Previously posted on SSRN.


In October 1998, Congress enacted the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), a temporary three-year “moratorium” on the enactment of new state and local “taxes on Internet access” and on “multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.” After extending the act temporarily several times, Congress, in 2016, finally and controversially struck the language temporarily extending the act, thereby making it permanent.

With its idiosyncratic legislative history and statutory language, as well as the recent attention it has received in connection with legal challenges to digital services and analogous taxes, we thought it would be appropriate to commemorate ITFA’s 25th birthday by reviewing the act and the litigation it has spawned and to consider whether it is “fit for service” in today’s digital economy.

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