BNA Software - Sales & Use Tax Rates & Forms
From the August 2011 Review of Sales & Use Tax Systems
Best Fit: Mid-sized and larger businesses with growing SALT compliance complexity, and firms managing compliance for multiple entities. Also businesses wanting comprehensive tax tables for export into their live sales and accounting systems.
BNA Software offers installed and online programs for sales and use tax management, including rate lookup, a rate table export utility, and a comprehensive sales and use tax forms library. The system reviewed here is the combined BNA Sales & Use Tax Rates and Forms Online, which provide compliance tools for all U.S. states, as well as cities, counties and special taxing jurisdictions. These are actually two separate systems, one for forms preparation and one for rate lookup. And while they don’t directly integrate, they can be used either individually or together to find appropriate tax rates for virtually any taxing jurisdiction and then complete the appropriate forms. The system also includes a rate export function that allows rates for any or all jurisdictions to be imported into another software application.
Basic System Functions:
The core forms preparation system is housed in a program that, although it is served via the web, appears and performs like an installed program, providing a non-browser application window and traditional work environment with icons and pull-down menus for accessing key system features. The system can be set up to provide management for any number of tax paying entities, and the use of profiles allows users to quickly create subsequent returns for an entity, with all basic company contact information, EIN and tax permit data automatically populating forms.
Form data entry is generally simple to perform, with tabbed access to automatically calculating data fields and line-by-line right-click access to official form instructions. The system has a comprehensive collection of forms, schedules and worksheets for all jurisdictions. Users can create new forms or access existing ones using selection lists at the top of the screen.
The other part of the program offers sales and use tax rate lookup or tax table export, both accessed via a browser login that provides a search utility with options for searching by ZIP Code, city, county, state or all, as well as the option to browse jurisdictions alphabetically. When displaying results, it includes a single-screen view of state, county and city tax rates, historical and pending rate changes, notes on special districts, an integrated calculator, and also information on special treatments, including combined/split rates, maximum tax levels and override rates.
The forms preparation system includes a library of nearly 3,400 self-calculating forms for state, county, city and other jurisdictions across the United States, as well as exemption certificates, registrations and general business forms required by the jurisdictions such as powers of attorney, applications for disclosure, notices of closeout and settlement proposals. As previously noted, forms can be pre-populated with business entity data, and entry sheets for financial information are easy to understand and use.
Although the system is SaaS, Sales & Use Tax Rates Online does not offer integrated e-filing or electronic payments to taxing authorities. Instead, forms must be printed and mailed or data transferred into state sales tax reporting websites.