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An Addressee Tax on Emails

Charles Goodhart, Emeritus Professor Banking and Finance, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Ideas Fair


Charles Goodhart
The Tobin financial transactions tax has many disadvantages. An alternative broadly based tax which would have the advantage of eliminating spam would be to have any sender of an email to be taxed at a very low rate, e.g., 01 of a cent per an addressee. The tax should be levied on a worldwide basis, and collected by the server of each sender, with the receipts going to the fiscal authority of the country of the sender. For ordinary email users this would be a tiny impost, and could be levied say once a quarter. It would still raise quite a lot of money and it could get rid of the masses of spam and fraudulent emails which clog up the ether.

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