The History of Sales Tax Software

How much have you thought about the history of sales tax software?

It’s probably not what keeps you up at night, but it actually makes a difference to your choice of sales and use tax software for your business — or it should.

Surprisingly, there have been only 15 patents awarded for sales tax software in the history of the United States.

The first patent awarded was in 1976, when the first electronic cash register able to calculate sales tax was developed. Cash registers had been around since 1879, but the early ones were just big adding machines with cash drawers that rang a bell when they were opened. Some observers say that prices like $.99 or $4.49 became customary because they required cashiers to open the drawer to give change — they couldn’t just quietly slip the bill into their pockets. So the cash registers cut down on both honest errors and dishonest actions. The electronic cash register with a sales tax calculation function was probably pretty exciting for retailers.

It took another two decades to come up with a cash register that could calculate tax and show it on a receipt separately, as most do today, and almost another decade before a cash register could calculate sales tax based on location.

In the 21st century, it is all about ecommerce. We focus less on cash registers and more on immediate consolidation and analysis of extensive sets of data; quite a big jump. It wasn’t until July of 2014 that Sales Tax DataLINK was awarded a patent for a completely new technology for filing sales tax. Shouldn’t you be looking at our software?

Don’t be left in the past. Stay up to date with the only patented software in the industry for decades.

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