AvaTax does not include a built-in e-filing or payment system for use directly by preparers, but can be used for automated compliance as a service. The user functions of the program are designed to provide all sales tax application and related financial reporting and then offer form preparation for use in either paper filing or using a state-sponsored tax submission website. As previously noted, Avalara does offer the optional AvaTax Returns module, a managed returns service through which the vendor handles all of the compliance processes, including submission of returns to all jurisdictions and payments, while the business or their accountant can retain management overview of these processes.
As an integrated, web-based sales and use tax management system, all rates in AvaTax are kept updated by the vendor, with no action required by the end users.
The key feature in AvaTax is its direct and seamless integration with the accounting application being used by the business, particularly the sales, point-of-sale and e-commerce modules. The system can be integrated into more than 80 different financial, ERP and business programs, inputting sales tax data as necessary and automatically generating liabilities reports and other output such as detail and summary sales tax reports by company or jurisdiction. The program offers built-in alerts that remind users of filing deadlines, as well as approval routing processes. For data output, AvaTax can save to Excel, Word and PDF.
The online control center provides strong support features, including detailed user manuals and guidelines for particular processes, system documentation, integration support and educational resources available through Avalara University with classroom-style live and recorded training seminars. Technical support is included free with AvaTax.
Executive Summary & Pricing
For businesses with sales across dozens or even hundreds or more unpredictable jurisdictions, integration of AvaTax into an accounting system takes almost all of the routine and often tedious work out of sales tax management. The rates are maintained and updated by Avalara, and then automatically feed into the accounting system during a transaction, with liability reports and forms preparation generated by the program. The addition of the managed returns service can take even more of the headache out of compliance. Pricing for AvaTax depends on the accounting/ERP program into which it will be integrated, and the number of transactions that will be processed (rate lookups). For the QuickBooks version, pricing starts at $350 per year for low-volume entities (up to 700 transactions). For higher volume businesses with up to 7,000 transactions annually, the cost is about $0.35 per transaction.
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