Taxes and Tech: A Parallel Tale of Evolution

A Journey from PCs and Software to Tax Technology

 

Way back in 1979 I became enamored with what would eventually become the personal computer industry. My first machine was a TRS 80 and I was instantly hooked. Living in a small town in Louisiana, the idea of being able to communicate around the world with a MODEM was fascinating and liberating – and so began a hobby that would soon evolve into not only a passion but a lifelong career.

 

 

In 1984 I worked the entire summer in the sweltering South Louisiana heat putting roofs on houses and commercial buildings to earn enough money to purchase the absolute most cutting-edge technology of the day – an Apple IIc. I paid the equivalent of approximately $3,100 in today’s dollars (a veritable king’s ransom for a poor kid from the Bayou). I was thrilled with the idea of having 128 kilobytes (yes, kilobytes) of data.

 

Over the years I stuck with teaching myself the ins and outs of software development during my stints at Louisiana State University and in the US Army. In 1988 I started my first software company with a buddy I met in the Army and the rest, as they say, is history. One of the first things I realized as a kid with no distinguishing accomplishments or education, was that I had some knowledge that older, more accomplished people simply lacked – how to make a computer do things. And this turned out to be a very powerful game-changer over the course of my professional life.

 

The Rise of Tax Credits and Incentives

 

I leveraged my computer knowledge into a career and found myself lecturing very senior people at some of the largest companies in the world about PCs, networks, email, the internet, and all things software. Since that time, I have started a number of successful technology companies, been a financier on Wall Street, and wrote a book on the impact of information technology on the balance of power between political and economic forces.

 

It is this shifting balance of power between human and societal development that drew me to The OIX when the board approached me to help them continue to grow their tax credit management company. The book I wrote in 2009, The Fourth Shock (admittedly not the best book you’ll ever read, but the best one I ever wrote), discusses this power shift and how governments will need to learn to match the flexibility of companies as these entities continue to use information technology to spread information and operations around the globe. A natural and inevitable consequence is the rapid growth of economic incentives offered by all levels of government to encourage good corporate citizenship and stimulate desired economic activity.

 

And this got me thinking about the role of tax professionals in corporations and the parallels to my early days in software. But it wasn’t until our new head of marketing casually remarked one day in a meeting that “tax people are the new tech people” that the idea really crystallized for me. This is because it is fundamentally true. In 1979, I had a fascination with a rather obscure field that attracted math ‘nerds’ and out-of-the-mainstream hobbyists. Twenty years later, the most successful people on earth would come from that bunch of nerds.

 

Tax Pros = Tech Pros

 

The same dynamic appears to be playing out in the world of tax. I don’t know too many people who think “tax professional” and envision a titan of capital markets. It’s generally safe to say that most tax professionals, like the 1970s nerds of yore, are considered necessary but non-strategic drivers of corporate development. Tactical value creators, if you will. But as information technology became the core and essential driver of competitive fitness in the 1980s and 1990s, the nerds became the cool folks and eventually, many of them became the ultra-successful. That trend continues today as Facebook, Google, Instagram, Netflix, Amazon, and others continue to create immense generational wealth by leveraging the evolving technology landscape.

 

So What Does the Future Look Like?

 

I believe the movie is playing itself out again, as those who understand tax credits and incentives and how they can drive long-term competitive advantage are moving from the nice-to-have world of reactive tax planning to mission-critical team members in overall corporate competitiveness. Today, at the most dynamic and successful companies, tax personnel are critical in making capital allocation decisions across all aspects of corporations – M&A, hiring plans, facilities development, and expansion, R&D, infrastructure, etc.

 

… and what’s the bottom line?

 

There has never been a more interesting and valuable time to be in tax credit management (particularly with the introduction of FASB Topic 832). At The OIX, we take pride in empowering these professionals to continue to expand their roles in their respective companies, creating margin and profit expansion that I believe will play a huge part in the companies that will dominate their industries (and frankly create new ones) in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen of the tax world, the nerds of the 1980s and 1990s salute you. Together, tax and tech will transform the world yet again and Tax Credit Software will shape a new future.

