After more than 4 years of ongoing judicial disputes the German Joomla Association “J&Beyond e.V.” is pleased to announce that Germany’s highest financial court the "Bundesfinanzhof" has ruled in favour of the Association, overturning all previous actions.
This ruling now formally confirms that the events hosted by the Association, held in the aim of supporting Joomla, are in fact part of its officially recognised non-profit activities and are therefore eligible for tax privileges.
With this decision, the parallel conflict with the tax office in Aachen and the financial courts can finally come to an end. This conflict originally arose when the tax office questioned whether the association’s events were directly required to reach its non-profit goal:
“The improvement of people’s education in of and relating to Joomla!”
or if alternatively the events were primarily commercially oriented to raise funds for the association’s other activities. The first ruling granted in favour of the tax office, because:
“The Association was not able to sufficiently prove that the events were indeed a necessary and essential part of their education work”
The ruling by the Bundesfinanzhof states that:
“Such proof is not necessary, given that there is an explicit exception for “educational events” which are always treated as part of an organisation's nonprofit activities and are therefore eligible for tax privileges”
The ruling by the Bundesfinanzhof also positively affects an additional legal action, where the association’s general non-profit status was questioned because of a suspected:
“lack of non-profit activities”
With events in question included as part of the non-profit activities again, the dispute now loses its basis for argument and removes the threat to the association’s overall non-profit status.
A strong signal for Open Source in Germany
A message from the President of the Association, Robert Deutz
“I am very satisfied with the ruling, it makes us immensely proud and happy, as an association, that we have finally reached a legal conclusion.
This ruling is not only for our Association but also for other Open Source associations and organisations in Germany. The decision strengthens the role of Open Source in Germany and emphasises its ongoing benefit to society.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all supporters, without them, navigating our way to this possible ruling would never have been possible.
We are eternally grateful to the association’s members, the countless supporters in our crowdfunding campaign and the various helping hands from not only our own but also other Open Source communities who together made this victory possible”
This article is also available in German here: https://www.joomla.de/news/community/415-joomla-verein-gewinnt-revision-beim-bundesfinanzhof