Amending and filing late returns are both actions that involve filing a return for a previous (now closed) filing period. Amending a return means correcting a return that was filed incorrectly. Filing late means filing a return that was missed and never filed. Avalara is able to provide these services for the United States and Canada.
On this page we'll cover how to amend or file a return late, next steps after amending or filing late, as well as frequently asked questions related to these topics.
How do I amend a return or file a late return?
First, you need to determine whether you need to amend or file late. If you're uncertain about this, contact your tax professional, or reach out to your Customer Account Manager (CAM) at Avalara to see if our Professional Services team can assist you.
If you determine that amending or filing late is necessary, follow these steps below for either procedure:
- Determine what happened
- Why do you need to amend or file late?
- Is this an ongoing problem or a one-off? Understanding the cause behind a problem helps you understand the issue, and also helps us help you prevent the problem from reoccurring.
- Determine the scope of what needs to be amended or filed late
- Which returns? Include the state, form, original filing period, and company name.
- What jurisdictions and which periods? Include the specific state.
- Do you have nexus set for these jurisdictions and does the nexus effective date include the periods that will be filed? If nexus wasn't turned on before the affected period, you need to adjust your transactions to reflect the correct tax amount.
- At what frequency (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc)?
- What time frame (the entire year or just one month)?
- Do you have an active filing calendar for the jurisdiction you want amended or filed late? If no, you must enter a filing calendar for the jurisdiction. If you want us to amend or file late for a jurisdiction you're no longer filing in, add this information to your request.
- Are all transactions for the jurisdiction in AvaTax? If not, you'll need to import the missing transactions. We're only able to file with the data that's in our service, so Admin Console transactions need to be correct and complete prior to our filing a return for a previous period.
- Send the request to Avalara. Once your data is ready, email email@example.com with a request to amend or file a return late, along with the root cause of the problem and the scope of the work (as outlined in Steps 1 and 2 above).
Example request for an amended or file late returns
- Didn't reconcile Q1 filing so we neglected to add missing transactions
- Jan – Mar 2016 (Q1) CA BOE 401 for ABC, Inc.
- Amended Filing
- Nexus effective 1/1/2015
- Transactions taxed appropriately
- Filing calendar is active
- Transactions ready to file (all adjustments made)
How much does it cost?
The pricing structure for amending and filing late is variable, depending on the amount of work being done. The majority of amending and late filing is handled by our Professional Services team, and they submit a proposal of work after reviewing the scope of your request.
If you'd like an estimate of the total cost ahead of time, talk to your Customer Account Manager (CAM) for more information. The final cost is still determined by our Professional Services team, though you have the opportunity to engage them directly as part of the amending or late filing process before committing to any payment.
How long does it take?
Timing varies depending on the amount of work being done and the overall workload of our Professional Services team. Once your request is in process, your Customer Account Manager (CAM) can provide updates on the status of your returns. Professional Services sends you a summary of the returns being filed and the total amount Treasury will pull from your account. Typically, funds are pulled within a week of the statement from Professional Services, and, once funding is received and settled, your returns are filed.
How do I find my returns that are amended or filed late returns in the Admin Console?
To locate and view your returns that have been amended or filed late in the Admin Console, see locate your archived returns in the Filing Archive.
What if I am owed a credit from the state?
Sometimes amending returns can result in you being owed a credit from the state. If this happens, you can either pursue a refund from the state on your own or hire Avalara to do it for you. If you want Avalara to pursue the credits on your behalf, you can inquire with our Professional Services team or with your Customer Account Manager (CAM). States typically offer the option to take the credit against your future returns, apply the credit against other debts with the state, or take a cash refund. The time to process any of these options - or whether the options are available - varies widely state-by-state.