In The News: Taxes

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New Mass. sales tax angers, confuses tech firms

Aug 26 2013

By Bob Salsberg, AP / Cape Cod Times

Two prominent business-backed organizations, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts High Technology Council, are leading an initiative petition that urges lawmakers to repeal the tax when they return from summer recess. At least one bill has already been filed that would do so. If the Legislature doesn't act, opponents will ask voters to kill the tax on next year's state ballot.
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Editorial: Technology tax may fuel small business sprint for R.I. border

Aug 25 2013

SouthCoast Today

While the Legislature has said it hopes to raise $161 million from the tax, other groups, like the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have estimated the tax will have a much higher impact, perhaps more than $500 million. Michael Widmer, foundation president, said the tax is "the most anti-competitive piece of legislation in my 21 years as head of the Foundation and will cause incalculable damage to job creation and the Massachusetts economy."
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Two Senators Advocate #TechTax Repeal – What About The 5 Who Voted Against It?

Aug 21 2013

By Gillis Bernard, BostInno

The senator reportedly said that a new way to raise $161 million in new revenue must be identified before a repeal of the tax. Though legislators wrote the software sales tax with the intention of raising the above sum, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates the burden on the state's innovation economy around $500 million—and that's just the floor.
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OUR VIEW: Repeal Mass. 'tech tax' now

Aug 21 2013

Taunton Daily Gazette

Grumbling about the “tech tax” from the business community was soft, but audible, as the Legislature considered the transportation package, but Beacon Hill wasn’t listening. By the time the MTF released its analysis, the House and Senate had already approved it. When opponents called for the tax to be reconsidered, legislative leaders said it was too late to fix it. But the Legislature can move quickly to correct its mistakes, as we’ve seen often, memorably in the 2005 case of a retroactive capital gains tax it repealed amid a taxpayer revolt. Another revolt is brewing over the tech tax, with a coalition of business groups announcing it will seek to put a repeal on the 2014 ballot.
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GUEST OPINION: Repealing Mass. software tax is the clear choice

Aug 21 2013

By Michael J. Widmer, Taunton Gazette

But enforcing the tax over the next 15 months will cause a great deal of damage in terms of lost jobs, stifled growth and innovation, and a black mark that will mar Massachusetts for years to come. The Legislature can spare us 15 months of unnecessary pain by repealing the tax as soon as it returns after Labor Day.
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NH businesses warned of impact of Mass. 'tech tax'

Aug 20 2013

By Paul Feely, The Union Leader

The tech tax — one of two new Bay State taxes that affect certain New Hampshire businesses — creates the potential to add business costs for local industries that rely heavily on purchases of customized technology and software services from Bay State vendors. It has been called the "most onerous computer and software services tax in the nation" by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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BIA to N.H. businesses: beware of Mass. ‘tech tax’

Aug 20 2013

By Jeff Feingold, New Hampshire Business Review

As previously reported on NHBR.com, the tax – which the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation calls the “most onerous computer and software services tax in the nation” – may be imposed on New Hampshire-based businesses that have a physical presence in Massachusetts and that provide services covered by the tax to Massachusetts customers.
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5 Myths Circulated By Memos In Massachusetts Legislature About Tech Tax

Aug 20 2013

By Sarah Kuranda, CRN

The House memo states that "over 30 states apply their sales tax to computer software in some fashion," a number that Carolyn Ryan, a policy analyst at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said is misleading. According to her research, more than 32 states tax boxed software with similar tax rates to Massachusetts. However, if the services associated with that software are separated during billing, they are no longer taxable. "That's why we're much different," Ryan said. The memo went on to list seven states with "similar tax rates" on computer services, but Ryan said that, too, was misleading. Two of the states used to have the taxes but they were repealed more than five years ago.
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Democratic Senate members plan to take up tech tax in the fall

Aug 20 2013

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Braintree Forum

Moore is not alone in expressing misgivings about the tax, which lawmakers estimated would raise $161 million annually, though Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer claims it could raise as much as $500 million.
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Mass. state senator files bill to repeal software tax

Aug 19 2013

By Rob Marvin, Software Development Times

The biggest criticism of the tax is its overbroad nature. The 6.25% tax applies to a variety of computer-software related services such as modifying off-the-shelf software, configuring programs, and designing or developing websites. Yet the Massachusetts High Technology Council, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, estimated the tax could amount to a $500 million annual tax burden on the software industry.
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