University of Vermont

Dr. Snapp Testifies at Statehouse on Cloud Computing

Robert SnappDr. Robert Snapp, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, testified before representatives in the Statehouse in Montpelier on Monday, November 19 regarding implications of the Vermont Sales and Use Tax related to Cloud Computing, the latest innovation in web-hosted services.   Within the last five years, the paradigm of cloud computing has significantly changed the information technology (IT) landscape. As more consumers are purchasing cloud services instead of boxed software, the Vermont State Legislature is considering how best to tax the cloud to compensate for the lost sales tax.

To hear the testimony visit Vermont Public Radio:
http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/96621/technology-tax-policy-are-issues-cloud-computing

Cloud computing will enable ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can rapidly provision and release with minimal management efforts or service provider interaction.Dr. Snapp provided information on cloud characteristics, the different types of cloud service models, and the types of available cloud infrastructures.

Some of the questions raised by the National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST)include: If the location of a cloud cannot be pinpointed, which state's laws apply in taxing the cloud? If a state taxes at the point of use, what if services are free at the point of use? If tax is based on the location of the servers or the office of the cloud computing provider, will providers simply move to the lowest-tax jurisdiction? How does a provider or purchaser avoid being taxed in two locations simultaneously when states apply different sourcing rules for sales and use tax purposes?

For more information on the Cloud Tech issues visit:
http://www.pwc.com/en_US/us/state-local-tax/assets/pwc-how-does-one-tax-the-cloud.pdf

To contact Dr. Snapp email: Robert.Snapp@uvm.edu