The typical domestic business in the United States sees as much as 6% to 10% of revenues eaten up by sales and use taxes. For global firms that deal with the widely used value-added tax (VAT), that figure is closer to 12% to 15% of revenues, says Pam Kostka, senior vice president at Sabrix, a San Ramon,Calif.-based provider of tax management software products for corporations.

Kostka says Sabrix is now offering an online tool called Taxcast (also available as an on-premises software product), which can keep companies up-to-date on the latest versions of sales and use taxes in more than 13,000 U.S. tax jurisdictions and 170 foreign countries.

"The Sabrix software has performed even better than we expected," says Dennis Culin, director of finance transformation at Lenovo, the Chinese computer firm. "Shortly after we deployed the Sabrix solution in India, they instituted significant tax rate and policy changes. We were able to bill using the new rates two days after the changes were announced. In the past, this would have taken at least 10 days."

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