Rhode Island ruled software support services are taxable.

In a recent Rhode Island hearing it was ruled that software support services are taxable under the circumstances presented in the case. The state found that the services being sold were an integral part of the overall sale of computer software. The services included maintenance and support agreements in addition to training and consulting services for the software being sold. The taxpayer argued that the contracts were optional and sold separately from the software. However, the court found the services to be taxable due to the definition of a sale which includes “any services that are a part of the sale.” This determination was made in part due to the fact that these services included updates for the software. Furthermore, the real object of these purchases was for the functioning of the software programs. The court found that the services would be pointless without the software. (State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Division of Taxation, Administrative Hearing No. 2004-07, April 22, 2004.)

Posted on July 28, 2004