 

The OIX Integrates With CCH IntelliConnect

The OIX Integrates 3,500+ Statutory Tax Credit Programs Into Its Credit and Incentive Software

 

The integration with CCH’s IntelliConnect And Business Incentives Navigator Product Suite delivers updated information on thousands of statutory programs in a timely manner.

 

Commerce Clearing House (CCH) is a provider of best-in-class software solutions for tax, accounting and audit workers. The OIX and CCH recently announced the integration of CCH’s IntelliConnect and Business Incentives Navigator Product Suite into The OIX Credits and Incentives (C&I) discovery platform.

This new combination will provide The OIX customers with detailed information on available economic development programs at the federal, state and local level. In addition, as the database is maintained by CCH in real-time, customers will receive legislative updates (on both existing and new programs enacted) to help them identify and take full advantage of available C&I programs.

The new product enhancement offers OIX customers the ability to identify available incentives through precise and granular filtering based on contemplated investments.

The result is a strategic planning and roadmap tool for optimizing the decision making the process and maximizing the profitability of C&I assets, improving your firm’s tax credit management. Danny Bigel, founder of The OIX stated:

 

“The importance of properly managing a C&I portfolio cannot be overstated. Maintaining compliance, regulations, filing requirements and rules and regulation amendments are all essential factors in ensuring the optimal financial impact is achieved and for avoiding problems such as slippage, recapture claw back, or in the worst case forfeiture. Integrating CCH’s “IntelliConnect and Business Incentives Navigator Product Suite” into our tax credit software provides OIX customers with enhanced research capabilities. This is only the latest example of our relentless drive to constantly improve our platform and remain the innovation and value creation leader. ”  

 

Mr. Bigel added:

 

“In the coming months, our incentive program database will continue to grow as we add expanded international Credits and Incentives (C&I) program coverage as well as advanced modules that will compute, compare, calculate and analyze available incentives. Our sole mission at The OIX is to deliver technology that allows our customers to use the full potential of every applicable C&I program to escalate profitability and create game-changing margin expansion, all while advancing good corporate citizenship and helping improve local communities.”

 

Stay tuned for more!

Welcome to The OIX Tax Credit and Incentive Blog

What is The OIX?

 

So, how is it pronounced? We say it like it is spelled – The OIX (oʊ-aɪ-ɛks). Here at The OIX, you will find a group of tech-go-getters, policy-enthusiasts, economic-development-pioneers, adventure-seekers, as well as the cloud-based technology home of the world-class OIX Tax Credits & Incentives Platform!

We know what you are thinking. Tax Credits? Tax Incentives? These subjects are normally associated with other words like snooze, dry, boring, confusing, etc. And yes, historically the subject of credits & incentives (C&I) could be described as any of those words. However, as this the tax credit and incentive asset class take on an ever-greater role in helping companies profit and succeed in today’s hyper-competitive world, we intend to demonstrate to you that far from being boring, these hidden gems are interesting, compelling in nature and fascinating at their core – and most importantly, financially and operationally material to overall corporate success regardless of size or location.

 

The OIX Community Blog

 

This blog is intended as a two-way conversation with you, our readers, on subjects related to and surrounding C&I. Throughout these conversations we will share educational knowledge (from nuggets to five-course meals) for you to snack on throughout your week, give you some informational bits on the latest news and issues affecting C&I, and lastly and certainly most importantly enlighten you with a variety of perspectives and insights regarding this asset class so you can be in a position to leverage the tax code and help your organization compete and win on the margins by using a Tax Credit Company like ours.

Don’t be alarmed if our conversations start with subjects like opportunity zones, football stadiums, M&A activity, renewable energy. Trust us when we say C&I’s are a game changer for every business that fosters job creation and community investment, across all geographies, and we are here to talk about it with you in gory detail. Even more importantly we would like to learn from you.

