The Tax Man Cometh

Despite how many years Upshot Commerce has been in the business of online retail, it is still a relatively new economy.  As such, the rules that govern and define it have been fluctuating and changing since we very first began this business in 1994.  We’ve had the pleasure of witnessing many of these changes, including technological advances, expanding definitions of intellectual property, and increasingly novel ways of marketing products and services in an online environment.

One particular shift that we’ve been following for at least the past 10 years is the growing concern over the taxation of online goods.  The online environment has long enjoyed the unique position of advancing technologies ahead of the progress of regulations; no advance has possibly been more lucrative than the head start may ecommerce retailers have enjoyed ahead of tax policy.

As all retailers will certainly be aware, the sale of online goods has long been exempt from sales tax.  As online sales have come to dominate the retail market more and more over the years, states have increasingly been looking for ways to effectively tax this marketplace.

The most recent movement in this arena is the Marketplace Fairness Act.  The main purpose of this bill is to allow states to collect sales tax from more online retailers than is currently required— and the bill is up for a vote in the Senate and House of Representatives very soon.

The bill will not come as a surprise for most online retailers, but it does present many logistical challenges, especially for smaller retailers and start ups.  As Bill McClellan of the Electronic Retailing Association said in a recent article for NPR, “There are 9,600 taxing jurisdictions in the country and for a small remote retailer to go out and be responsible to collect and remit sales tax is an administrative nightmare.”

Fortunately even in this instance, technology wins again and is one step ahead of tax policy once more. Upshot Commerce offers a number of different tax management integration services that are designed to help you stay in compliance with current tax codes, no matter how complicated. Our most popular options include:


An affordable and streamlined service that is integrated with your shopping cart to always charge the appropriate sales tax for every transaction.  The Zip2Tax system constantly monitors tax codes and updates accordingly to ensure that you always in adherence. Also highly configurable, Zip2Tax integrates with most ERPs


A great tax management solution for small and medium sized retailers.  This solution is design to work seamlessly with any accounting solution, from shopping carts to POS systems. Tax calculations as well as automatic filing and remittance included!


An easy to use and elegant solution for higher volume retailers. Includes real-time sales tax calculations for each transaction as well as automatic filing and remittance of sales tax returns and accessible storage of exemption certificates.  Also works with most ERPs.

Both of these options are easily integrated with the Upshot Commerce shopping cart to ensure that ecommerce retailers are prepared to address the constantly fluctuating nature of tax law, no matter how varied and contradictory.  To find out more about how you can take advantage of our tax management services, and to discover what options are right for your ecommerce site, simply contact us.


This entry was posted in Finance, Tax and ERP Tools and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.