by Joseph D. Henchman
Tax Foundation
June 12, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service is trying to revive a tax that was a bad policy to begin with, was never intended to be permanent, and was naturally dying off as technological changes rendered it inapplicable to many new telephone services. Originally the telephone excise tax covered local telephone service, toll telephone service, and teletypewriter exchange service. With the exception of local telephone service, technological change has rendered the aforementioned services all but obsolete. Taxes on anachronisms are themselves anachronistic; these taxes have outlived any usefulness that they ever may have had, and should not be revived.



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