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08 March 2009, 10:59

New York: Tax break for open source developers?

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A New York State Assembly bill intends to give open source developers the opportunity to offset 20 per cent of their development expenses, up to a maximum of $200, against tax. The bill summary explains that the New York parliament considerably reduces its costs by using open source software "such as Mozilla for email, Firefox for web browsing and WebCal for electronic calendars".

According to the proposers of the bill, a substantial proportion of most open source software is developed by individuals volunteering from home, who – unlike companies and self-employed developers – are not eligible for tax deductions for their software development costs. The bill intends to change this to provide more incentive for open source development. The tax credit proposed applies only to out of pocket expenses, such as Internet hosting, hardware purchases or education. It has now been referred to the Ways and Means committee.


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