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Taxpayer Preferences

This article applies to:Avalara Excise

 

This document applies to all license types.  Content last updated 7/7/2016. 
Help Center documentation is confidential and proprietary to Avalara clients.

► A WalkMe tutorial is available for this topic.

Each tax return that you file is identified by a unique Taxpayer Type. Taxpayer Preferences is where you can override the default values for each jurisdiction.  The default preferences for the jurisdiction are included in the software in Company 0 (zero). 

The active Taxpayer Preferences record must be in compliance with the most recent version of the tax form.  As returns are revised in software releases, the old taxpayer preference record is given an obsolete date and the new version has a new effective date.  The new record overrides any existing records in the table.  

​In all cases, refer to your jurisdiction’s guidelines in determining the correct preferences.  

Options for Taxpayer Preferences

  1. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Preferences.
  2. Filter by Jurisdiction, Return, or other criteria.
  3. Click the row of the tax return.
    • The Original tab contains Company 0 settings and may not be edited.
  4. The available options are the same for every jurisdiction but the values can be set individually.
  5. Country, Jurisdictions, Taxpayer Type and Return Effective Date cannot be changed.
    • Effective Date
      • Date that the selected options take effect.
      • Returns generated before this date use Company 0 setting.
    • Obsolete Date
      • After this date, the selected options no longer take effect.
      • The default is to leave this date blank (recommended).
    • Reporting method
      • Choose to report Billed, Gross or Net Gallons on your tax return.
    • Contact
      • Drop-down selections from Maintenance > Taxpayer Contacts.
      • If the contact is missing, click the + sign to add it.
    • Preparer
      • Drop-down selections from Maintenance >  Taxpayer Contacts.
      • If the contact is missing, click the + sign to add it.
    • Late Load Data Type
      • Select either the Bill of Lading Date or Invoice Date to use as the criterion to include out-of-period loads.
    • Late Load Cut-off Months
    • Process Original
      • Click Yes to allow the creation of an original sequence.
      • If you click No the system will display the error “Original filings are not available for this taxpayer type for this period” when generating a return.
    • Process Amended
      • Click Yes to allow the creation of an amended sequence.
      • If you click No the system will display the error “The amending process is not available for this taxpayer type for this period” when generating a return.
    • eFile Calculation View
      • Current: Calculations are based on the session's current sequence transactions only.
      • Delta: Sum of all Current values for each sequence (including the current) minus the sum of all current values for each sequence (not including the current).
      • Consolidated: Sum of current values without recalculation of calculated fields.
      • Overall: Sum of all the current values for each sequence with recalculation of calculated fields.
        • For examples of use, see "Calculation View" section below.
    • eFile Amended Schedules
      • All: Includes schedule transactions from all sequences.
      • Current: Includes only current sequence schedule transactions.
    • PDF Calculation View 
      • Current: Calculations are based on the session's current sequence transactions only.
      • Delta: Sum of all Current values for each sequence (including the current) minus the sum of all current values for each sequence (not including the current).
      • Consolidated: Sum of current values without recalculation of calculated fields.
      • Overall: Sum of all the current values for each sequence with recalculation of calculated fields.
        • Return calculation method may also be selected upon running the schedules in an amended sequence.
        • For examples of use, see the  calculation view section below.
    • PDF Amended Schedules
      • Click All to include schedule transactions from all sequences.
      • Click Current to include only the current sequence schedule transactions.
    • PDF Include Schedules
      • Click Yes to include schedules when generating a return.
      • The Include Schedules option can also be checked at the time the return is generated.
    • Enable Copy Inventory
      • This preference applies only if your jurisdiction requires a beginning inventory schedule.  
      • ​Click Yes to copy the previous month's Ending Inventory to a new session on creation.
        • The previous session must be filed.
        • When the previous session sequence has amended sequences, all filed sequences are copied to the new session.
      • Click No to leave the current session Beginning Inventory blank.
    • Taxpayer Group
      • Assigning a Tax Group to a return lets you group and sort from the Tax Sessions grid.
      • Add Taxpayer Group to the Columns view on the grid to see its value.
    • Payment Preference, Threshold Amount, Frequency Type Ind, Company Identifier Ind, and Calculation Ind do not apply when using only Returns Excise.
    • Due Date Ind selects when the date your taxes are due.  It can be set to select a new date if the jurisdiction's normal date falls on a weekend or holiday.
      • Next Business Day sets the due date to the next business day after a weekend or holiday.
      • Previous Business Day sets the due date to the first business day prior to a weekend or holiday.
      • Due Date keeps the date set to a specific value, regardless of business or non-business days.

Edit a Taxpayer Type

  1. Click the Copy tab.
    SnagIt0172.png
  2. Edit the record to reflect your preferences.
  3. Click Insert.
  4. Close the box after Record inserted is displayed.
  5. The copied record will have your Company ID in the Company column (not Company 0).
    • Copied records may be opened and edited at any time.
    • Copied records take precedence over Company 0 records.
    • It is recommended that you retain only one copy of the preferences for your own company.   

Note on changes to tax returns 

As returns are revised in a software release, the old taxpayer preference record is given an obsolete date and the new version has a new effective date. Each Release Highlights document tells which returns are revised. 

  1. If you have made changes to the Taxpayer Preferences for the return that is now obsolete, you need to make similar changes to the Taxpayer Preferences for the new return.  
  2. Mark your existing company (copied) taxpayer type record with your preferences as obsolete.
  3. Copy the new Company 0 record and select your preferences again and save them.

Assign a Taxpayer Group

Taxpayer Type group assignments are used to easily filter and find returns that have common features from the Tax Sessions Grid. These groups are to help to help you  find tax returns that must be postmarked before their due date, to identify what person prepares certain filings, or any other way you want to separate tax returns by criteria other than the existing columns.

