PremaTax Software: The Motivation Behind The Solution
Updated: May 19, 2020
Having spent years processing premium tax returns, I noticed that about 80% of my time was being consumed by a relatively small number of bottlenecks. This became increasingly frustrating because I knew it was possible to automate these processes, but there was no software on the market with the level of sophistication required to do so. I imagined how much faster and more efficient my processing would be if I could reduce or even eliminate these bottlenecks altogether. Over the years, I have contributed to the research necessary for premium tax filings, aggregating the information into spreadsheets for my tax team’s internal use. We also created dozens of spreadsheets to perform additional calculations that were not built into the software we were using at the time (which, by the way, was the best on the market). Unfortunately, these documents became time-consuming and hard to maintain over time.
One day, my colleague and I had a thought:
Why don't we build software that has all of this data and functionality built-in?
This sparked the creation of PremaTax Software, the world’s most comprehensive premium tax software solution. Following, I list the most prominent bottlenecks that I faced as a premium tax filer and how PremaTax Software addresses them.
Bottleneck #1 – Forms and corresponding instructions can be ambiguous; finding the information and data needed to fill out the form properly may involve hours of scouring instructions and researching administrative laws and statutes.
PremaTax features highly comprehensive premium tax calculations.
Our software covers nuanced and less-common calculations that have been previously left to the end-user to figure out.
Where automatic calculation is impractical, PremaTax Software guides users via audits and supplemental information. Not sure what Line 7 on a form is asking for? Need to know what “gross premiums” includes for a jurisdiction? We assist users by providing relevant information from the form instructions, administrative rules, and statutes in the form of audits, tooltips, and additional references which are tailored to specific forms or form fields.
Bottleneck #2 – Some fees and assessments are not provided or not immediately apparent and it can be difficult to know precisely where to enter these values in the set of forms.
PremaTax Software includes a highly extensive fees and assessments schedule.
Our software includes more than 20 types of fees and numerous assessments for premium and retaliatory tax calculations. You can easily customize your retaliatory tax positions in just a few clicks without having to do much research into which fees and assessments should be included or omitted.
Bottleneck #3 – The process for filing amendments, which includes drafting amendment letters, tracking deadlines, and researching special instructions by jurisdiction, can be both tedious and stressful; the stakes are often high and mistakes can be costly.
PremaTax Software provides users with a streamlined amendment process. With a few clicks you can save a copy of your original form, make updates, and create an optional amendment letter to send to the state using our provided letter templates.
Our software also provides users with useful information regarding the amendment. Want to know if you missed the deadline to amend your tax form? Is a refund request form needed? PremaTax Software has the answers.
Bottleneck #4 – Sifting through dozens of features and functions in the software that don’t seem to serve a purpose was frequently overwhelming.
The PremaTax learning curve is mild. The goal is to never reach the point in which we need to provide our customers with a voluminous user manual let alone an expensive course to explain how to use our product. Elegant design is one of our core values, and we strive to make our software intuitive and self-evident.
The features we include are tailored to make a substantial impact to tax processing.
We include specific statutory references throughout our software to assist with tax research and comprehension.
We provide “back-to-source” linking so you always know where a number is flowing from.
Audits warn and guide users when preparing tax forms.
PremaTax helps companies keep an accurate history of filings by allowing users to lock forms to prevent further changes or updates.
Bottleneck #5 – Lag time. The solutions currently on the market leave much to be desired in terms of speed and responsiveness, especially with the advanced software technology available to us today. This can make user experience a pain-point. There have been times in which it was easier to prepare a return using the form provided by the state than using the available software.
PremaTax Software provides instant calculations and short load times. Less time is spent watching loading spinners or waiting for a form to update.
Our software is built on a “real-time” database allowing all users to see updates immediately, similar to Google Docs.
PremaTax Software auto-saves your work so that you don't need to worry about lost data. It all happens behind the scenes so that you can focus on processing.
Fast help and fast updates. Because our solution is completely web-based, no installation of any kind is required. Furthermore, bug fixes and software updates are distributed to all clients immediately. This means you no longer need to download and install updates manually on all of your company’s devices. You will always have the most up-to-date version.
Bottleneck #6 – Having to create and maintain external task lists to organize workload was inefficient and time-consuming to maintain.
PremaTax Software organizes your workload for you. Users will have access to a dashboard containing useful, high-level data. We want to make it easy for the user to grasp overall filing progress.
Features include a calendar showing due dates for all forms, tasks and events, a tax return widget reporting pertinent information regarding tax return (e.g. due date, status, preparer, etc.) and the ability to filter and sort by each attribute, charts showing useful data on various metrics, and more.
Bottleneck #7 – Confirming whether the threshold is met for a given estimate tax filing was troublesome.
No more guessing as to whether you met the criteria for filing; an expansive estimate filing summary is included with PremaTax Software that includes filing thresholds for every applicable jurisdiction.
Users are notified on the form when estimate filings are not required.
Bottleneck #8 – Tracking and monitoring the mailing of forms required our company to build and maintain external task lists.
PremaTax Software offers a feature that tells you exactly where to mail the tax forms and whether the jurisdiction accepts the postmark date. This feature also keeps a running to-do list and marks off the forms you have mailed and has the option of monitoring tracking numbers and postage costs. Everything you need to manage your mailing lives in one place.
By the Fall of 2020, we will be pleased to offer PremaTax Software to the insurance community. We believe that this solution will add great value to your team and to the industry. To stay up-to-date on our progress, please subscribe to our newsletter at www.prematax.com/subscribe!
Cofounder and Vice President at Terabitten Technologies
PremaTax Software is a product of Terabitten Technologies LLC, a technology development firm dedicated to serving underserved markets by providing innovative software solutions.