax filing season started on February 12. 

On Tuesday, March 9: State of the States Pandemic Response and Recovery. Save the date for the special online event. Colorado Governor Jared Polis joins Kim Rueben of TPC’s State and Local Finance Initiative to discuss his state’s budget and recovery plans. Following their conversation, other state budget officials will share lessons they learned during the crisis and innovative strategies they are using to stabilize their economies. 

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