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云计算中的当前税务问题Current Tax Issues in the Cloud

来源:本站原创 浏览量: 发布日期:2020/9/17 11:31:49

Proper sales tax compliance can be daunting for any business, but the complexities increase when dealing with the software and technology industries in particular. By now, everyone is familiar with the “cloud,” and most companies and individuals utilize “software as a service” (SaaS) in some capacity, likely daily, whether for business, personal use, or both. Taxation of cloud computing, however, remains very much a source of confusion and angst for vendors, consumers, CPAs, auditors, and tax preparers.

保证销售税遵从度的适当性对任何企业来说可能是令人望而生畏的,但在处理软件和技术行业时,复杂性会增加更多。现在每个人都对很熟悉,大多数公司和个人都在某种程度上使用软件即服务software as a serviceSaaS),很可能每天都在使用,无论是用于商业还是个人用途,或两者兼而有之。然而,云计算的征税问题仍然是供应商、消费者、注册会计师、审计人员和税务人员的困惑和焦虑的根源。

 

云计算中的当前税务问题Current Tax Issues in the Cloud

 

As a preliminary matter, it is helpful to review five foundational sales tax concepts. First, sales of tangible personal property (generally speaking) are broadly taxable. Second, sales of services (generally speaking) are narrowly taxable, meaning services must be specifically enumerated by statute before they are subject to tax. Third, most states (generally speaking) define tangible personal property to include non-custom software, which would otherwise be considered an intangible. Fourth, for a transaction to constitute a sale, a transfer of title or possession for consideration is required. Fifth, some states in effect treat the sale of SaaS as the taxable transfer of possession of software, a tangible product, rather than as the sale of a nontaxable service.

首先,回顾一下五个基本的营业税概念是有帮助的。首先,有形个人财产的销售一般来说都要纳税。第二,服务的销售(一般来说)是狭义应税的,这意味着服务在征税前必须是在相关法令具体列举的项目里。第三,大多数州(一般来说)将有形个人财产界定为包括非定制软件,否则将被视为无形财产。第四,对于构成销售的交易,需要以对价转让所有权或占有权。第五,有些州实际上将销售SaaS视为软件(有形产品)所有权的应税转让,而不是非免税服务的销售。

 

云计算中的当前税务问题Current Tax Issues in the Cloud

Technology is advancing faster and faster, and the law is generally slow to adapt. Often there is not an obvious answer regarding the proper classification and taxability of information technology and e-commerce transactions. Is the software custom (exempt) or canned (taxable)? Does the state have authority subjecting SaaS to tax? New York takes the position that SaaS is taxable [see, e.g., TB-ST-128, Computer Software (08/05/2014)], while New Jersey does not tax SaaS transactions [see, e.g., TB-72, Cloud Computing (07/03/2013)]. If not the sale of software, remote or otherwise, is the service at issue a taxable service? Can it be treated as a taxable information service, or as some nontaxable consulting service? Needless to say, CPAs will be expected to answer these questions for their clients.

技术进步越来越快,但法律的适应速度普遍较慢。对于信息技术和电子商务交易的适当分类和征税问题,往往没有一个明确的答案。软件是定制的(免税的)还是罐装程式的(应税的)?各州是否有权对SaaS征税?纽约采取的立场是SaaS是应税的[参见, e.g., TB-ST-128, Computer Software (08/05/2014)],而新泽西州对SaaS交易不征税[参见, e.g., TB-72, Cloud Computing (07/03/2013)]。如果不是销售软件,远程或其他方式,所提供的服务是应税服务吗?它可以被视为应税信息服务,还是一些不征税的咨询服务?不用说,注册会计师将被要求为他们的客户回答这些问题。

云计算中的当前税务问题Current Tax Issues in the Cloud

Does the transaction actually involve software or something along the lines of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)? What is being transferred? Who is using the underlying software applications? Are the business inputs being resold or used? Is tax being paid on the purchase of those inputs? Can a resale certificate be issued? Each state has its own rules affecting the answers to these types of questions.

交易是否真的涉及软件或类似平台即服务(platform-as-a-servicePaaS)或基础设施即服务(infrastructure-as-a-serviceIaaS)的东西?正在转移什么?谁在使用底层软件应用程序?业务投入是否被转售或使用?购买这些投入物是否要纳税?能否签发转售证明?每个州都有自己的规则来影响这些问题的答案。

Audits involving the software and technology industries contain complex issues. A thorough understanding of the applicable law and underlying facts is critical to determine whether tax is, or might be, due. Both CPAs and business owners need to be informed of developments in the law, and auditors always need to be educated about the specific facts of the business under audit. Compliance in a multistate environment can be difficult, but audits can be worse.

涉及软件和技术行业的审计包含复杂的问题。对适用法律和基本事实的透彻理解是决定税收是否到期或可能到期的关键。注册会计师和企业主都需要了解法律的发展情况,审计师也需要接受有关被审计企业的具体事实的学习。在多州环境中,确保遵从度(合规性)可能很困难,但审核可能更困难。

 



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