INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS: COMMUNICATIONS

A communications tax solution for the ever-evolving telecom, streaming, and technology industries

It’s difficult to predict what’s next for the communications industry and tax policies. Future-proof your business with a solution proven to handle today’s requirements and built to solve tomorrow’s compliance challenges.

INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS: COMMUNICATIONS

A communications tax solution for the ever-evolving telecom, streaming, and technology industries

It’s difficult to predict what’s next for the communications industry and tax policies. Future-proof your business with a solution proven to handle today’s requirements and built to solve tomorrow’s compliance challenges.

Cable, internet, wireless, and wireline services companies have long been subject to complex communication taxes. But managed services, SaaS and PaaS, streaming, VoIP, and IoT services are also fair game for jurisdictions across the United States.

Telecom and wireless
VoIP / UCaaS providers
Managed service providers
Hosting, connectivity, SDN, and cloud
Collaboration
Streaming
IoT
SaaS platforms

Avalara has the expertise, content, and cloud-based communications tax solution for complex compliance challenges


Challenge:
Piecing together a patchwork of tax compliance solutions and vendors can lead to endless frustration, delays, and costly errors. Technical challenges, billing issues, and error accountability make it not only risky, but a significant burden on both tax and IT teams. 

Solution: 
Along with exceptional expertise and support, Avalara offers an extensive communications tax solution that goes beyond basic tax compliance software. Reduce overhead and minimize risk by using a single platform for all your tax compliance needs, including address validation, calculation, returns filing, and exemption management — based on an engine that calculates sales, use, and communications taxes.


Challenge:
The communications industry is changing fast, and so are the taxes associated with it. A seemingly small mistake can snowball before it’s discovered, becoming extremely costly. Whether it’s a manual process, a vendor with substandard data, or managing multiple systems, there’s a better way.

Solution: 
Avalara’s communications tax team closely follows changing rules, rates, and legislation in all U.S. tax jurisdictions. Our fully integrated SaaS solution then regularly updates both tax rules and returns forms so your team doesn’t have to worry about the details.

“We’ve been audited a few times by jurisdictions. In every case, we turned to Avalara to provide the necessary data, and in every case we’ve been found to be compliant.”

— Jerry Nussbaum, CEO

Read the PLD customer story


Challenge:
As a business grows, its technology needs increase too. Speed, reliability, and seamless scaling are critical. A failure at any point can have severe bottom-line impacts.

Solution: 
Avalara’s truly native SaaS solution provides 24/7 availability and elastic scalability for large batch transactions or high-volume calculations at the point of purchase. This helps reduce the risk of delayed invoicing, cart abandonment, or outright switching to competitors.

“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

Read the Globalstar customer story


Challenge:
The list of services subject to communications tax continues to expand across jurisdictions. As businesses merge, partner, or add new products, understanding the rules can be tricky — especially if you’re new to the intricacies of communications or specialized streaming taxes. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch.

Solution: 
Avalara’s team and software specialize in communications tax. We address the needs of every company size across a wide range of communications businesses. Our dedicated team of experts has extensive knowledge on both the latest industry trends and changing tax rules and legislation. We’re ready for whatever comes next.

“I don’t want to be a tax expert. I just want it to be off my plate. Who really wants to know how all this works? You just want to be compliant and do it the right way.”

— Aaron Leon, CEO

Read the thinQ customer story


Our complete solution gives you modular flexibility

Our complete solution gives you modular flexibility

Step 1

Pinpoint your tax compliance needs

Consult with an Avalara tax expert to understand your potential tax scenario. As your business and products change, so do tax rules and regulations, as well as the technology required to adequately support compliance.

Identify your potential tax collection and filing requirements

Understand in which jurisdictions you might have communications, streaming, or sales tax obligations

Determine technology gaps that put your tax processes and tax compliance at risk

Choose which compliance products meet your business needs

Step 2

Connect your business ecosystem

It’s fast and easy to connect your systems and platforms via our growing selection of prebuilt integrations. A robust API with full documentation also allows for custom integration to suit your specific needs for custom systems or other platforms.

Avalara integrates with:

  • Billing platforms
  • Subscription management platforms
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms
  • Ecommerce platforms
  • In-house systems

Step 3

Streamline with a single tax calculation solution

Calculate both communications and sales tax with a single solution. Avalara AvaTax for Communications calculates tax rates, fees, and surcharges based on product and service taxability rules, with fully integrated geolocation precision for federal, state, local, and special tax jurisdictions.

AvaTax for Communications includes:

Tax content across 60,000 North American jurisdictions that’s continuously researched and regularly updated without the need for IT involvement

Complex calculations, like tax on tax, tiered rates, multi-tax, and exclusions

A user-friendly portal for access to robust tools and reporting

AvaTax for Communications can also be combined with Avalara’s certificate management products to simplify exemption document compliance.

Step 4

Leave the heavy lifting of tax returns and filing to Avalara

Let Avalara prepare your communications tax forms, file returns, and remit payments. Avalara Returns for Communications integrates with Avalara AvaTax for Communications to extract data for reporting and returns filing. You can also use it as a standalone product, uploading transaction data and accessing filing calendars, submitted returns, and reconciliation reports on demand.

The Avalara team:

Prepares forms, files returns, and remits payments

Monitors tax and form changes while staying in regular contact with jurisdictions

Eliminates the complexity of in-cycle activities and minimizes out-of-cycle activities like notice management and resolution, back-filing, and audit support

Step 5

Consider us experts-as-a-service

Our team specializes in communications tax — all day, every day. All aspects of our service are supported with deep tax industry expertise. Increase efficiency and minimize risk by supplementing your team with Avalara’s tax experts, with benefits like:

Tax content directly sourced from tax jurisdictions, not purchased

Content researched continuously, providing regularly updated data across a vast range of communications products and services

Dedicated implementation support and an account manager who provides day-to-day support and direct escalation to specialized experts

Relationships with people who are experts in their tax field, in which you’ll be on a first-name basis, not an account number

Find out more about the nuances of communications tax

Find out more about the nuances of communications tax

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