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4 ways to use indirect tax data for better tax performance and reporting

The opportunities for indirect tax analytics are endless. Here’s how you can use indirect tax data to respond to customer inquiries, prepare for tax audits, identify tax credits, and monitor nexus thresholds.

Your corporate indirect tax team can become a strategic partner to your business — if it’s freed from time-consuming manual processes. Teams responsible for sales and use tax, value-added tax (VAT), and goods and services tax (GST) must keep pace with a fast-growing list of responsibilities generated by innovation, mergers and acquisitions, global expansion, and regulatory requirements. It’s a struggle. Tax software can remove this burden and empower your team to use tax data analytics to bring added value to the business.

How to enrich your indirect tax data with analytics software

Indirect tax software can integrate siloed data across your business. It also can mine that data for critical information that you can use in a variety of formats for reporting and analytics. With a robust indirect tax software solution, your team can extract, manipulate, analyze, and report indirect tax data in ways that provide even greater value to your organization.

Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Determination Reporting and Analytics puts all the information your team needs right at its fingertips. Now your team can easily deliver tailored reports that bring greater value to the business. Drag-and-drop functionality makes searching and sorting effortless. Business intelligence importing and exporting features allow them to conveniently manipulate, analyze, and share indirect tax data. Your team can draw from prebuilt reports or easily create customized reports – all without any help from your IT department.

Four ways to extract value from your indirect tax data every day

Starting from the reporting dashboard in ONESOURCE Determination Reporting and Analytics, you can choose from any of the prebuilt reports listed on the left. You can quickly and easily customize these reports to find the data insights you need – in seconds.

Here are just four examples of the many ways you can easily generate indirect tax reports to meet your specific needs without requesting help from IT or manually collecting and analyzing data.

1. Answer customer invoice inquiries faster and more accurately

When a customer asks about an invoice, how quickly and easily can your tax team answer that question? The faster you can respond to that customer’s inquiry, the happier your customer will be — and the sooner that invoice will get paid. That’s money in your company’s pocket. To get the information you need to answer an inquiry, you can take one of the standard indirect tax reports that comes with ONESOURCE – the US Document Details report – and add fields and the ability to group and sort to create a report by invoice number.

With this report, you can generate a list of transactions by the transaction date and see all the line items associated with the transaction. You can search for an invoice number and then search for a line item within that invoice to answer your customer’s tax question quickly and accurately.

Sorting capabilities, custom filters, and drag-and-drop fields allow you to select specific information and quickly get to the right data. You can add as many filters and fields as you want. View an entire document and all transactional line data, then run a report on only the information you need, without any support from your IT team. You can also conveniently export your indirect tax data to a different file format such as Excel, PDF, or CSV as needed.

2. Fulfill audit requests and protect your company with accurate indirect tax reports

Audit requests can be complicated and time-consuming. They also must meet regulatory requirements – and a failed audit can be costly. With advanced indirect tax reporting and analytics, you can generate any report you need quickly, easily, and accurately. For example, you can use the free-form Transaction Extract feature to create a custom ad hoc Audit Defense Report quickly and easily that lists all the tax that has been collected by each jurisdiction. You can filter to find all the tax that has been collected for a state, for a city or county within that state, or for whatever tax jurisdiction you choose.

You can access either a sampling of data or a full set, and filtering is as easy as dragging and dropping the field you want to use to filter the data. You can also easily export audit data to other file formats. The ability to produce audit data quickly saves time and can strengthen your audit defense, which protects your company’s finances and reputation.

3. Run indirect tax reports to identify tax credits that can boost your company’s bottom line

One of the ways your sales and use tax, VAT, and GST team can add value to your company is by making sure it receives all the tax credits it’s eligible for. For example, in Kansas, businesses making new capital investments of at least $50,000 that support facilities, technology, and continued employee training and education may be eligible for an investment tax credit through the state’s High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP). By modifying the US Documents Details report, you can identify HPIP activity that can lead to a potential 10% income tax credit. You can easily sort by selecting a field in the leftmost column and dragging it to the filter column on the right. The field drop-down list helps you drill down into that information with one click. 

While this report is focused on sales and use taxes, it can be shared with another team, such as the income tax department, to help take advantage of income tax credits and incentives such as the Kansas HPIP program — one tax department helping another tax department. This can further prove your team’s value as a strategic partner. You’re not just a cost center — you’re helping improve your company’s bottom line.

4. Avoid penalties and ensure tax compliance by knowing when you’ve reached Wayfair economic nexus thresholds

Ever-changing laws and state-to-state differences regarding sales and use tax obligations make it critical for companies to know where they stand on their indirect tax responsibilities and liabilities. You can create an indirect tax report that will help ensure that your company meets its taxpaying obligations and avoids any potential penalties. For example, to create a report that highlights your company’s Wayfair economic nexus threshold status, start with the US State Summary report. This report gives you instant visibility into total sales by state, which you can easily filter for a specific date range.

This report can help you stay abreast of sales activity, so that you know when your company is approaching transaction thresholds and potentially incurring an obligation to register, collect, and pay taxes. For a deeper dive into your Wayfair tax liability within each state, you can export this report to an Excel file and then use Thomson Reuters Checkpoint tools. These tax research tools provide you with the exact state statute that applies to your results, along with guidance and other details.

By taking a proactive approach with your Wayfair obligations, you help ensure that your company is compliant and that you avoid costly penalty and interest payments. As with the other reporting features in ONESOURCE Determination, you can customize your report by choosing specific fields and functions, and you can export your indirect tax data to other file formats – all without IT intervention.

Indirect tax reporting and data analytics transform your tax team into a strategic business partner

Are you taking advantage of your indirect tax data to grow your tax team into a strategic business partner? If you have a robust indirect tax software solution, you’re on your way. By integrating disparate systems, the solution can give your sales and use tax, VAT, and GST professionals the information they need to fulfill their role as effective strategic contributors.

With ONESOURCE Determination Reporting and Analytics, your indirect tax team can:

  • Create charts and graphs that make complex information easy to understand
  • Customize how information is viewed, switching between general and granular levels
  • Manipulate indirect tax data directly within the reporting dashboard
  • Export data to other formats for additional analysis
  • Design and customize reports through easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality
  • Seamlessly toggle from summary or subtotal views to detailed views
  • Enable sort and filter criteria to view greater detail
  • Choose from prebuilt or customized indirect tax reports
  • Add advanced analytics through the Calculate and Measure fields
  • Save, share, and reuse both public and private tax reports with other users or stakeholders

When your team can quickly and easily run indirect tax reports based on insightful analytics, you save your company time and money. Your team will become an even more valuable contributor to your organization’s success and growth. With a sophisticated but simple-to-use automated indirect tax software solution, you can create better customer experiences, avoid errors, ensure tax compliance, and identify new financial opportunities for your business.

Learn more about how to take your tax team to a new level in our white paper, “Get access to all your indirect tax data for faster analytics and reporting.” Contact us to discover how our global tax determination software, ONESOURCE Determination, can transform indirect tax reporting for your business. 


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