Customer story

Globalstar gets crystal clear on tax compliance

Results

Integrated systems
Improved processes
Tax expertise

Summary

Results

  • Integrated systems
  • Improved processes
  • Tax expertise

Tax challenges

  • Compliance risk
  • Company growth
  • Tax complexity


Products used

Avalara AvaTax for Communications
Delivers tax calculations on a broad array of communications transactions by directly connecting to your current billing or ERP system, or to an in-house build via API.

Avalara Returns for Communications
Transaction tax returns preparation, filing, and remittance paired with a centralized online portal for easy tax compliance management with a high degree of transparency.


Benefits

  • Integration with billing system for complete solution
  • Filing ease across global jurisdictions with ever-changing rates
  • Supports global market growth

Industry type

Telecommunications
Meet customer needs and stay compliant when you’re collecting sales tax or exemption certificates.

Company overview


Customer
Globalstar

Industry
Telecommunications

Tax type
Communications tax

Integrations
CSG Singleview

A pioneer of mobile satellite voice and data services, Globalstar provides a solution center for customizable Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, personal tracking devices, and satellite Wi-Fi connectivity for asset management, personnel safety, and lifesaving communications.

Tax challenges


Taxes in the telecommunications industry are notoriously problematic and sometimes feature “a tax on a tax,” in which one tax nests within another tax. For example, the Federal Universal Service Fund can include some of a state’s Universal Service Fund taxes, as well as some local regulatory fees and surcharges. 

“You won’t necessarily see all these taxes and fees on a customer’s bill, but the calculation behind the scenes has to be correct or you’ll be out of compliance,” says Erwin Wilson, who is responsible for indirect tax at Globalstar. “To make matters even more complex, the rules and rates are always changing at the jurisdictional level. For example, 911 is usually regulated at the state level, and sometimes at the city and county levels. To be in compliance we have to comply with these moving targets, at every level, on a monthly basis.” 

Globalstar files in all 50 states, so there are more than 3,000 counties and nearly 20,000 cities to keep track of. “We would have to staff up the department, meaning a significant increase in headcount, to keep up with the compliance and filing requirements,” says Erwin. “We’re talking about multiple full-time jobs, and even then, I think it would be impossible.”

Why Avalara?


Instead of staffing up internally, Globalstar relies on Avalara to provide regularly updated communications tax calculations and help with filing and remittance. Avalara’s communications tax team monitors relevant statutes, regulatory rules, and rate changes. “We depend on Avalara’s expertise and their solution,” says Erwin. “They’re in the business of being right, and their technology makes it easy for us.”

Results


Globalstar integrates Avalara AvaTax for Communications with its billing system, CSG Singleview. AvaTax powers all the necessary calculations of sales and use taxes, as well as the communications taxes, relevant fees, and surcharges. Avalara Returns for Communications allows Globalstar to offload returns preparation, filing, and remittance, improving compliance across a vast range of jurisdictions and tax regimes. 

“We’ve been highly satisfied with the results,” says Erwin. “When we migrated to Singleview, we expanded our use of Avalara into several other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Europe.” 

“In the markets where we don’t use Avalara, we have accuracy issues that cause a lot of operational headaches,” he adds. “We have never had a problem where we use Avalara, which has been very reassuring.”

Customer
Globalstar

Industry
Telecommunications

Tax type
Communications tax

Integration
CSG Singleview

Tax challenges

  • Compliance risk
  • Company growth    
  • Tax complexity

Products used

Avalara AvaTax for Communications
Delivers tax calculations on a broad array of communications transactions by directly connecting to your current billing or ERP system, or to an in-house build via API.

Avalara Returns for Communications
Transaction tax returns preparation, filing, and remittance paired with a centralized online portal for easy tax compliance management with a high degree of transparency.


Benefits

  • Integration with billing system for complete solution
  • Filing ease across global jurisdictions with ever-changing rates
  • Supports global market growth

Industry type

Telecommunications
Calculate taxes and file returns for VoiP, IoT, telecom, streaming, and cable products and services.

“We depend on Avalara’s expertise and their solution. They’re in the business of being right, and their technology makes it easy for us.”

Erwin Wilson
Indirect Tax Senior

“We depend on Avalara’s expertise and their solution. They’re in the business of being right, and their technology makes it easy for us”

Erwin Wilson
Indirect Tax Senior

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