What arguments about the tax being unconstitutional are being made by opponents of Maryland’s tax?
In February 2021, Maryland became the first state to enact a tax on digital advertisements which became effective in January 2022. And, many states are closely watching–and waiting–to see how Maryland’s experience with the tax goes before enacting a similar tax in their own state. Currently, the tax is facing lawsuits from Comcast and Verizon as well as a group of trade associations arguing that the tax, as enacted, is illegal.
Listen to the following podcasts (transcriipts are available for the Tax Notes Podcast):
The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The State Tax Show (podcast). June 22, 2020.
https://www.bakerlaw.com/podcasts/the-permanent-internet-tax-freedom-act (Links to an external site.) Note: I posted this podcast for the history and background of the Internet Tax Freedom Act. You don’t have to be concerned with the specifics of the expiration of grandfathered taxes during summer 2020.
Taxing Digital Advertising: A Roundtable Discussion. The State Tax Show (podcast). May 7, 2020. https://www.bakerlaw.com/podcasts/taxing-digital-advertising-a-roundtable-discussion (Links to an external site.) Note: This podcast was recorded before Maryland’s digital advertising tax was officially enacted.
The Fight Over Maryland’s Digital Advertising Tax, Part 1. Tax Notes Talk (podcast). November 11, 2021.
https://www.taxnotes.com/tax-notes-talk/podcast/fight-over-marylands-digital-advertising-tax-part-1/7clmy (Links to an external site.)
The Fight Over Maryland’s Digital Advertising Tax, Part 2. Tax Notes Talk (podcast). November 18, 2021.
https://www.taxnotes.com/tax-notes-talk/podcast/fight-over-marylands-digital-advertising-tax-part-2/7cm9w (Links to an external site.)
Answer the following questions (at least 500 words in total):
1) What arguments about the tax being unconstitutional are being made by opponents of Maryland’s tax? Make sure to be specific (i.e., do not just say “commerce clause,” explain the applicable rule and how the Maryland tax may run afoul of it).
2) What is the Internet Tax Freedom Act and how does it factor into the complaint?
3) In your opinion, is the Maryland tax illegal? Why or why not?
4) In your opinion, is taxing digital advertising a good policy choice (assuming a future state resolves the design problems of the Maryland tax)?