Parent Company Purchase of Software License Taxable in Texas

A parent company’s claim for a partial refund of Texas use tax paid on software was rejected. The taxpayer requested a refund of two-thirds of the tax paid on the total charge for three sets of software licenses because two sets were shipped to and used by out-of-state subsidiaries. The license agreement, however, did not establish that the total charge was to three separate licenses, but instead indicated that only one license was obtained with an option to make a limited number of copies. The installation, modification, and reconfiguration of the software was deemed a taxable use in Texas because the software was contained in a single set of compact discs and was delivered to the Texas facility and installed on the taxpayer’s server in Texas. The original software never left Texas after its delivery; instead copies of the software left the State of Texas. (Decision of the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Hearing No. 43,240)

Posted on October 16, 2006