DALLAS – Xerox is deploying a holographic tax stamp that will help state government reduce fraud and increase collections on all cigarette sales taxes due to them. The Department of Justice estimates that state governments lose $5 billion a year due to cigarette smuggling.
The Secure Intelligent Tax Tag (SecureITT) is a pressure stamp with a unique, protected holographic imprint created by OpSec Security Inc. (OpSec), a company specializing in anti-counterfeiting technology.
SecureITT is the only tax stamp solution that combines physical stamp characteristics, state-of-the-art electronic security features and seamless digital reporting data with Xerox’s eTRACS (Electronic Tax Reporting and Audit Compliance System) tracking software.
“SecureITT is one of the most easily authenticated stamps, yet one of the most difficult to counterfeit because it also includes visual effects such as movement or color changes within the Optical Variable Device (OVD),” said Reiner Eschbach, Research Fellow and project leader, in the Xerox Innovation Group’s Xerox Research Center Webster, and industry expert on imaging science and technology.
A QR, or quick response, code that accompanies the stamp can be scanned easily by enforcement personnel to access Xerox’s electronic tracking system. Using a laptop, tablet, or smart phone to verify tax payments, this system makes it simple for enforcement personnel to identify whether tobacco taxes have been paid.
“Xerox’s tax stamp solution goes beyond what current stamp solutions can offer by enabling secure data access without the use of proprietary hardware devices,” said Craig Galler, business development director, Xerox. “And while state authorities are the only ones authorized to access certain restricted data on the SecureITT stamp, anyone with a smartphone or laptop will be able to report basic tracking information to authorities no matter where the tobacco products end up – including in the hands of minors.”
eTRACS is designed by Xerox to electronically track detailed tobacco product shipments and transactions at all reporting levels to ensure tax compliance and assure maximum collections. eTRACS is also used by the stamping community to order and receive stamps, allowing states to monitor and track existing inventories at state and stamping locations.
“Many states are still using heat-applied, wax-based cigarette tax stamps which are limited in security and do not readily support digital signatures,” said Greg Kinnear, vice president, Government Protection Group, OpSec. “Thermal application methods were created in the mid-1900s when the tax on a pack of cigarettes was a few pennies. The majority of tax rates today are more than a dollar, which makes these less secure stamps ineffective in controlling the influx of contraband tobacco products. It’s not just states that are affected, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers also suffer from contraband products that bypass legitimate tobacco product supply chains.”
With sales approaching $23 billion, Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. Its technology, expertise and services enable workplaces – from small businesses to large global enterprises – to simplify the way work gets done so they operate more effectively and focus more on what matters most: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox offers business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services, including data processing, healthcare solutions, HR benefits management, finance support, transportation solutions, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The company also provides extensive leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size. The 140,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com, http://news.xerox.com or http://www.realbusiness.com. For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.
About OpSec Security
OpSec Security, Inc. is a wholly-owned division of OpSec Security Group plc (London AIM: OSG). OpSec Security is the global leader in providing anti-counterfeiting technologies as well as solutions and services for physical and online brand protection to over 300 companies and over 50 governments.