Charges to Access Prewritten Computer Software Taxable in New York

A computer software seller’s product that allows customers to upload images onto the seller’s server and manipulate them to show various views and colors was determined to be prewritten computer software by the New York Commissioner of Taxation and Finance. Although the agreement between the software seller and the customer is a license agreement and the customer does not receive a copy of the software in any form, the customer’s access of the software constitutes a transfer of possession because the customer gains constructive possession of the software and gains the “right to use, control or direct the use” of the software. Therefore, the charges to access this software are subject to New York state and local taxes. (TSB-A-08(62)S, New York Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, November 24, 2008, released January 2009)

Posted on April 23, 2009