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Re: Trusted Organisation status for DebConf15's legal entity

* Richard Hartmann (richih.mailinglist@gmail.com) [140427 00:40]:
> On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:29 AM, Andreas Barth <aba@ayous.org> wrote:
> > I'm running some throw-away non-profit organisations, and have not
> > experienced problems.
> Have the tax authorities been made aware of this in advance? For how
> long are those organisations running?

The most throw-away one is supposed to run 1-2 years, and is just in
startup (could actually only start when someone else starts complying
with law, but already accepted as non-profit; btw, it was founded by
another already accepted non-profit organisation for risk reduction
and to clean up the tax situation). Nobody put a big sticker on it
"this will dissolve itself soon", but the by-law indicates so. (For
this reason, after some more thinking I wouldn't recommend to name it
"Debconf15 e.V", but rather "Debconf Deutschland e.V.".)

> > Debconf has a different tax situation than a normal TO setup
> > (especially given the amount of money might bring us into VAT if we
> > like it or not), so keeping those apart has some advantages to reduce
> > long-term overhead.
> I fail to see how, please expand.

If you get money where you provide some value for (and sponsorship
might fall into that category, if e.g. logos are shown somewhere),
then this money is VAT-taxable (unless one of the exceptions of the
Umsatzsteuergesetz is applicable) if it is more than a certain limit,
and the amount of money debconf is using is well above that limit.
Additionable it could save money to be VAT-taxable because it might be
that you need to pay less VAT than you could substract from the goods
you buy. All of that is a bit more complex (and legally binding for a
couple of years) than a normal TO would need, and also needs binding
answers from the tax authorities before.

> > Also, having that seperated, reduces the risks
> > from debconf on "normal" debian assets. For this reason, I would
> > recommend to have a throw-away legal entity for debconf, and
> > independendly form a debian-owned legal umbrella in Germany.
> As this organisation will not hold non-DebConf Debian money or other
> assets at first anyway, I do not see any risk.
> And even if it does, I am still not sure what the actual risks would
> be unless you assume we will run DebConf15 deep into red figures.

Perhaps I'm just careful, but I have setup legal umbrellas in cases
where I already had a tax-exempt one for risk reduction and tax
simplification (even with the existing one as founding member of the
new organisation, so with a clear bound and approval of the board of
the existing one). It isn't expansive to do so, but makes sure you
don't need to keep up any of the debconf-specialities you do, that's
why I would just do that again.

Also, it would buy us time to get the (rather complex) things about
"how to bind it to Debian" done right, because that indeed isn't that
easy in the German legal system, and sort out a few other things.


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