Skip to main content
Avalara Help Center

Add or Import Items

This article applies to:Avalara AvaTax Update

An item represents an individual or group of products, services, or charges. Add items one at a time or import many at once to map them to tax codes in AvaTax Update.

You only need to add items that require special tax treatment and aren't mapped in your accounting software. AvaTax Update treats items that you don't map to tax codes as tangible personal property (TPP), applying Avalara tax code P0000000, which is fully taxable everywhere.

Tax codes group similar products, services, or charges together, and they tell AvaTax Update which tax rules to use when processing transactionsHoverTT.png. Tax rules determine taxability by jurisdiction. 

Not sure if you should map items in your accounting software or in AvaTax Update? Use this flowchart to help you decide.

Add an item

  1. To add and map a single item, go to Settings > Manage Items With Special Tax Treatment, then select Add Item.
  2. Identify the item with an Item Code. The item code must match the name of the product, service, or charge as recorded in your accounting software. 
  3. Describe the item in Item Description. To comply with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), Avalara now requires all transactions sent to AvaTax Update to include an item description. Missing item descriptions may be due to the use of an undefined item code or the absence of the item description in your accounting software. To correct this, access the items from your accounting software and add the descriptions. If you're maintaining items in AvaTax Update, you may need to add or revise the item codes and item descriptions there. Blank, freight, shipping, and handling codes are included in this requirement. Review these items as well to make sure you have an item description sent from your accounting software to AvaTax Update for every item sold.
  4. Type the Tax Code for the item. To search for a code, type the kind of item you're adding, for example, book. A list of suggestions and the option to browse for more tax codes appears. These are the Avalara tax codes and any custom tax codes you've set up.
  5. Click Save.

Import items

Add a group of new items to your AvaTax Update account by importing them all at once, using an .xls, .xlsx, or .csv (comma-separated values) file. For best results, use the template from AvaTax Update to create this file. The maximum number of lines allowed in one import file is 100,000.

How to import items

To download the import template, download the list of Avalara tax codes, and import your items, go to Settings > Manage Items With Special Tax Treatment, then select Import Items.

A full list of the Avalara tax codes for the item-to-tax code mapping can be downloaded.  Every item imported must have a tax code assigned to it. If an item's tax code field is left blank during import, AvaTax Update assigns tax code U0000000. An item with a tax code of U0000000 should be properly mapped to an Avalara tax code or a custom tax code or else AvaTax Update treats it as fully taxable Tangible Personal Property (TPP). 

If you want to update items that are already in AvaTax Update, upload a file with the new item description or tax code. If you leave one of these fields blank, the old item description or tax code is retained.

If the Status column for the file displays Error, fix your item import errors.

How to format the item import template

You must use the column heading labels exactly as shown below in the import file. The individual data fields must conform to the type and size restrictions listed in the table. All columns in the item import file are required, as noted by the Use column. 

Column Column Heading Type (Size) Use Description
A Item Text (50) Required A unique identifier for the product, service, or charge.
B ItemDescription Text (255) Required A comment associated with an item that describes the product, service, or charge.
C TaxCode Text (25) Required

An Avalara tax code or custom tax code indicating the category of product, service, or charge.

Every item imported must have a tax codeHoverTT.png assigned to it. If an item's tax code field is left blank during import, AvaTax Update assigns tax code U0000000. Items with a tax code of U0000000 should be properly mapped to an Avalara tax code or a custom tax code or else AvaTax will treat it as fully taxable Tangible Personal Property (TPP).

  • Was this article helpful?