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John Cowan
John Cowan
Tax Audits: Proactive Tax Management

Reviewing tax processes can deliver bottom-line results for the retail industry.

January 29, 2009
by John Cowan

Tax audits cost retailers time and money. Valuable staff resources are consumed in preparation for audit defense, and the fines and penalties levied for non-compliance can be bruising. But tax-related issues don’t have to be this challenging to your business.

Audit triggers are like red flags and can be avoided by transitioning your tax rate and taxability rules-management process from a staff responsibility to a system requirement.

Shifting the burden of monthly tax updates to tax-management technology provides an added layer of audit protection. There are more than 7,000 taxing jurisdictions in the United States, and many of them incorporate multiple tax-code rate or rule changes during the year. Typical retail store tax departments are not equipped to stay on top of this volume of information, let alone guarantee the accuracy and compliance of their work. Technology-based tax solutions, however, continuously monitor and update tax information at the point of sale to ensure consistent and proper application and remittance of sales tax.

For more about tax audits in the retail industry, please review the full article — Tax Audits: Proactive Tax Management Delivers Bottom-Line Results (PDF).

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John Cowan is director, Oracle and Retail Solution Practices for Vertex Inc.
Cowan has spent 15 years in the tax automation industry working in various roles at Vertex Inc.  He directed Vertex’s early efforts with ERP and POS partners to integrate Vertex tax systems for the benefit of our mutual clients. Today, he is the Director of Vertex’s Retail Solution Team that focuses on building and delivering a comprehensive, yet practical solution for multi-channel retailers to stay in-step with proper sales tax compliance and legislation. For more information visit www.vertexinc.com.