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Court ruling means Massachusetts users of remote-access software might have to start paying sales tax

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that remote-access products such as GoToMyPC are more than just a service and so their use can be taxed by the Department of Revenue.

The ruling comes in a case involving software company Citrix, which sells subscriptions to GoToMyPC, GoToAssist and GoToMeeting, and which appealed a state order that it pay back taxes on subscriptions from Massachusetts customers.

The state's highest court said it agreed with the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, which ruled in 2018 that users who connect to Citrix servers are essentially buying software - even if it is run and maintained on Citrix servers - which is taxable and that Citrix was not providing a "service," which is not taxable, because the company did not customize the software for individual users:

The board found that the online products "constituted standardized software and, in turn, tangible personal property within the meaning of G. L. c. 64H, § 1," and that "the sales of the [o]nline [p]roducts . . . were sales of tangible personal property subject to the sales tax pursuant to G. L. c. 64H, §§ 1 and 2."

Even if end users do not actually download software on each connection, they are agreeing to an end-user license each time and "transfers of rights to use software installed on a remote server" are "[t]axable transfers of prewritten software" that are "generally subject to the Massachusetts sales tax," the tax board ruled.

Citrix argued that the right to use its software on its servers did not actually give end users any ownership of the software and so nothing tangible was trading hands.

The SJC, however, disagreed. It began its discussion by noting that, in 2005, the legislature amended the tax code to eliminate the distinction between software in a box and software delivered electronically, and that the Department of Revenue then codified that with a regulation that included software running remotely as something that could be taxed.

The court applied this to Citrix:

When a Citrix customer purchases a subscription for access to an online product, the customer gains access to a remote network of Citrix's servers running proprietary software, which is necessary for Citrix's products to function. Therefore, it is apparent that Citrix's subscription fees involved "transfers of rights to use software installed on a remote server." 830 Code Mass. Regs. § 64H.1.3(3)(a)..

The court continued:

Citrix argues in the alternative that even if we treat the subscription sales of remote access rights as transfers of tangible personal property, the "true object" of its offerings was the provision of a remote connection service, and therefore Citrix's subscription fees should be treated as nontaxable sales of service. The commissioner counters that the regulation's two-part test for transactions involving sales of both tangible property and services precludes Citrix's argument that its products are nontaxable services. We agree with the board that Citrix's sales of subscriptions for the online products constituted sales of tangible personal property.

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Comments

At this rate the Commonwealth will start taxing the dead for maintaining a physical presence in the state.

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27

Now my advice for those who die.... Taxman
Declare the pennies on your eyes ...Taxman

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24

Now, lets look at total tax burden by state in the modern era:

https://taxfoundation.org/publications/state-local-tax-burden-rankings/

Note that much of this is far less than what Canadians pay, but not when you add in the services that they get.

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22

To always comment on peoples thoughts online in such a condescending douchy way or is that just how you are normally?
You poor thing?

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81

To whine like an infant about an extremely low tax burden?

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27

Is whining like an infant?
Okie dokie.

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41

it is one of the 3 worst Beatles songs.

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17

Are the other two "Wild Honey Pie" and Badfinger's "Come and Get It"?

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10

"Run for Your Life"? At least "Wild Honey Pie" is short...

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12

Written by George Harrison. it’s a rocker with great guitars and a nice hook.

Here are plenty of much worse songs of the top of my head:

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'
Rocky Racoon
Birthday'..
Yesterday.
Octopus's Garden

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10

Taxman has a chunky great guitar riff (played by McCartney) and some clever lines.

Three worst Beatles songs:

Revolution #9
It's Just a Northern Song
You Like Me Too Much

Seriously, that wasn't whining like an infant. Swirlster needs to relax. It was just good ol' Beatles referencing. You'd have to dig deep into their unreleased tracks to get a Beatles song that could be considered whining like an infant. I am thinking of course of songs like "Bath time is poopy (and so are you)" and "I'm scared to say hello to grownups."

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30

Is whining like an infant?
Okie dokie.

