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Summary. Apple is moving toward a model of software distribution through their App Store instead of a traditional sales model. For academic institutions, this will initially present some challenges since the retail app store is not configured for education pricing and also charges taxes on sales.

Instructions. According to an Apple education rep, here are the steps required for schools to make purchases through the Apple App Store.

  1. Those using credit cards, skip to step #5.
  2. Obtain a purchase order and approval from your institution to purchase the software.
  3. Calculate the cost of your software purchase, plus taxes — even if you are tax exempt (this will be explained later).
  4. Based on the calculated cost of your purchase from step #3 above, use the purchase order system available through the Apple Store to purchase iTunes Gift Cards in denominations of $15 (part #M9949LL/C), $25 (part #M9950LL/C), $50 (part #M9951LL/C), and $100 (part #MC308LL/A).
    1. The total value of your gift card purchase should be as close as possible to the cost of the software you plan to purchase, but make sure the value of the gift cards is greater than the cost of your software and applicable taxes (even if you are tax exempt).
    2. When purchasing through the Apple Store for education, you’ll need to create a web order quote and then complete your order by telephone. There’s no way to make the full purchase online. There never has been (unless your’e using a procurement card).
  5. Use the iTunes Gift Cards acquired in steps 2 through 4 (or a procurement card) to purchase software from the App Store.
    1. As explained below in step #6, you’ll be charged tax, and you’ll need to request a refund for that. The refund may appear in the next billing cycle, and this may cause your accounting department some distress. So, it’s best to plan your purchase at the beginning of the billing cycle to ensure that the credit for tax appears shortly after the purchase and on the same billing cycle.
    2. Be forewarned that you’ll need to setup separate Apple ID accounts for each computer in the school (or business). So, if you have 20 computers, you’ll need 20 different Apple ID accounts to remain in compliance with the rules of the App Store.
      1. Apple ID Creation. To create an Apple ID, you’ll need to provide an email address, password, security question, birthday, full name, address, and other details.
        1. GMail Account. Presumably you’ll want to setup a sequence of Google Mail accounts to do this. To setup Google Mail accounts, simply go to http://mail.google.com and provide a name, login name, password, security question, security answer, recovery email, location, birthday, and other details.
    3. Once unique Apple ID and GMail accounts are setup for each computer, then you’re ready to being purchasing software.
      1. Login to the computer as an administrator and then open the Apple App Store. When prompted to authenticate, use the Apple ID email and password established in step #5Bi described above.
    4. You’ll be charged tax since there is no mechanism for being tax exempt in the App Store. So, this will require an additional steps as described below.
    5. Get a copy of your school’s tax exempt form. This may be available on the web, or it may require contacting your purchasing department or accounting office. If the form is a printed hard-copy document, you’ll want to scan it and proceed to step #8.
    6. Prepare an email that includes your order receipt and the copy of your school’s tax exempt form described in step #7. Send the email to salestax@apple.com or fax these items to 1-866-758-7713. A credit for the portion of your purchase that was taxes should be received as a refund.
    7. If you used iTunes Gift Cards for your purchase, there will likely be a few dollars credit left on the card. You may need to haggle with the App Store support people to get the remaining balance back, or you might just need to eat the cost of the remaining balance (or use it on some music).

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    Source. The above information is based on information received from an Apple Education representative.

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