10 Fintechs that Make Taxes Less Taxing

Taxes, especially in the U.S., can be anxiety-inducing not only for consumers but also for small businesses. And even though this year’s tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, the filing and payment requirements remain unchanged.

“The daunting task of gathering documents for a year that has passed is one that is difficult for small business owners, especially when they already feel overwhelmed at tax time,” said Lil Roberts, CEO and founder of Xendoo. “Coupling that pain point with small businesses feeling that federal tax is a “black box” and understanding how to maximize tax savings is also extremely frustrating.”

Fortunately, where there is a financial problem there is a fintech solution. There are many fintechs available to help both individuals and businesses not only understand their taxes but also to facilitate tax payment. Below, we’ve highlighted the top 10 tax-focused fintechs.

ANNA

ANNA offers a business bank account and mobile tax app that help merchants with their invoicing, expense tracking, and taxes. The company’s app reminds businesses about tax deadlines and helps them prepare by estimating how much they owe as they earn revenue. ANNA also has a team of accountants to help prepare and submit tax returns.

Avalara

Avalara offers tax compliance tools for a range of businesses. The Seattle-based company, which counts customers such as Pinterest, Adidas, and Bed Bath & Beyond, offers products to help companies calculate sales tax, gather data to prepare and file tax returns, as well as collect, store, and manage tax documents on behalf of the business. Avalara offers products tailored to specific businesses, including ecommerce, lodging, communications, and restaurants.

Credit Karma

In 2016, financial health company Credit Karma launched a free tax filing service. Interestingly, the company was recently purchased by TurboTax parent Intuit for $7 billion. In comparison with Credit Karma’s free service, TurboTax charges users anywhere from $60 to $120 for a federal return and $45 for a state return.

DAVO

DAVO launched in 2011 to be the ADP for merchants’ sales tax. In other words, DAVO automates the entire sales tax process on a business’ behalf. The company connects to the merchant’s point-of-sale technology to collect sales data and sets aside taxes on a daily basis. When sales tax is due, DAVO files and pays on the small business’ behalf.

Gusto

HR and payroll company Gusto has a robust set of services to make small business owners’ lives easier. The company automatically files payroll taxes and distributes I-9s, 1099s, and W-2s to employees. Gusto also helps businesses stay compliant by staying up-to-date on changing tax laws and doing all tax-related calculations on the business’ behalf.

Refundo

Refundo offers a suite of solutions to help tax preparers bring their operations into the digital age. Among the company’s products are mobile document transfers, audit assistance, tax preparation fee collection service, payment acceptance tools, and refund advance technology. At the end of the day, the company’s solutions not only make the tax preparer’s life easier, they make the lives of their taxpaying clients easier, as well.

RoamHR

With a mission to make self-employment easier, RoamHR automatically removes tax withholdings from users’ accounts once they get paid and places the funds into a RoamHR Tax Withholding Account. The company also offers tools that help users track deductible expenses, such as mileage, and helps them file their business taxes each quarter.

Taxnology

Taxnology has built a digital tax compliance center, a web-based solution to help businesses manage their taxes digitally. The company stores business’ historical tax data in the cloud so that it can be used for future cash flow planning and budget purposes or retrieved in the event of an audit. Taxnology is currently only available in Hungary.

Xendoo

Xendoo offers bookkeeping and CPA services that connect with businesses’ financial accounts to deliver monthly reports, business insights, and tax filing. Because Xendoo has a comprehensive view of the merchant’s financials, the company is able to provide tax consulting services, as well.

Xero

Cloud accounting software company Xero has been helping small businesses with their bookkeeping since it was founded in 2006. The company also offers solutions to help tax preparers who have Xero clients automate and customize tax-related tasks. For businesses who prepare taxes on their own, Xero offers tools to file taxes online, as well as prepare sales tax returns using software that leverages a company’s sales data to automatically calculate the taxes.


Roberts added one final thought for those businesses working toward that July 15 deadline. “For a smooth process, best practice is to have monthly bookkeeping done so tax benefits are being collected all year, and having books in order to make tax time more peaceful.” And during a pandemic, anything that can make a process more peaceful is worth doing.

Mastercard Leverages AR to Offer Virtual Tour of Card Rewards

Starting in Q2 of this year, Mastercard customers will be able to get a new, “augmented” understanding of the benefits and rewards available to them as cardholders. The augmented reality app, announced by Mastercard late last week, will offer cardholders a virtual tour of three different portals representing Mastercard’s three reward categories: Experiences, Everyday Value, and Peace of Mind.

Each category inside Mastercard’s augmented reality environment has its own appearance: a home setting for Everyday Value, for example, and a spa for Peace of Mind. Within each portal is a virtual room with various benefits denoted with representative symbols and avatars (i.e, tapping on a golf club image generates a pop-up option to explore Mastercard’s Priceless Golf benefits).

Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar put the app in the broader context of the company’s ongoing efforts to provide more engaging, interactive experiences. “At Mastercard, we’re using our technology and solutions to deliver multi-sensory experiences for consumers every day – whether they’re shopping, taking transit, or exploring the card benefits they care about,” Rajamannar said.

AR as a marketing solution for fintechs is a use case familiar to Finovate audiences. Alums ranging from ebankIT (and its parent company, ITSector) to Fiserv has demonstrated how they have leveraged AR to deliver compelling marketing content to customers.

Augmented reality in fintech will featured in a keynote address at FinovateEurope in Berlin next month. When Will AR & VR Become Meaningful Tools in Customer Engagement? will be held on Tuesday, February 11 on the Future Tech Industry Stage.

On Finovate.com

2020: A Breakout Year for Fintech in Emerging Markets? – From major investments in fintechs in Latin America and Africa to the challenger banking “space race” in Singapore, 2020 could turn out to be a breakout year for fintech in many growing economies around the world.

8 Banks You’ll Compete with If You Offer More Than 2% on Savings – Banks are facing an increased number of competitors these days. Not only are traditional banks vying for customer deposits, but fintechs and challenger banks want part of their funds, as well.

China Says 你好 to American Express – The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s Central Bank, announced it has accepted an application from American Express (AmEx) that expressed the company’s intention to operate in China.

Future Banking: Creating an Incumbent Challenger – Finovate talks with Ronit Ghose, global head of banks research and co-head of the fintech theme group at Citi about the future of challenger banks and why some shouldn’t be calling themselves a “fintech” at all.

Treasury Management Innovator HighRadius Earns Unicorn Status – HighRadius, a company that offers AI-powered order-to-cash and treasury management solutions, announced today that it has raised $125 million in Series B funding. The investment boosts the Houston, Texas-based firm’s valuation to $1 billion, earning it the status as one of the first new fintech unicorns of 2020.

Sprint and Wirecard to Deliver the Internet of Payments – Telecommunications giant Sprint and German financial services provider Wirecard announced they are teaming up to deliver the Internet of Payments.

Influencers as Innovation: Fintechs Turn to the Famous in Bid to Boost Visibility – As Snoop Dogg celebrates his first anniversary as a high-profile Klarna shareholder and RDC announces that it has hired a network of social media influencers to help promote its new digital banking app, it’s clear that firms are all-in when it comes to using celebrity to showcase everything fintech.

banqUP, PSD2, and the Future of Open Banking in Europe – We reached out to banqUP CEO and founder Krzysztof Pulkiewicz to talk about the company’s latest accomplishments in open banking, as well as what the landscape for fintech innovation is like inside and outside the CEE region.

ING’s Katana Becomes a Standalone Fintech – Dutch financial services corporation ING announced today it is spinning off Katana into its own entity called Katana Labs. As a part of its move to independence, Katana has closed $3.9 million in funding, half of which ING contributed “to enable further growth and to pave the way for an independent future for Katana.”

Finovate Podcast Episode 21: Romeo Maione, Launchfire – New Year and a new episode of the Finovate Podcast! Romeo Maione, Director of Business Solutions, Lemonade by Launchfire, joins host Greg Palmer to discuss marketing through training, and why the U.S. could be falling behind on digital adoption.

Bankjoy and Zogo Finance Team Up to Onboard and Educate Gen Z CustomersBankjoy and Zogo Finance are betting that helping credit unions and community banks educate their members rather than “sell” to them is the key to better engagement for CUs and better financial health for consumers.

The Digital Identity Infrastructure and What it Has to do with Fintech – The last decade brought about a lot of discussion around digital identity. Dozens of security companies created new solutions to help banks authenticate their user’s identity and verify their personal information.

Proptech Advances in Latin America As Loft Raises $175 Million in New Investment – The $175 million in Series C funding raised by Latin American digital real estate platform Loft this week offers an insight into how proptech is providing new investment opportunities within the emerging markets of countries like Brazil and Mexico.

Nebula Merges with Open Lending, Forming a New Publicly Traded Company – Lending solutions provider Open Lending has agreed to merge with Nebula Acquisition Corporation, an acquisition company sponsored by True Wind Capital.

Alumni News

  • DAVO Technologies partners with restaurant management platform Toast.
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  • Forbes highlights Meniga’s comeback.
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  • Signicat appoints Johan Tjarnberg as new Chairman and Asger Hattel as new CEO.
  • Standard Chartered rolls out public portal for cross-border payments tracking.
  • JKOPAY taps InComm to make its QR code and barcode payments processor technology accepted at retailers across Japan.
  • Flywire announces expansion plans.
  • PayActiv appoints David Reidy as Chief Legal Officer.
  • Personal Capital ranked number 3 on list of Top 100 Registered Investment Advisors of 2019 by assets.
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  • Larky Lands Three: Mobile Engagement Platform Adds New CU Partners.

