Customer story

thinQ relays a clear signal for tax compliance

Results

Increased compliance
Improved processes
Enabled growth

Summary

Results

  • Increased compliance
  • Improved processes
  • Enabled growth
  • Tax expertise

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • Tax complexity
  • Compliance risk


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.


Benefits

  • Tax compliance confidence
  • Expert help for configuration, taxability, and ongoing support
  • Easy access to tax data
  • Calculation and filing peace of mind

Company overview


Customer
thinQ

Industry
Telecommunications

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, thinQ offers a complete communications platform as a service (CPaaS) to partners across the United States and in more than 10 countries around the world. Their platform enables the integration of voice and messaging into a wide range of applications spanning traditional telecom, sales automation, and customer support.

Tax challenges


Telecommunications is one of the most highly regulated industries in America, with service charges at the federal, state, and local levels that differ across jurisdictions.

“I’ve seen things like library taxes, hard-of-hearing taxes, all kinds of things,” says thinQ co-founder and CEO, Aaron Leon. “These are the reasons why your $99-per-month cell phone plan costs you $140 every month.”

To make matters even more complex, rates and charges are in constant flux, and keeping up can be challenging.

Why Avalara?


Aaron has a longtime relationship with Avalara. “I’ve been using this for 16 years and I would prefer not to have to learn anything new,” he laughs.

“I don’t want to know how to do it,” says Aaron. “I want to be compliant and not have to think about it … Avalara monitors and calculates all of the regulatory and nonregulatory taxes and charges that we’re obligated to remit,” he adds. “They make my life easier.”

Results


Aaron relies on Avalara to keep him compliant amid all the tax complexity and ever-changing rates particular to telecommunications. “I don’t want to be a tax expert. I just want it to be off my plate,” he says. “Who really wants to know how all this works? You just want to be compliant and do it the right way.”

In 2017, thinQ was the subject of a three-year audit by the State of New York. The auditor spent countless hours over the course of an entire year scrutinizing thinQ’s records. At stake was an alleged underpayment of $150,000. “You’re presumed to be guilty until you prove that you did it correctly,” says Aaron. “I had the data to prove my innocence and the result was significantly less. In the end, thanks to the historical data provided by Avalara, the delta was actually around $1,700.”

“You’re presumed to be guilty until you prove that you did it correctly. I had the data to prove my innocence and the result was significantly less.”

—Aaron Leon
CEO

Aside from his confidence in the software, Aaron also recognized Avalara’s unique value of coupling a powerful, automated platform with deep and dedicated support expertise. “The software doesn’t magically understand your business,” he explains. “You must have the right kind of people who can help you make the right choices. Without those types of people, the software doesn’t make a difference.”

Without AvaTax for Communications, Aaron reckons he would have to hire a team dedicated to tax compliance. “I’m pretty sure a staff of three to five people could probably do it,” he says. “And I’d have to also have someone with industry knowledge to manage them.”

Customer
thinQ

Industry
Telecommunications

Tax type
Communications tax

Tax challenges

  • Company growth
  • Tax complexity
  • Compliance risk

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.


Benefits

  • Tax compliance confidence
  • Expert help for configuration, taxability, and ongoing support
  • Easy access to tax data
  • Calculation and filing peace of mind

“Avalara monitors and calculates all of the regulatory and nonregulatory taxes and charges that we’re obligated to remit. They make my life easier.”

Aaron Leon
CEO

“Avalara monitors and calculates all of the regulatory and nonregulatory taxes and charges that we’re obligated to remit. They make my life easier.”

Aaron Leon
CEO

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