Taxing No More
As the digital revolution continues to gain ground, the print industry is left to pick up the pieces. Take tax forms, for example.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently provided updated statistics showing a spike in electronic filing. In 2013, more than 43 million people self-prepared and e-filed their tax returns from home (compared to 41.7 million people in 2012). E-filed returns from tax professionals also saw a slight increase, with almost 70.4 million filers in 2013 versus 70.3 million the year prior.
Houston-based Apex Business Systems noticed the upward trend in e-filing and responded with its ComplyRight E-File Solution. According to Neville Johnson, vice president sales, this is not a replacement for print, but instead a supplemental tool to increase profits. "Last year, one of our print brokers offered this service and captured $28,000 in new sales," he said. "And, more importantly, this partner gained 350 new clients that they can now market to in the upcoming season."
Here, Johnson discusses the specifics about the company's latest contribution to the tax market.
Print+Promo (P+P): Describe a promotion that you consider one of Apex Business Systems' best.
Neville Johnson (NJ): One of the most exciting new offerings from Apex is our ComplyRight E-File Solution. As we all know, the tax forms business is moving to the digital age, and more customers are choosing to complete their W-2s and 1099s in the cloud. Apex has developed an electronic solution that allows distributors to offer e-file—as well as print and mail services—to their customers through a personalized website. Customers simply enter or upload their data, and we take care of the rest. And the distributor makes money with every form filed.
P+P: What influenced the decision behind this promotion?
NJ: Market trends definitely influenced the decision to develop this solution. Paper tax filing is down while electronic tax filing is up. Of course, paper is not dead and gone. But it's crucial to offer both paper and electronic solutions in order to capture all sales. E-File is quicker, easier and more accurate than paper filing, which is why customers are demanding it. If a business wants to e-file, and you don't offer that service, they will go elsewhere.
P+P: How was this a profitable promotion for your company?
NJ: With ComplyRight E-File, both Apex and the distributor are capturing sales. Many distributors don't realize that electronic filing is more profitable than paper forms. They make more money per electronic filing versus paper. It's a common misconception that e-file will cannibalize paper sales. But in reality, e-file helps distributors replace lost revenue from declining form sales.
P+P: Did you encounter any challenges with this particular promotion?
NJ: This is a new business model for both Apex and our dealers. But with close collaboration, we were able to build a program that is profitable for both the distributor and Apex. The key to this program is that we are able to give the distributor a turnkey website.
Another challenge was developing a system that allows our dealers to recognize top-line revenue. That means they capture the sale when it happens. No more waiting on reimbursement checks. That is a major differentiator of our program.
P+P: Is there anything you would like to add?
NJ: We've developed a three-minute video about these market trends and our E-File service. You can view it at www.myimpactmovie.com/complyright_apex.
One other point I'd like to make is about a related service: ComplyRight SB. This service allows our distributors to capture large 1099 and W-2 processing orders. Let's say you have a large customer with a considerable amount of W-2s or 1099s to process. Rather than going through an e-file website, they simply provide us with their data file. We then e-file with the IRS and state agencies, as well as print and mail the employee or recipient copies. And your customers can be confident their data is protected because our facility has achieved special SOC certification—which means every step of the process is safe and secure.
The easiest way to get this business is to ask your customers if they outsource their W-2 or 1099 processing. If the answer is "yes," ask if you can quote the job.