How to Cut Down on Sales Tax Filing Time
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we’re betting that sales tax is the last thing on your mind, unless you have a filing date today because of the holiday. For us, we’re thankful that sales tax is what we do all day long—we love managing sales tax and finding unique ways to solve our customer’s problems. We’re not sure you would agree with us about spending all day on sales tax, however, and we don’t think you should have to. Not everyone shares our passion and experience in sales tax. There are some steps you can take to reduce the amount of time you spend working on your sales tax filing every filing period. Give these a try: Work with sales teams to capture information correctly the first time.
Sales teams should understand what information you need to complete sales tax information and that address information needs to be 100% complete and correct. Periodic, polite reminders can ease some of the tension but provide you with what you need. Make sure sales software has correct sales tax rates and taxability. While this might be up to the IT team, ensure that they get the information they need on sales tax rates and taxability changes but keep up with it yourself or use a service that provides all the information IT needs without your help. Create permanent rules for sales tax filing overrides for unique cases. If you find you keep having to make the same change every month for something your filing software thinks is incorrect but isn’t, make a rule to carry your changes forward every filing period.
Use automation programs to double-check sales tax. Humans make mistakes but taking time to hand verify everything is impossible and mind-numbing. Use computers to do this work for you—that’s what they’re there for, after all. File electronically, if possible. Not all states have electronic filing or allow it for certain thresholds but most states welcome businesses to use electronic filing, even if it’s not mandatory. You’ll not only be ahead of the curve for when thresholds are pushed back but you’ll save on time too.
Set up auto reminders to complete sales tax filing as soon as data is ready to give as much time as possible so that if there are mistakes, you’re not rushing through the task to complete it. Mistakes happen when you aren’t paying full attention to the task at hand. We hope these tips help you reduce the amount of time you spend on sales tax filing and hope you get to spend your holiday with your family, instead of worrying about work at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Be firm with yourself and remind yourself that this is your time away from work and to focus on something that matters even more—your family.