pexels-anna-shvets-3683053 (1)

They said it would be simple.  They said they could automate it all, but in fact, you’re still doing a lot of the work.  Why are you paying more penalties for missed notices and late payments than you were before you started working with your sales tax vendor?  Guess what – we frequently hear these situations from businesses ready to make a switch. The good news is there are other providers that put the client first and ensure sales tax is managed correctly. You just have to know what to ask when investigating your potential provider.

We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask your new potential partner to help decide who is the right fit.   Use these questions as a guide to find out who will leave you hanging when you need help the most and who will truly take sales tax off your plate. 

  1. Will you help me monitor my sales tax obligations? Does the provider have the ability and foresight to regularly examine your nexus footprint and taxability requirements, or do you have to do it yourself? And if your nexus changes in a state, will the provider alert you?  
  2. Will you handle all my registrations and renewals in every state?  And when you complete the sales tax registration will you also set up my e-file accounts?  You will also want to be sure the login credentials are specific to your company and not related to a “master login” where they file for many customers.  
  3. Will you accept data in any format? And will you charge me extra to reformat it, if not? 
  4. Will you pay for postage and processing, or will I have to pay for it? Do you even manage my returns that still have to be mailed, or do you focus only on the electronic ones?  
  5. Exactly how will we work together? What will be my involvement in the process? Will I have to review and approve every return? Will I have to update you of nexus, taxability, or calendar changes, or will you already know those are happening and adjust with the changes?  
  6. If there’s an error or late payment due to your error, will you pay the penalties and interest, or will I? How much liability am I actually signing up for when I check the box to approve your tax preparations? 
  7. If I have a question, how and who will I be speaking with? Will it be a customer service rep or someone that can actually help me? Is there a dedicated sales tax professional that I can speak with as needed?  
  8. If I ever get audited, what exactly will you do to help? Will you conduct a pre-audit review to identify gaps and risk factors? Will you help determine the best approach for the audit? Will you advise me on what to share with the auditor? 
  9. How many of these services/capabilities are included in your standard fee, and how many are add-ons that you charge extra for? How often will my fee increase? What’s the process for fee increases as my company grows?  

If you’re looking to make a change – talk to us. We can give you all of this because when you work with TaxConnex, it’s all on us. This means you get all the know-how, all the backup, and none of the risk. Contact us to learn more. 

Robert Dumas

Written by Robert Dumas

Accountant, consultant and entrepreneur, Robert Dumas began his public accounting career on the tax staff at Arthur Young & Co., followed by a brief stint at Grant Thornton. In 1998, Robert founded Tax Partners, which became the largest sales tax compliance service bureau in the country, and later sold it to Thomson Corporation. Robert founded TaxConnex in 2011 on the principle that the sales tax industry needed more than automation to truly help clients, thus building within TaxConnex a proprietary platform and network of sales tax experts to truly take sales tax off client’s plates.