Cloud-based sales and tax compliance technology provider Avalara announced an update to its TrustFile tax return solution that promises to expedite the time to prepare sales tax returns.

TrustFile, offered as a desktop software product since Avalara acquired the company in 2007 and then upgraded to an online offering this year, now provides fully populated, signature-ready tax return forms based on the user’s upload of sales and tax collection data.

TrustFile currently supports signature-ready returns in several states with more added every week and the expectation the signature-ready solution will be available nationwide in early 2015.

In the first half of 2015, Avalara also plans to add electronic filing to TrustFile to eliminate the manual printing and mailing of tax returns and payments. Avalara has filed more than 500,000 sales tax returns in the past 12 months for its TrustFile and Avalara Returns customers.

“Small businesses spend hours every month preparing forms, filing returns and remitting sales tax in every state where they operate, often without the help of an accountant,” stated Joe Davy, general manager of TrustFile. “Avalara is on a mission to provide the fastest, easiest way for these businesses to automate this process, and signature-ready returns is a milestone in this effort. Ultimately, we expect most small businesses using TrustFile to be able to file in about five minutes.”

Avalara’s current reach includes thousands of customers across more than 12,000 tax jurisdictions.

“This is another major advance from Avalara for businesses of all sizes,” stated CEO Scott McFarlane. “Ten years ago, we disrupted the outsourced compliance market by bringing the power of the internet to bear on the problem of calculating and collecting the right amount of sales tax. We entered the returns side of the business when we bought TrustFile back in 2007 and used that technology to add automated returns preparation, filing, and remittance for our AvaTax customers. Now we are introducing a way for the rest of the world to get in on the action.”

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