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Trustfile — Trustfile Sales & Use Tax

the August 2007 Review of Sales & Use Tax Systems

Trustfile has sales and use tax programs for CT, FL, GA, IL, LA, MD, NJ, PA,
SC, TN and WI, providing complete compliance for all cities and special taxing
districts within those states. The system includes electronic filing and remittances
to supporting jurisdictions. The programs operate separately from each other,
so businesses with reporting needs for more than one state would need to run
each necessary state program independently. Each of the programs costs $149
per year, with support for up to five companies reporting sales taxes to that
state. To support additional client companies, discounted bundle licenses are
available for $99 with support for an additional five clients. Pricing includes
downloadable tax rate updates or users can subscribe to receive CD-based updates.
Free, full-use trials of the programs are available during the end of the year,
enabling businesses to use the software for real filings during evaluation.

Navigation & Data Entry — 4.5 Stars
As previously mentioned, each of the states has a separate program. However,
all of the programs share a consistent interface that opens to a clean presentation
that offers large icons for primary functions, including selecting or adding
companies, report functions, entering data, print options and the Help utility.
Trustfile’s client list displays companies in a spreadsheet-like table
that allows sorting and selection, as well as the creation of new companies.
The primary functions of the program are available after selecting a company
and choosing a period ending date from a pull-down menu that includes an interactive
calendar function. This function serves two purposes: First, it can be used
to look up previous filings; and second, if a filing does not yet exist for
the ending date selected, the system prompts the user to create the report/tax

During data entry, the interface uses a split screen to show a digital version
of the appropriate state or municipal form at the same time as the data-entry
sheets. The form view does not provide drilldown functions, but does update
automatically when data is entered or edited. The data-entry forms provide state/city/entity-specific
fields for resales, sales tax holidays, tax exempt sales reporting and other
special needs. For example, the Georgia version of Trustfile includes entry
fields for seven types of sales (two sales types, qualified food sales, motor
fuel sales, gasoline, diesel, other fuels), four use tax categories (standard,
motor fuel gasoline, motor fuel diesel, and motor fuel other), and 17 exemption
categories. Trustfile can also import sales information from Peachtree, Excel
and ASCII formats.

Overall, Trustfile is a very easy-to-use system that prompts the user to perform
tasks as needed, including data-entry functions, electronic filing or printing,
and remittance of collected sales taxes to the appropriate government entity.

Filing, Electronic Compliance & Payment — 5 Stars
One of the core benefits of Trustfile is in its support for electronic filing
and remittance of tax funds to all of the states that support it, while also
allowing users to print traditional forms or mail remittances if they prefer.
During the electronic process, acknowledgements, validations and receipts help
ensure the proper processing of returns and funds, while a system log tracks
all transmissions. Reports are saved within the system and can be easily retrieved
based on period ending date or can be printed or output into PDF format.

Rate Updates — 4.5 Stars
Trustfile provides users of its software with free tax rate updates that can
be downloaded from the company’s website. An optional CD-based rate update
subscription is also available. The system can be set to automatically check
for tax table updates at startup.

Help/Training — 3.5 Stars
The Trustfile system includes a traditional built-in Help utility with a user’s
guide and links to the company’s support website, which offers program
updates, a knowledgebase of FAQs, recent news and additional downloads. A printed
version of the user’s manual is an additional $25. Phone and web-based
support is included in pricing, with Premium Support available for $100, which
provides dedicated support staff and priority routing of calls.

Relative Value — 4.5 Stars
Trustfile was one of the first vendors in this market to offer electronic filing
and remittances, and its offerings have grown over the past 20 years. The company
now provides sales and use tax programs for 11 states, all east of the Mississippi,
along with municipal and other entity reporting. The Trustfile system is inexpensive
and simple to use, providing an excellent after-the-fact sales and use tax compliance
tool for small businesses or accounting firms that provide this as a service
to their clients.

2007 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars