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Taxation of Software and Digital Goods

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1.5 CPE credits
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Determining how sales and use tax apply to software and digital goods can be intimidating for even experienced tax professionals, and with good reason. Companies across the board are constantly developing new software and digital products for the market and the result is a rapidly evolving tax landscape.

Sales of software, digital goods, and their related services can be taxed differently on a state-by-state basis as states work to understand new technologies, define them, and ultimately, tax them.

For example, the way in which software is delivered (tangible vs. electronically vs. remotely accessed) and whether it’s prewritten or custom can mean the difference between the sale being taxable or exempt.

You need to understand the differences in how these products are taxed no matter if you work on the buyer or seller side of software and digital good transactions. Attend this webinar to learn to manage sales tax correctly for these transactions so you can avoid costly errors and increased audit risk.

Who should attend?

This webinar is intended for financial and operations personnel—including tax, general accounting, accounts payable, sales, tax technology, purchasing and credit—who deal with sales and use tax as part of their responsibilities. The course is also intended for those who make sales or purchases of software and digital good products. The course is also designed for general practitioners, with minimal to no experience.

About the Instructor

Diane L. Yetter, President & Founder, YETTER and Sales Tax Institute

Diane L. Yetter is the “Sales Tax Nerd TM” as well as a strategist, advisor, speaker and author in the field of sales and use tax. She is president and founder of YETTER Tax, a sales tax consulting and tax technology firm in business since 1996. She is also the founder of The Sales Tax Institute, which offers live and online courses to educate business professionals about sales and use tax.

More About Diane L. Yetter

“Diane can take a very complex topic and has the gift to simplify it for the non sales tax professional!”

Additional Details About the Taxation of Software and Digital Goods Webinar

Taxation of software adds new layers of complication to the already complex nature of managing sales tax. And the challenge isn’t going away! Today, states continue to enact legislative changes that determine how they characterize sales of software. Plus, there is also an emerging trend across the states to tax digital goods (like podcasts, downloaded music, webinars, and eBooks) that tax pros need to stay ahead of to stay compliant.

States see the proliferation of new virtual goods and services as opportunities for new revenue streams and propose legislation accordingly. Are you aware of the changes taking place across the states? If not, you may be subjecting yourself to significant audit risk if you should have been collecting tax.

No matter what you sell, be it software or a digital good, you must look closely at its features and delivery method to compare with state rules. Some consistency exists among Streamlined Sales Tax states who have adopted the standard definition of “specified digital products,” but you still must approach taxation of your software or digital goods on a state by state basis. 

Software-related services like software maintenance agreements bring further complications into the mix. The method of delivery and the manner in which the software-related service is sold often has an impact on the sale’s taxability. You need to know how to distinguish the services you provide so you don’t create a tax obligation unnecessarily.

This webinar will help both buyers and sellers of software, digital goods, and accompanying services understand how these products are taxed and provide guidelines to follow. We’ll also cover the practical issues you need to know such as contract and invoice language, documentation of delivery method, and sourcing rules.

Your Teaching Staff

In this 90-minute live webinar, sales tax expert Diane Yetter of the Sales Tax Institute will teach you the different ways that software, digital goods, and related services can be taxed. She’ll share all the important recent legislative changes regarding software and digital goods across the states to keep you up to date. You’ll also learn about exemptions that are available for software and digital good purchases, so you can take advantage of cost-savings opportunities.

PLUS, during the live Q&A portion of the webinar, you can get answers to your specific sales tax questions directly from Diane.

Learning Objectives for this webinar include:

  • Learn how the taxability of software can vary based on how it’s delivered so you can ensure that these transactions are being taxed correctly.
  • Get updated on how states define digital goods today for sales tax purposes so you don’t encounter any surprises.
  • Discover exemptions that can apply to software and digital goods to bring cost savings to your company.
  • Understand how items like maintenance contracts, training, and reimbursed expenses are taxed in the software category.
  • Learn about software-related services and the importance of distinguishing the service that is being provided so you’re not subjecting exempt services to tax.
  • Understand the importance of contract provisions and invoice presentation and how they can affect the taxability of your sales.
  • Get the latest updates on state initiatives to tax digital advertising (like those in Maryland, Nebraska, New York, and South Dakota) so you can stay ahead of this emerging trend and understand the nuances among the proposals.
  • Learn ways to minimize tax consequences for global or national software contracts from a software user’s perspective.
  • Understand how to document user locations to accurately report the tax as well as how to address this from either a seller or buyer perspective.
  • Get an overview of the global consequences of licensing digital goods abroad.

CPE Information:

Webinar attendees can earn 1.5 hours of CPE credit in the “Taxes” field of study

Prerequisites: This course requires no prerequisites or advance preparation.

Program Level: Basic

Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based


Additional Information about CPE

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