Summary of the LoCoTeam meeting, 2005-09-21

Matthias Urlichs smurf at
Thu Sep 22 17:37:16 CDT 2005

Hi, Jane Silber wrote:

>  In most (all?) countries, there is a clear
> distinction between non-profit (or not-for-profit) companies and
> charities.  In general, it is only donations to charities that are tax
> deductible.  Donations to non-profits are not.

Your "in general" doesn't match mine, I'm afraid.

In Germany, there are two levels of not-for-profit. The less-difficult-
to-attain one has a rather long list of objectives, and all donations
are admissible for tax deduction. (Membership fees would not but
tax-deductible, but then we don't do these anyway. ;-)

The German accepted-objectives list includes stuff like public education
(Ubuntu qualifies -- so does any chess club. Or Greenpeace), conducting
workshops or attending conferences for the furthering of your primary
purpose, and quite a few other possible objectives. There are many
state-recognized not-for-profits with all kinds of goals around, and
setting one up here is (mostly) easy and inexpensive, if you follow a few
reasonably-simple guidelines.

If I understand Yann correctly, the French situation is mostly similar.

The bottom line is: we have received hardware and monetary donations.
These were given to us for furthering Ubuntu, and in return people expect
us to give them a receipt with "Ubuntu-something" on it, which they can
then present to our government so they'll not have to pay taxes on it.
They also expect some legal guarantee that the money will be used for its
intended purpose.

By setting up a not-for-profit, we can do that. (I checked.)
The Ubuntu Foundation cannot. In fact, a German person or company needs a
receipt from a German n-f-p to qualify for tax purposes; one from 
the UK just won't work. (Sharing money or other resources among a German
association, a French one, and the Ubuntu Foundation, on the other hand,
would not be a problem.)

Matthias Urlichs   |   {M:U} IT Design @   |  smurf at
Disclaimer: The quote was selected randomly. Really. |
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Take your Senator to lunch this week.

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