Compliance software is claimed to ease e-cig tax headaches

tax - Can Pac Swire

U.S. software company Avalara is offering what it claims to be the first tax compliance package specifically for the e-cigarette industry.

Avalara, which specialises in tax software, launched its Returns Excise for Tobacco product at the 2015 NACS event in Las Vegas (formerly the National Association of Convenience Stores – now the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing).

It primarily has the convenience and fuel retail sectors in mind – thus the choice of launch venue – though the software could be used by a wider range of businesses within the e-cig industry.

It works by calculating excise taxes and generating signature-ready forms, and is already compliant with existing e-cig tax laws in Louisiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. Further updates will be created as other states introduce their own taxation regimes, the company said.

Those states will be joined next year by Kansas, which is implementing an e-liquid duty of $0.25 per millilitre in July. And ECigIntelligence’s analysts predicts that as many as 14 other states, as well as the District of Columbia, could have e-cigarette taxes in the near future.

“As the vape industry continues to rapidly expand, more and more e-cigarette and vapor retailers and wholesalers are grappling with filing their first tobacco tax returns,” said Matt Tormollen, general manager of Avalara’s Excise Tax Division.

“And as more states follow the example set by Louisiana, North Carolina and Minnesota, the tax compliance challenge will only snowball.”

The Avalara package should integrate directly with other back-office software, eliminating the risk of errors during data input, the company added.

What This Means: Avalara’s software may only appeal to a few, but it is a sign of things to come, as other sectors look at ways they can cash in on the success of e-cigarettes.

– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff

Photo: Can Pac Swiret

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