IGEN Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary in Excise Tax

Over the past decade, IGEN has grown from a vision on a napkin to a thriving compliance technology company, and we owe it all to the unwavering support of our dedicated team, valued clients, and partners.

Join us as we reflect on the journey that brought us here and look forward to the next decade.

Reflections on The Journey

The Foundations & Thinking Differently

Back in 1997, at a Green Bay chicken wings restaurant across from Lambeau Field, a couple of dreamers and innovators drafted the original form generation software for fuel.

Over lunch, these visionaries drew out their plan on a paper napkin to develop a real-time system that could calculate and report fuel excise taxes. This would become the first tax reporting technology.

Over the next few years, the small team of founders would have their technology company bought and sold many times as it evolved.

Eventually, those same founders, seeing the complexities and data challenges tax teams were facing, made a strategic pivot.

“The industry had no option other than manual, time-consuming, and complex data manipulation,” said Ryan Padget, President of IGEN. “Driven by a mission to find a better way for clients, IGEN was founded.”

The founders branched out and built a comprehensive data transformation technology embedded directly in their tax reporting application.

By April 2013, the IGEN you know today was born and our first client came on board that same year.

U.S. Venture Acquires IGEN

U.S. Oil, now U.S. Energy, was expanding from 14 states to 40 and seeking a platform to help them scale. IGEN was the only solution to meet their deadlines and offer a solution for motor fuel excise tax data preparation and form generation.

U.S. Energy became an IGEN client, and U.S. Venture was so impressed with the results that it acquired IGEN in 2016.

“Joining U.S. Venture was one of the largest milestones for IGEN,” reflected Steve Smith, Founder of IGEN. “They granted us the financial strength and stability to focus on innovating our technology and delivering excellent service to our clients.”

Expanding into Tobacco

“We looked at our compliance platform and realized if we tweaked this and changed that, we could partner with tobacco companies to solve their excise tax challenges too,” said Smith. “So, we branched into the tobacco industry in 2018.”

Expanding into Vapor

In December 2020, with only a 90-day notice, shippers of nicotine and cannabis vaping products would now be required to comply with the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.

IGEN rose to the challenge and delivered nationwide vapor tax determination, PACT, and excise tax reporting, complete with e-commerce integrations. Come March 2021, the deadline, IGEN had a comprehensive compliance solution, and vapor clients already filing.

Acquired Motor Fuel License Center

In February 2023, IGEN acquired Motor Fuel License Center, an online platform that helps oil and gas companies source licensing data to automate fuel tax compliance.

"As part of IGEN, we created more opportunities for automating tax compliance, integrated services to unify data and decisions across all reporting platforms and ERP systems, and built the best solution with delivered content to manage certificates and centralize exemptions," said Matthew Schmeisser, founder and developer of Motor Fuel License Center. "We are committed to finding a better way for our clients and ready to help push the industry ahead."

ComplyIQ Compliance Platform Launched

In 2023, IGEN launched our comprehensive compliance platform, ComplyIQ.

“While IGEN is recognized as a leader in excise tax compliance, we wanted to leverage our deep expertise of regulatory compliance to expand our platform beyond tax to give our clients complete visibility into their compliance process,” said Padget. “This allows our rapidly expanding client base to fully maximize the value of our platform.”

With the tax and compliance landscape becoming more complex, regulatory demands becoming more of a heavy lift with industry experts retiring, and enterprises struggling to keep pace, we recognized a need for one source of truth in compliance.


Technology Innovation

IGEN’s solutions have evolved throughout the decade.

“As we keep getting clients with new challenges, we keep tweaking and innovating to help the whole,” said Smith.

Now clients can take advantage of the complete compliance toolkit for reducing redundancy and risk, all while ensuring they have better visibility of tax implications across the organization.

The Team

"There are some really intelligent people here, and some of them have been with us since the beginning," said Padget. "Their dedication to each other and the clients drives the business today. It’s a fusion of our industry experts who intimately understand our clients and the deep knowledge of technology that forms the foundation of IGEN "

The acquisition of such talent is credited to strong relationships across the excise tax industry.

"We have a servant's heart," said Smith. "We serve our people, and by doing that, we’ve created great friendships in the industry that attract talent and clients alike."

A decade later, the dreamers and innovators still pulse through the company. Empowering the IGEN team to think boldly, make mistakes, and attempt new feats is a recipe for confidence, raising the bar, and achieving things that were never thought possible.

“IGEN encourages employees to think big,” said Padget. “IGEN has a long-term vision that gives people butterflies in their stomachs; it's something everyone can get behind that is challenging and exciting.”

Partnerships That Paved the Way

First and foremost, our clients are some of our strongest partners and advocates.

We are a strategic partner to clients, not a service provider,” said Smith. “We want our clients to succeed and get the job done efficiently so we both win.”

In 2022, IGEN launched its inaugural Client Advisory Board.

“The CAB allows us to have discussions with a small group of clients on a deeper level,” said Padget.

IGEN places great importance on robust relationships within the technology sector. A prime example is our partnership with SOVOS, a leading technology provider specializing in sales tax compliance.

Along with strong ties across industry organizations, accounting firms, and legal firms, IGEN strives to foster community across the industry.

“As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we recognize that the strength of IGEN lies not only in a decade of innovation but equally in the enduring power of strong partnerships,” said Smith.

Looking Toward the Future

Looking forward to the next decade, Padget shares, “We are just getting started. We’ll continue to double down on client experience, offering an integrated platform that is best-in-class for tax compliance while leveraging technology to reduce risk and drive efficiency.”

“Leveraging our core capabilities and cutting-edge technologies, we aim to address challenges across the compliance process, optimizing and streamlining the entire operation,” said Padget.

Thank you for the last 10 years; we look forward to the next 10!

This analysis is intended for informational purposes only and is not tax advice.  For tax advice, consult your tax adviser. See the full disclaimer here.