  1. The Taxpayer Group option contains two default values in the drop-down: Group1 and Group2.
    • The values are stored in the Common Codes table.
    • Enterprise license only can edit Common Codes.  Pro Users must choose from the default groups.
  2. To edit either group or add a new group, click Maintenance > Common Codes.
    • Filter the Code Type column equal to taxpayer_group_type.
    • Click the row of the Taxpayer Group.
    • Click the Copy tab.
    • Select the Country or leave it set to * to apply to all.
    • Select the Region/State or leave it set to * to apply to all.
    • Edit or change the Common Code to name the group.
    • Add a Custom Code if you wish.
    • Enter a short Description for the group.
    • Click Insert.
      SnagIt0041.png
  3. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Preferences.
  4. Click the grid row of the Tax Return.
  5. Select a Taxpayer Group by description and click Update
    • Remember that  you cannot change Company 0 Taxpayer Preference records, they need to be copied first.
    • Taxpayer Group edits apply only to sessions that have not yet been created.
      SnagIt0012.png
  6. Add Taxpayer Group to the Column in the Tax Session grid to sort for this value.

Calculation View

The following are examples of when you might use each calculation view.  The eFile view and PDF view differ only in where they are applied.  The difference in calculation methods can affect the rounding on the final taxes due after amendments.

  • Current example: An amendment must be filed, and the state requires only the calculation for one amended sequence.
  • Delta example: There are 3 amendments to your original (sequence 0).  The calculation sums all 4 sequences, then subtracts the sum of the first 3 sequences.
    • (Seq 0 + seq 1 + seq 2 + seq 3) - (seq 0 + seq 1 + seq 2)  
  • Consolidated example: An amendment is needed that includes the prior sequence totals, preserving calculations as they were originally filed.
  • Overall example: An amendment is needed that includes the prior sequence totals, recalculating the fields.

Here is an comparison of the Calculation Views for each sequence, with 2 amendments.  In this example:

  • We have a total gallon amount in the Original sequence of 10,000 gallons.
  • In sequence 1 we are reporting an additional 500 gallons that were omitted from the Original.
  • In sequence 2 we are removing 250 gallons that should not have been reported in the Original.

The gallons calculations would look like the table below.
SnagIt0002.png

This is the taxes owed for each type at a simple rate of 8%.  No rounding of fractions of a cent is necessary.

SnagIt0003.png

This is the taxes owed for each type at a complex rate of 7.375452%. Rounding causes the penny difference.  

SnagIt0003.png

Enable Copy Inventory

This preference applies only if your jurisdiction requires a beginning inventory schedule.   Here are some example uses for the Enable Copy Inventory option, using the months of April and May.  The population of May beginning inventory occurs when sequence (seq) 0 is created.

  • April seq 0 is filed.
    • Ending inventory of April is copied to the beginning inventory of May seq 0.
  • May seq 0 is created before April is filed
    • No inventory is copied.
  • April seq 1 is created but not filed.
    • Beginning inventory of April seq 0 is copied to the beginning inventory of May seq 0.
  • April seq 0 and seq 1 are filed
    • April seq 0 + seq 1 ending inventories are copied to the beginning inventory of May seq 0.
  • Both April and May seq 0s are filed, then seq 1 is created and filed for April. No copy is done if May seq 1 is subsequently created.

Mass Update Taxpayer Preferences

You can change some fields on multiple returns, in addition to doing them one at a time. Example: Your tax manager has left their position, and a new Taxpayer Contact is responsible for all returns.  

  1. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Preferences.
  2. You may not make changes to Company 0 and your own Company at the same time.
  3. Filter for the returns you want to change.
    • To change only active records, set the Obsolete Date filter to Is Null.
    • In the Company field, type 0 (zero) and then set the filter criteria to either equal to or not equal to.
      SnagIt0084.png
    • If no copied record (Company not equal to 0) exists already, one is created in this step.
    • If a copied record exists for this tax return already and you have only Company 0 displayed in your grid, it will change that record.
  4. Change the drop-down near the bottom of the grid to Update Taxpayer Preferences.
  5. Click Submit.
    SnagIt0074.png
  6. Check mark the field(s) to change, and type the new value.
    • Select the Contact and Preparer from the drop-down menus.
    • To add or edit choices, click the green + sign, or go to Maintenance > Taxpayer Contacts.
      SnagIt0086.png
  7. Click Update Taxpayer Preferences
    SnagIt0078.png
  8. Click the X to close the window and view your changes.

Company account name Doing Business As (dba) 

You can print a Doing Business As (dba) name and Physical/Mailing Address instead of company name on returns.  

  1. Click Maintenance > Company.
  2. Click the Settings tab and select System Defaults.
    SnagIt0414.png
  3. Click Enable Support for Company Account Name and Details in the grid.  The default setting is N (no).
    SnagIt0415.png
  4. Click the Copy tab and then Insert.  The Company 0 record is now copied to your own company so you can edit it.  
    SnagIt0416.png
  5. Close the Company 0 record and click the row of the copied record.
  6. Set the Value to Y (yes).
  7. Click Insert.  
    SnagIt0419.png
  8. Company accounts for legal name, trade name and address are now activated for selection in Taxpayer Preferences.
  9. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Preferences.
  10. Set the Company Identifier Ind option to indicate from what table the legal name, trade name and addresses will print to your return.
  11. Information uses the fields populated in Company Information. Click Maintenance > Companies and the Information tab to view or edit the fields.
  12. Account uses the fields populated in Company Account. Click Maintenance > Companies and the Accounts tab to view or edit the fields.
    SnagIt0418.png

excisehelpcenter@avalara.com

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