by Steven Malanga
February 11, 2014
Revenue-hunting states have lately gone beyond raising their own taxes. Stretching the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause to the breaking point, local revenue agents have seized out-of-state trucks simply passing through their jurisdiction, refusing to release them until their firms fork over corporate income taxes. Finance departments have slapped out-of-state businesses with bills for thousands of dollars in corporate back taxes. And tax agents have targeted employees who work remotely for in-state firms. Advocates for tax simplification have introduced a series of related bills in Congress, but businesses have made little headway in advancing this legislation, in part because states have kept the focus on the battle over taxation of Internet sales. But Congress should be considering the range of taxes, including those on corporate and personal income, as it contemplates the thorny issue of who and what states can tax these days.