Tax Compliance Vendor With Eye on SMBs Pioneers Access to Foreign Forms
The 5.1 version of Taxware’s TaxSolver business tax preparation and calculation product include access to the forms for Value Added Tax (VAT) returns for ten countries that account for 80.1 percent of commerce in the European Union (EU) -- Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom -- in addition to all the forms required by the United States and Canada. Taxware, based in Wakefield, Mass, plans to add the tax forms for the EU’s 15 remaining countries by early summer and subsequently, add still more countries’ forms.
"Because of the internationalization of all types of business, there is a great need for making the tax compliance overseas more automated,” says Tim Walsh, director of product management and application support at Taxware. “This (availability of forms from so many countries) is an industry first for corporate transaction tax reporting."
While there’s no clearinghouse of information regarding the features in tax compliance software products, the high-end tax and research software vendors best known to the accounting profession, CCH and Thomson Corp., and the smaller ATX-Kleinrock, all acknowledged that none of their products offer access to such a broad set of overseas forms.
While TaxSolver is primarily known as a high-end Fortune 1,000 company type of solution, designed for use with enterprise systems from Peoplesoft, SAP and Oracle Corp., Taxware has been aggressively trying to penetrate the SMB and middle market segments. Last summer it formed an alliance with Seattle-area technology company Avalara , to build an online tax compliance system designed for use with a variety of SMB and middle market accounting software packages, including Sage Software’s MAS and Accpac lines; Microsoft Great Plains and Navision; Epicor, Exact Software and Intuit’s QuickBooks, among others.
The alliance partners plan to soon enhance that Web-based tax service known as AvaTax, with a variety of Taxware’s additional high-end capabilities, including the international forms capabilities from TaxSolver. The Web service currently calculates sales taxes and generates returns covering some 8,000 taxing jurisdictions in North America.
“We want the international capabilities because the extent to which SMBs have business interests and taxation issues overseas is just phenomenal,” Avalara spokesman Ned Barnett said.
That AvaTax alliance also gives Taxware a connection to the CPA market. Avalara’s partners include the consulting divisions of the CPA firms, Frank, Rimerman & Co. in Palo Alto, Calif., and SC&H Group in Hunt Valley. Md.
Walsh says the SMB demand for international tax compliance capabilities is being driven partly by Internet-based sales that many SMBs may not even be aware of. “You have small companies in California or Connecticut selling on the Web and reaching customers overseas and creating tax consequences that may not be known,” he says.
Capabilities in TaxSolver, and potentially in AvaTax, include the ability to alert end users when their sales in a certain jurisdiction reach a threshold that impacts their tax liability. For an overview of the capabilities, visit Taxware at Taxware.com.