Receptionist Software Accessed From Web Site Is Taxable in Indiana

A taxpayer’s purchase of licenses of software that handled various office management duties commonly performed by a receptionist and accessed through the software vendor’s website was found under audit to be taxable as prewritten software because the software was not custom and is available to anyone who pays for access. Since the taxpayer must interface with the vendor’s servers to access the software, it claimed it had not purchased a tangible asset and had instead merely accessed a website for a fee. Although the taxpayer came to this conclusion by relying on an earlier Letter of Findings, the Department rejected this claim because the facts of the instant case were substantially different from the case discussed in the letter of finding. However, the Department did abate the ten percent negligence penalty because it agreed that the taxpayer had a reasonable cause to believe it was not required to pay sales or use tax when it purchased the licenses. (Letter of Findings No. 09-0656, Indiana Department of Revenue, March 24, 2010)

Posted on April 15, 2010