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Re: Donation to GNU Octave

From: Thomas Weber
Subject: Re: Donation to GNU Octave
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 23:11:17 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Thu, Feb 09, 2012 at 02:16:32PM -0500, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
> There has been more than one German that requested we give them
> something like this. How can Octave provide an invoice for the GPL? Do
> we need to be registered under German law as some sort of
> organisation? Do you have any idea whom to ask?

You guys never had to deal with accounting departments, have you? Those
guys do NOT CARE what the invoice is for. It's not their field of
expertise, period. Or have you ever gotten a mail by them reading "Are
you really sure that the book you have bought is necessary for your
academic work? Maybe that cheaper book over there will do?". 
Your superior (or whoever) has a say in whether you can spend the money
on something. The accounting department is responsible for acting on the
So, if John puts some binaries of Octave on some webspace (maybe
password-protected, maybe not), sends you the link and an invoice for
said binaries, you are good as far as accounting cares. 

Now, if you are a private person, donating is *again* the wrong way to
approach this, at least under German tax regulations.
Instead, you should take part in some course, buy a book or something.
This is then considered 'job training' (berufliche Weiterbildung) and
goes in your tax declaration as that (there is some limit here: if don't
reach more than 1000 EUR with all your 'Werbungskosten', it doesn't
really matter, as that sum is accepted without any paper work).


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