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15

I thought she would have been in Wuhan by now curing the coronavirus.

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50

Looks like the whiny baby nursery is overcome by boom booms.

Boston, AP: internet whiner known as Murkin suffered severe testicular torsion after being shown facts by a female with professional credentials he could never dream of achieving.

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)

next Tuesday

.... you are the worst

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meltdown.

Great comeback. Very mature.

Sorry, but that's your own hang up. Facts just are.

If you can't deal with facts without attacking the person showing them to you, well, you are just a little potty baby going "wahhhhhh".

Grow a pair and maybe reality won't offend you so much.

are offensive it's your ready, fire aim, I'm right about everything because I'm a professional habit of posting.
*Steps back and waits for "fact" based attack followed by images of who knows what*
For the record, I'm in no need of growing testicles, my vagina works just fine.

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We are 12th on a percentage basis, but also one of the richest states by income. Put that in dollars and we certainly crack top 10 and maybe top 5. The state is entitled to enough of my income to provide reasonable services. They are not entitled to a share of my wealth and income tax is only a derivative of dollar figures.

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Yes, by law the state is "entitled" to your taxes.
Feel free to elect people who will decrease your tax rates or, you know, leave. You're never going to get the type of regressive taxes you're proposing here, but I know from experience Alabama has a really LOW tax rate, it's a libertarian paradise!

Texas slated to pick up 3 congressional reps and FL two. Commonality? No state taxes. And these are no Alabamas.

Lots of not even that rich people are moving to places like FL to avoid estate taxes ( which are ridiculous in Mass).

On a more related note, the point is that these percentage comparisons are stupid. It's dollars that matter.

And the state is entitled to collect the dollars needed. The percentage is an irrelevant derivative of that number.

And for the record, I never said the state is not entitled to taxes. They are NOT entitled to a share of our wealth. Very different things.

Like I said, feel free to vote to change the system or move...to the great states of Texas, Florida, or Alabama. Alabama has a lot of nice people living there, by the way, and a lot of not nice people too, just like here only their public services are absolute trash because everything is underfunded. I'll let you decide where you fit, Mr. "Libertarian."

And for the record, I never said the state is not entitled to taxes. They are NOT entitled to a share of our wealth. Very different things.

but...

The state is entitled to enough of my income to provide reasonable services.

Good god, you and your constantly shifting blather. Have the courage of your convictions, for once!

You don't know what a derivative is.

Google is ur friend.

You're not fooling anyone, boomer. But yeah try to tell me I don't know what "derivative" means when you're the one that's shifty as hell with your language. But please, I beg you, "libertarian." Move to the promised Texas land of zero state taxes. Move to New Hampshire! It's right up north. The free-staters in Keene will welcome you with open arms, even if anyone with a heart and an understanding that society requires us to help each other might not be so keen.

Do my words cause you temporary blindness?

And then you make stuff up or just play "opposites" claiming I said the opposite of what I actually said?

Your link isn’t very relative. This is a very specific tax and ruling.

And “Taxman” is a great song and it was a great quote of the song.

Whatever the rate the taxman is gonna get his.

The https://taxfoundation.org/publications/state-local-tax-burden-rankings/ web site shows something interesting. By the ranking on this site the lowest tax rate burdens are in rural states. The highest tend to be in the most urbanized states except for Wisconsin which also is high.

Instead of getting into a verbal bitch contest time and energy might be better spent paying attention to what this suggests. In other words, urban environments are more expensive than otherwise.

However, when comparing to nations with single health payer systems we can treat what we pay for health insurance as taxes.

That will change the numbers a lot.

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... the rankings are highly compressed in the middle

State-local tax burdens are very close to one another and slight changes in taxes or income can translate to seemingly dramatic shifts in rank. For example, Delaware (16th) and Colorado (35th) only differ in burden by just over one percentage point.

They both pay lower taxes and take more federal and state taxes than they contribute.

And cry like babies about any increased representation for the part of the country which is producing all the wealth. Hmm.

Or just the software you need to do it. The "cloud" is a great sales tax dodge.