 

Our goal: Educate. Inform. Enlighten. So you can: Compete. Profit. Excel.

 

Moving forward we will share with you our perspective on the state-of-the-art technologies, strategies and best practices emerging in the C&I arena. But just as importantly, we will discuss where the industry may be heading. This will include discussions on the future of technology innovation in the C&I world and explore such things as big data, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics, and the role of blockchain in the coming years. We will bring you interviews and insights from thought leaders across every aspect of the industry to share their ideas with our readers.

By bringing to light these real-life case studies, our goal is to share best practices across the industry. When combined with the deep analysis of government policies and objectives, we will hopefully create insights that will impact our readers’ competitiveness in the marketplace.

But our intentions don’t stop at education and best practices – we aim to assist our clients in their professional goals, as we believe many of tomorrow’s corporate leaders will spring from the ranks of C&I experts and thought leaders who are our customers. As they say, knowledge is power, and our clients have command of a niche knowledge set which, when combined with cutting edge technologies, will give them unprecedented influence and status in their organizations.

As one professional in the apparel retail industry remarked recently: “Six years ago we didn’t have a single tax credit or incentive. Today, we won’t open a store or hire a person without first considering what incentives are available to us. We compete on the margin and these assets can make a huge difference.” This is a common refrain we hear day in and day out and our clients are poised to ride this emerging trend to corporate success and professional growth.

 

From Past to Present

 

The OIX was founded in 2012 as a marketplace platform to enable businesses to transact in C&I assets on a principal-to-principal dynamic (i.e. the buying and selling of tax credits) in order to create more value for everyone in the C&I ecosystem. In particular, The OIX sought to and achieved, vast reductions in the friction between buyers and sellers.

 

The end result: Both buyer and seller got a better deal.

 

Although our marketplace was and is the single most successful and robust trading platform of its kind, our long-term goal had always been to use that technology as a sort of bridge to building an enterprise SaaS solution to help companies manage tax credits over the life cycle of these complex financial instruments. The trading platform was our initial effort to generate revenue while we learned how to address the complex dynamics of managing every kind of C&I from around the world.

We’re happy to say that after years of hard-core R&D and working with clients in real time, in late 2017 we achieved that goal and in early 2018 we pivoted out of trading as a primary business (we still partner with the best brokers in the world who use our system to assist our clients to optimize their tradable C&I assets) and into the de facto standard for enterprise SaaS management of C&I assets.

Our long-term vision was always that as this asset class grew in materiality and complexity, companies of all sizes would need to get control of their business tax credit portfolios and enhance their value to the organization. Today, our technology spans the entire ecosystem of C&I asset management in a unified, secure, collaborative, cloud-based enterprise solution that tackles these three challenges in one eloquent solution:

1)    The  OIX Advisory Solutions – we partner with the best of breed advisory firms of all sizes to deliver an integrated and seamless solution to determine what tax credits and incentives are best for your situation around the globe.

2)     The OIX Credits and Incentives Platform – once you have secured C&I assets for your particular situation, you need to intensively manage those assets through their lifecycle. No other solution comes close to the breadth and depth and ease of use of The OIX platform.

3)     The OIX Brokerage Solutions – and when your C&I assets are maturing, you have the option of instantly connecting with our brokerage partners to optimize the value of tradeable tax credits that you cannot use internally.

 

Head on over to the products page for more information on our Tax Credit Software

 

In conclusion, The OIX is focused on the end-to-end enterprise management of C&I portfolios. Keep a look out for our upcoming blog posts as we dive deeper into The OIX and how we are pioneering the future of tax credits & incentives…

 

Welcome to the party of Tax Credits and Incentives!

 

If you just can’t wait for our next blog to go live, we totally understand! Just move on over to our homepage to find out more about The OIX’s tax credit and incentive management solutions, or visit our Press Page for current and archived media coverage and thought leadership initiatives.

Please feel free to ask us any questions, we would really love to hear from you, you can reach us at info@TheOIX.com