CSIA Bellyflops with Anti Tax Push HB 10-1192

Did you hear that you could be taxed more?  We should oppose it without actually knowing what it is.  GET YOUR PITCHFORKS READY, NO TAXES COLORADO HB 10-1192.

Well, that is what CSIA has been saying for a few weeks.  What is this tax?

They don’t say.

Well, it is a tax on software sold online, and they have been going around to tech events and meetups spreading fear about thousands of job losses and massive taxes.

All this never naming what the tax will actually be.

That makes me feel, well, a bit, well, lied to. When a party purposefully withholds data, I feel like there is something more to the story.

So I actually read the bill that CSIA never links to, because, well, linking to the bill will show how much of a non issue this might just be.  You should just be scared and contact them so they have more people in their membership emails (or so it feels, at the Boulder New Tech Meetup they asked people to not contact their representatives, but email them, and they will pass it on).

The HB 10-1192 bill is here (.pdf).

It says that the current tax on packaged software can be extended to software sold online from a Colorado business to a Colorado resident (please correct me if I am wrong).  11 states currently have laws like this (via CSIA).

“TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY” INCLUDES STANDARDIZED SOFTWARE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ELECTRONIC, TELEPHONIC, OR SIMILAR TRANSFERS OF SUCH SOFTWARE OR SUCH SOFTWARE DOWNLOADED FROM THE INTERNET OR DELIVERED TO THE PURCHASER BY USE OF TANGIBLE STORAGE MEDIA WHERE THE TANGIBLE STORAGE MEDIA  IS NOT PHYSICALLY TRANSFERRED TO THE PURCHASER. THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE MAY PROMULGATE RULES FOR APPORTIONING TAX IN THOSE INSTANCES IN WHICH STANDARDIZED SOFTWARE IS TRANSFERRED FOR USE IN MORE THAN ONE STATE.

I’m no lawyer, but I don’t see a single % in the bill.

So it is an unnamed tax % on software that is currently taxed if you buy it in a store.

The sky is falling.  We should all panic and freak out.

CSIA told us to.

It isn’t like all our biggest software companies are incorporated in Delaware anyway. See Cameron’s comment below. I was wrong.

I could be way off, please correct me if I’m wrong.

Some interesting commentary on a different bill HB 10-1193 here, which would tax affiliates making companies like Overstock and Amazon subject to state tax (or them not paying affiliates).  This seems like a much bigger thing to worry about.

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