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Old 08-09-2007, 03:55 AM   #1
btbx
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Question Tax Deduction, CSR and GPL Application Contribution


What if:
A commercial company either:
1. Create a freeware GPL ...or....
2. Pay a software contractor to create a GPL application ....or.....
3. Buy the source code of a commercial application and modify then release it as GPL.

Example:
Architect company --- CAD/CAM program.
Car company --- safe driving simulator.
Food company --- diet guide program.
Beauty product --- Makeup / hairstyle simulator combined with webcam/scanner.

The above GPL application's source code is available for the public through FTP/Torrent.

Can the commercial company request for tax deduction on their software contribution to public domain?

The real amount of contribution will be audited by a public accounting company.

Can the commercial company said that the donation is part of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)?
 
Old 08-09-2007, 10:51 AM   #2
J.W.
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IANAL but I'm pretty sure the answer would be No, the company could not take a tax deduction. In order to be able to take a tax deduction, the recipient of the donation would have to be a recognized charity, such as the Red Cross, the Humane Society, etc, and the "public domain" doesn't qualify as such.

Obviously, you'd want to consult with a professional tax advisor for guidance if this is something you are considering doing.
 
Old 08-11-2007, 04:32 AM   #3
btbx
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I read from Internet that several "Linux User Group" (LUG) have 501(c)(3) status (charity organization).

Is it possible for the company to donate the software as charity donation to the LUG and the LUG donate the software to public domain as GPL applications?

Should the company give additional donation (money) to the LUG beside the applications?
 
Old 08-11-2007, 08:57 PM   #4
J.W.
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What are you actually trying to do -- minimize your tax bill, or release open source software? For the former, I think you'd want to consult a professional tax advisor for advice; for the latter, you could just release the code under the GPL. Perhaps if you indicated your intentions and/or the context of your question it would help...
 
Old 08-13-2007, 11:48 AM   #5
btbx
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What about getting both tax deduction and donating applications at the same time?

There are many old DOS text only/ "Borland Graphics Interface" applications that can be ported to Linux (console only or Svgalib or others).

Many DOS / Windows 3.1 applications are abandonware and the source codes can be bought by the commercial companies.

After they buy the source code, the applications can be ported to Linux by 3rd party professional Linux developers paid by the company or ported to Linux by the the company's own IT department.

After the application is finished, the application will be donated to the Linux User Group. The LUG can do beta testing of the software. After this step is finished, the software will be released by the Linux User Group to public domain / GPL.

Is the above idea possible?
 
  


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