3/24/06

Avalara Gives Sales Tax Rates Away

Kurt Peters , Executive Editor

Stating That ‘Rates Are a Commodity`, Avalara Introduces Free Rate Look-Up Tool

Dallas, Texas – March 24, 2006: The old sales tax paradigm: Clients paid top-dollar for sales tax rate data that integrated into expensive rate-calculation software. The new sales tax paradigm: Rates are a commodity, software is over-priced, and low-cost on-demand web services provide real-time rate calculations for pennies per transaction.

Avalara – the fast-growing provider of on-demand sales tax calculation services targeting small and mid-sized businesses, today officially announced its launch of AvaRates NOW™ – a free, map-enhanced, rate look-up tool that provides accurate rates for any North American location, real-time. These rates are available at no cost to clients and non-clients alike: CPAs are offered unlimited use for the first six months, and up to 50 look-ups per month are available, for free, to all users. Launched at Microsoft’s annual user and partner conference, “Convergence 2006,” Avalara’s free rate look-up tool, AvaRates NOW, is being exhibited along with Avalara’s comprehensive, Web-based sales tax automation solution – AvaTax.

“Tax rates themselves are not the issue,” explained Avalara’s President, Scott McFarlane. “Tax authorities generally make rates available publicly. The end-user’s problem is the manual overhead involved in searching out these data sources, then accessing them frequently enough to ensure compliance with the thousands of constantly changing rates and rules. Using a software-based solution, sales tax compliance is a major pain. But with AvaTax, we make the process automatic, seamless – and it runs behind the scenes, requiring no end-user inputs or actions.

“Offering AvaRates NOW at no cost is Avalara’s way of saying that, when it comes to sales tax compliance, rates are a commodity – cost-effective service, not the cost of rates – is the important issue,” McFarlane said.

“Web-based tools can now, from a centrally-managed source, easily deliver information to end-users’ fingertips,” McFarlane pointed out. “With today’s online services, you don’t have to pay to look up an address – or map directions to that address. You don’t pay to look a word in the dictionary, or a stock quote. Why should anybody have to pay to look up sales tax rates?”

Access to commodity-priced sales tax rates has always been available to the more than 2,200 licensed AvaTax users, who now run an average of 4.5 transactions per second through Avalara’s comprehensive sales tax database.

“A few companies have made a lot of money organizing and reselling this publicly available data – that’s the old way, the old paradigm,” McFarlane noted. “To those organizations – and to all who need access to sales tax rates, we say, ‘welcome to the 21st century.’ With AvaRates Now, there’s no reason to continue paying for subscription CD-ROMs that have to be loaded and maintained by in-house IT staff on local machines. Today, to get instant access to the tax rates in the 8,000 plus jurisdictions in the United States, all you need is an internet connection and a browser. Go to our website, sign up for a free account, and you’re in business.”

CPAs or business can sign up for AvaRates NOW – providing free access to sales tax rates in more than 8,000 taxing jurisdictions across North America – at www.FreeTaxRates.com. AvaRates Now users receive:

-- On-demand, real-time, always up-to-date rates
-- Address verification and standardization
-- Jurisdiction research with superior accuracy
-- Satellite or graphic mapping
-- Results broken out by component jurisdictions and rates, in addition to the composite rate

Avalara is a Software-as-a-Service provider of sales tax automation solutions, which link to a growing list of accounting applications used by small and medium businesses, including Microsoft Dynamics™ GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

About AvaTax™
Avalara’s flagship product, AvaTax, is an SMB market-leading, Web-service-based sales tax solution that instantly and accurately calculates sales tax in any of the more than 8,000 taxing jurisdictions in North America; provides detailed, real-time reporting; and automatically generates pre-populated sales tax returns. Currently, more than 2,200 licensed AvaTax users run an average of 4.5 sales tax calculation transactions through Avalara’s sales tax engine every second.

AvaTax comes integrated with SMB financial applications serving more businesses than any other solution on the market today, including Microsoft Dynamics™ GP, Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV, Intuit’s QuickBooks®, Sage Software’s Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage MAS 200 ERP, Sage MAS 500 ERP, and Sage Accpac ERP. Additionally, with AvaTax SDK™ developers can integrate Avalara’s sales tax Web service with any e-commerce, third party or custom-build solution with use of a comprehensive Software Developer’s Kit (SDK).

Avalara also offers a line of sales tax rate look-up tools, “AvaRates,” which includes AvaRates NOW.

About Avalara
Headquartered on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington, Avalara is changing the sales tax landscape by delivering innovative and affordable solutions to small and mid-sized businesses. Avalara’s mission is to transform the sales tax compliance process by creating cost-effective, state-of-the-art solutions. Avalara does so through integrated, on-demand, Web-based services that provide transparent transactions, accurate tax compliance, painless administration and effortless reporting.

For more information about Avalara, contact:

Ned Barnett, ned@barnettmarcom.com, 702-696-1200
Daryl Toor, dtoor@attentiongroup.com, 770-777-9489
On Site at Convergence 2006:
Christina Opalka, christinao@avalara.com, 206-755-3277

Topics:

Intuit, QuickBooks, Sales Tax Management Services, SpeedTax, Taxation

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