Racing to deliver the goods could put you on the fast track to sales tax nexus
The Internet has vastly changed the way products move from buyer to seller. One-click ordering. Get it now. Two-day free delivery. The speed and ease of ecommerce and mobile commerce covers a lot of ground in terms of getting products into customers’ hands quickly. But it’s also rattling the supply chain; putting pressure on merchants, manufacturers and distributors to deliver the goods, so to speak. OHL, one of the nation’s largest third-party logistics firm, reports that e-fulfillment now represents a third of the company’s business.
To keep up, manufacturers, distributors and ecommerce sellers need more efficient ways to interact and communicate with each other from multiple locations. A recent Epicor survey found that 65% of ERP users rate the ability for remote workers to access order information as vitally important. To achieve this, warehouses and distribution centers are outfitting their staff with handheld devices and mobile apps connected to their ERP, ecommerce or billing system to help them manage inventory, fulfill orders, track shipments and prepare invoices.
In the race to fulfill orders faster, businesses are also shortening the path to delivery by dispersing inventory across more warehouses, outsourcing fulfillment or using drop shippers. What they often fail to realize is that these activities could also be creating additional sales tax requirements.
Getting sales tax right is important for two reasons: first, customers can be unforgiving when their order is wrong. This includes not only getting the right item at the right time, but also being billed the right amount. If sales tax isn’t accurately applied instantly to an order, buyers balk and the sale is lost. Second, it can cause undue risk on your business if you are not accurately calculating and remitting the correct amount of sales tax to the states where you have an obligation to collect.
Integrating a cloud solution like Avalara AvaTax with your ERP, ecommerce or billing systems allows you to automatically track where you have a sales tax obligation and instantly calculate and apply sales tax rates and rules to the transaction at the point of sale.
View the How Faster Ecommerce Deliveries Trigger New Tax Requirements video to get a better feel for the drag that tax risk can place on business. It’s just three minutes of your time. Because, we know, you’re in a hurry.