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Avalara Help Center

Setup Steps Before Filing

This article applies to:Excise

This document applies to all license types.  Content last updated 7/14/2017
Help Center documentation is confidential and proprietary to Avalara clients

Complete these steps before filing for the first time:

  • Sign in/Sign out
  • Navigating the software
  • Company information
  • Taxpayer contacts
  • Taxpayer preferences

If you are being implemented by Professional Services, this may be entered for you.  Use these steps to find out how to make changes to the existing records.

Sign in 

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Follow these steps to sign in:

  1. On the top of the log in screen, type your User Name and Password.  The * indicates a required field.
  2. Click the Sign In button.
    • If the user name or password are incorrect the message "Sign in failed, please reenter user name and password." will appear.
    • Click the Password Assistance link and answer a security question to have the temporary password reset and e-mailed to you.
      • If you want WalkMe guidance on how to use Password Assistance, click the orange box that appears after a failed sign in attempt.
      • A reset must be done when given a temporary password.   Temp passwords expire in 7 days.

Sign out 

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In the upper right corner, click Sign Out.  If you are inactive for more than 20 minutes, you will be automatically signed out and lose any unsaved entries.  For your security, it is recommended that you sign out instead of just closing the browser window.
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Navigating the software 

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The main menu is always visible and can be selected from any page, so you can explore menus without needing to back out of the current page.  Using the forward and back arrow buttons that are built into your browser's toolbar may result in page errors, so use the main menu options to change screens, or click a Return To... page link if one is available on your screen.  

  • Home
  • Tax Filing
  • eFiling
  • Reporting 
  • Maintenance
  • Admin

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In addition, there are sorting filters that you can apply to the grids to narrow down your choices.  Refer to Use Grid Display Options for explanations and tips on using these options.

Company information 

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Your company record contains your location, license and taxpayer types.  It is important to keep the information up-to-date.  This is the information that prints on your tax return.  If you have more than one company licensed, each one needs to be configured individually. 

Accounts tab (taxpayer types)

All returns filed in the United States will be filled out as below.

  1. Click Maintenance > Companies.
  2. On the Accounts tab, click Add New Record.
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  3. On the Accounts tab, in the Jurisdiction field, select a Jurisdiction from the dropdown list. The available jurisdictions are dependent on your contract with Avalara.  If you need to file additional taxpayer types, contact your Avalara sales representative to purchase additional jurisdictions.
    • In the Taxpayer Type field, select the taxpayer type according to which returns you are filing.
      • If your taxpayer type is TOR-Terminal Operatorselect a Terminal Code Name (TCN) from the drop-down list in the Terminal Code field.  If you are filing more than one terminal, create a new record for each different terminal.
    • In the Effective Date field, type the in the day the license was effective, or click the Calendar icon to select the date.
      • If  you discontinue filing for this account, select an Obsolete Date.
    • In the License Number field, type the license that you were given by the tax jurisdiction.  If you don't have your license number, refer to your contact at the jurisdiction.PRO USER0008.png
  4. Fill out the Company Account Name and Address Details.  If your taxpayer type information is the same as your Company's, click the Copy from Company Information button to populate it.

  5. Click Insert to save the record and then click X in the upper right corner to close the box when you are finished.
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Details tab

The content of the Details is system-entered information.

Information tab

All returns for the United States use this entry.  Canadian returns require their own entry (refer to the next section).

  1. On the Information tab, click Add New Record.
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  2. In the Company Information window, complete the following required fields.  The other fields are optional.
    • Type the registered name of your business in the Legal Name field.
    • If you use a trade name, type it in the Trade Name field, otherwise use the same as your company's legal name.
    • In the Contact drop-down menu, select your company contact person from the list of usernames assigned to your company.
    • Choose the Id Type.
    • Enter the corresponding Id Code.
    • Name Control is not required to save the record, but some returns may fail with an error if it is not populated.  
      • It can be any 4 characters you choose, unless a tax jurisdiction has specifically assigned one to you.  
      • Typically it is the first 4 letters of your company name, but if you file for multiple companies each one must have a unique name control.  Only numbers and letters are allowed.
    • In the Physical Address section, complete the following fields:
      • Address 1.  Add Address 2 if it applies.
      • City
      • Country
      • Region/State
      • Postal Code
    • If your Mailing Address is the same as your Physical Address, click the >> button to copy the information.  If it is not the same, type in the appropriate fields.
    • Click Insert to save the record.

Canadian returns

Create a separate record with your company's information for Canadian returns using the above steps, with these changes:

  1. Choose Canada for the country.
  2. Choose Canadian Business Number for the Id Type.
  3. Enter your Canadian Business Number in the Id Code field.


Settings tab

Default system values are displayed on this tab.  

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. Select a settings group from the dropdown list.
  3. Click on a grid row to view the current setting.
  4. You must copy a record to change field values.  The copied record will override the existing Company 0 (zero) record.
    • Click the Copy tab.
    • Make edits to the record.
    • Click Insert to save it.

Comments tab

  1. On the Comments tab, click Add New Record.
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    • Click in the text box and type your notes.  An example might be to note when and why you changed the company information.
    • To save your comment, click the check mark.
    • To edit the record, click the Edit icon.
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    • To delete the record, click the Delete icon.
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Taxpayer contacts 

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Keep your taxpayer contacts up-to-date to make sure the correct information is on your tax return.  Below are the 4 fields required in order to save the record in the software, however your tax jurisdiction may require you to enter additional information.

  1. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Contacts.
  2. Click Add New Record.
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  3. On the Original tab, complete the following fields:
    • In the Name field, type the First and Last Name of the contact person.  
      • If there are multiple contacts, each must have its own record created.
    • In the Contact Type drop-down menu, select the type of contact.
    • In the Effective Date field, type the date or click the calendar icon to select the date.
    • In the Region/State drop-down list, select the appropriate jurisdiction.
      • This is the business address location, not the jurisdiction in which you file.
    • Click Insert
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  4. Repeat the previous steps to add another contact, or click X in the upper right corner to close the window.
  5. To edit the contact, in the grid display, click the on the record in the grid.
  6. A  taxpayer contact entry cannot be deleted.  Instead, edit the contact and in the Obsolete Date field.  Type in a date or click the calendar icon the select the date.
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Taxpayer preferences 

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Each tax return that you file is identified by a unique taxpayer type. The default preferences for the jurisdiction are set in Company 0 (zero).  In all cases, refer to your jurisdiction’s guidelines in determining the correct preferences.

These steps are the minimum setup requirements in order to file a return.  For an in-depth look at the taxpayer preferences option click here.

  1. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Preferences.
  2. To display the default preferences in Company 0, in an active return (one without an obsolete date), click the tax return row.
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  3. Click the Copy tab.  You can change the following fields:
    • The Contact and Preparer drop-down menu choices show  the selections in Taxpayer Contacts.
    • In the Late Load Data Type, select from the drop-down menu if the state lets you file late loads in the current session.
    • The Process Original and Process Amended fields for tax returns defaults to Yes.  Select No if you don't want to let this user create Original and/or Amended sessions.
    • The Late Load Cut-off Months field defaults to the state's preference.  Zero means only the current month's data will be allowed in the session, a value of allows loads from one previous month, and so on.

      Refer to your tax jurisdiction's guidelines for information on late load filing.

    • The Calculation View settings for PDF and eFile are used in filing an amendment.  
    • Refer to your state contact to determine if Payment Preference is required.
    • Click Insert.
  4. You can edit or delete your new record at any time.

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