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  • Larky launches with Encompass Credit Union (Canada), BayCoast Bank (MA), and Oklahoma Central Credit Union (OK)
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  • Fenergo creates new team to further develop and foster its partner ecosystem.
  • First Round Review analyzes Gusto’s brand.
  • Coast to Coast Motors dealership strikes deal with PayNearMe.
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  • FICO to provide KYC and onboarding solutions for Belarus-based lender, Belgazprombank.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

DAVO Announces Strategic Funding Round

Automated sales tax tools company DAVO Technologies landed a fresh round of funding this week. The amount was undisclosed, but adds to the company’s previously-raised $5 million in venture and seed rounds.

The strategic investment, which DAVO anticipates will fuel expansion, was led by Anania & Associates Investment Company (AAI). As part of this expansion, DAVO has added to its Board of Directors and boosted its operations team. Since this growth mandated the need for a larger location, the company relocated to a 5,500 square foot office space as its Maine-based headquarters.

In addition to the funding, DAVO will also benefit from AAI’s human resources and financial back office services. “The investment comes with much needed infrastructure support provided by Anania & Associates,” said Owen Brown, CEO of DAVO. “The depth of experience they bring adds enormous value. In addition the investment allows us to build upon our commitment to excellence and to expand our platform’s feature and functionality set.”

Founded in 2011, DAVO demoed its flagship product at FinovateFall 2015. During the demo, the company’s CEO Owen Brown showed how DAVO Sales Tax automatically and passively collects, files, and pays sales tax on a merchant’s behalf. Since then, DAVO launched Sweep & Save, a cash management tool that automatically sets funds aside daily and returns them for businesses to meet monthly needs such as bills and equipment leases. Additionally, the company’s new Savings Club automatically sets funds aside and returns them in December to help businesses meet end-of-the-year needs such as holiday expenses and bonuses.

Over the past year, DAVO has experienced an average of 20% month-over-month customer acquisition growth via Clover, Square, Revel, Poynt and QuickBooks Online. The company plans to launch a new website, along with new product releases, in the fourth quarter of this year.

Finovate Alumni News

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Around the web

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

DAVO’s New Sales Apps Bring Savings Technology to Small Businesses

Small business tools company DAVO launched two new apps to help small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with their cash management needs. DAVO Sweep & Save and DAVO Savings Club are the two new apps available to SMBs today.

Both apps are automated savings tools that use fractional daily funding technology, which connects to a merchant’s Point of Sale (POS) platform or accounting software to set aside cash to save for a future use. This automated savings technology is a similar concept to the consumer-facing apps Dyme and Digit, which move money from a user’s checking account into a separate savings account. Check out our overview of those platforms from last year.

DAVO Sweep & Save returns the saved amount to the merchant on a monthly basis to go toward expenses such as rent, business loans, or equipment leases, while DAVO Savings Club sets aside the cash on an annual basis. DAVO notes that the annual funds are intended for “an ongoing cookie jar or Christmas Club like savings.” With both Sweep & Save and Savings Club, merchants opt to either set aside a fixed dollar amount or percentage of daily sales to go toward the savings. “For example,” DAVO co-founder David Joseph explained, “using DAVO Savings Club a merchant can put aside $20 a day and at the end of a year have over $7,000 to use as they see fit. They won’t feel the $20/day but they will love having $7000.”

In a press release, Joseph said, “SMBs are passionate about their businesses and are very good at generating revenue but very often they are far less skilled at cash management. DAVO was originally started to solve the challenges of sales tax for SMBs, but has evolved into a powerful cash management tool.”

Founded in 2011, DAVO demoed its flagship product at FinovateFall 2015. During the demo, the company’s CEO Owen Brown showed how DAVO Sales Tax automatically and passively collects, files, and pays sales tax on a merchant’s behalf. Similar to the two savings apps launched today, the Sales Tax app integrates with a merchant’s POS and backend accounting platforms to set aside the sales tax collected each day. Last October, DAVO made the Sales Tax app available in the Square Marketplace. The company has raised $4 million. And with 1,800 clients, DAVO has grown its customer base by more than 12X since 2015.

Finovate Alumni News

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Around the web

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  • SecureKey collaborates with Intel to enable consumers to access its blockchain-based digital identity technology via traditional web browsers.
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  • DAVO’s Sales Tax App, now available in the Square App Marketplace.
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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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Around the web

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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  • Bitpesa partners with Bitbond to financially assist SMEs.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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Around the web

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  • Forrester recognizes FinDEVr newcomer Outsystems as a leader in low-code development platforms. Check back soon for video of Outsystems’ FinDEVr presentation from last week.
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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.