senate Bill S173A

Provides a maximum $200 tax credit for taxpayer expenses associated with the development of open source and free software license programs

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 28 / Mar / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 28 / Mar / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 173A

Summary

Provides a maximum $200 tax credit for taxpayer expenses associated with the development of open source and free software license programs.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S173
S173A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Tax Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §606, Tax L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S43
2009-2010: S4046

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S173A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to providing
a tax credit to individuals for up to two hundred dollars of expenses
related to the development and posting of an open source or free
license program

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this bill is to incentivize individuals to develop Open
Source Software with a tax credit.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Amends § 606 of the Tax Law by providing for an Open Source tax credit
to the creators of Open Source software. (2) amends § 606 of the Tax
Law by providing for the type of programs that qualify for the Open
Source tax credit. (3) amends § 606 of the Tax Law by providing to
whom the Open Source tax credit applies. (4) amends § 606 of the Tax
Law by providing the limits and regulations of the tax credit itself.

JUSTIFICATION:

"Open Source" refers to software offered for free online download
along with its instruction set ("source code"). The New York State
Assembly currently uses Open Source programs such as Mozilla for
email, Firefox for web browsing, and WebCal for electronic calendars.
The Assembly's use of this software has led to significant cost
savings for the Assembly's operating budget. Once an Open Source
program is downloaded with its source code, anyone can view the
instructions, modify the program, and redistribute it with the same
freedoms". A 2006 report authorized by John Irons and Carl Malamud
from the Center for American Progress details how Open Source software
provides a high social value amongst the group, but a relatively low
economic incentive for individual developer"s. By allowing open access
to the technology's source code, Open Source software enhances a
broader dissemination of knowledge and ideas Although large
corporations such as IBM develop and use Open Source programs, most
Open Source software is written by individuals volunteering from home.
Currently, corporations and self-employed individuals who create Open
Source technology are eligible for a tax deduction for their software
development costs. The vast majority of Open Source software creators
(individual volunteers), however, do not receive this tax credit. This
legislation creates a similar tax credit incentive for individuals who
currently have no means to deduct these expenses. The tax credit would
apply only to out-of-pocket expenses such as Internet hosting and
depreciated cost of capital expenses such as computers and education.
The increased incentive for individuals would attract more Open Source
developers to New York State, resulting in job creation and a
reinvigoration of our State's technology sector. Additionally, an
influx of Open Source software would lower operating costs for larger
agencies (such as the Assembly), by providing usable software without
charge.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-10: S.4046 (Squadron) - Finance, A.6380 (Bing) - Ways and Means.


2012:Referred to Investigations and Government Operations

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

To be determined.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act will take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable years
beginning on and after the first of January next succeeding the date
on which it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 173--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. SQUADRON, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investi-
  gations  and  Government Operations -- recommitted to the Committee on
  Investigations and Government Operations  in  accordance  with  Senate
  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a  tax  credit  to
  individuals  for  up to two hundred dollars of expenses related to the
  development and posting of an open source or free license program

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subsections (yy) and (zz) of section 606 of the tax law, as
relettered  by section 5 of part H of chapter 1 of the laws of 2003, are
relettered subsections (yyy) and (zzz) and  a  new  subsection  (yy)  is
added to read as follows:
  (YY)  OPEN  SOURCE  OR  FREE  LICENSE  CREDIT. (1) A TAXPAYER SHALL BE
ALLOWED A CREDIT, TO BE COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN THIS SUBSECTION, AGAINST
THE TAX IMPOSED PURSUANT TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED ONE OF  THIS  PART.  THE
AMOUNT  OF  CREDIT  SHALL  EQUAL  UP  TO  TWENTY  PERCENT  OF  THE TOTAL
OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES OF THE TAXPAYER USED  IN  THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF  A
PROGRAM  THAT  IS  PROVIDED  TO  THE PUBLIC UNDER AN OPEN SOURCE OR FREE
SOFTWARE LICENSE, UP TO A MAXIMUM OF TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS.
  (2) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, A PROGRAM SHALL  QUALIFY  FOR
THE  CREDIT PROVIDED BY THIS SUBSECTION IF THE CODE FOR SUCH PROGRAM HAS
BEEN RELEASED UNDER AN OPEN SOURCE LICENSE RECOGNIZED BY THE OPEN SOURCE
INITIATIVE, OR HAS BEEN RELEASED UNDER A FREE  SOFTWARE  LICENSE  RECOG-
NIZED BY THE FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION.
  (3) THIS SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY INDIVIDUAL FOR ANY TAXABLE YEAR
ONLY IF SUCH INDIVIDUAL ELECTS TO HAVE THIS SECTION APPLY FOR SUCH TAXA-
BLE YEAR. AN ELECTION TO HAVE THIS SECTION APPLY MAY NOT BE MADE FOR ANY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00298-02-4

S. 173--A                           2

TAXABLE YEAR IF SUCH ELECTION IS IN EFFECT WITH RESPECT TO SUCH INDIVID-
UAL FOR ANY OTHER TAXABLE YEAR AND PERTAINING TO THE SAME PROGRAM OR ANY
PORTION THEREOF.
  (4)  IN  NO  EVENT  SHALL  THE  AMOUNT  OF THE CREDIT PROVIDED BY THIS
SUBSECTION EXCEED THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR.  HOWEVER,  IF
THE AMOUNT OF CREDIT OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION FOR
ANY TAXABLE YEAR RESULTS IN SUCH EXCESS AMOUNT, ANY AMOUNT OF CREDIT NOT
DEDUCTIBLE  IN  SUCH  TAXABLE  YEAR MAY BE CARRIED OVER TO THE FOLLOWING
YEAR OR YEARS AND MAY BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR SUCH  YEAR
OR YEARS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable
years  beginning  on  and after the first of January next succeeding the
date on which it shall have become a law.

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