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Amend a Tax Filing

This article applies to:Avalara Excise

 

This document applies to all license types.  Content last updated 11/30/2015.
Help Center documentation is confidential and proprietary to Avalara clients.

There are several reasons you may need to go back and make changes, or amendments, to a filed return. Typically an amendment is filed at the request of the tax jurisdiction to correct information that did not pass validation in their system's processing. An example might be mistakes in filing, like using an invalid business entity FEIN, or adding a record to the wrong schedule.  

If you discover on your own that you mistakenly submitted incorrect data (like gallon amounts), you may want to file an amendment. Each jurisdiction has their own distinct rules for amendments. Once you have confirmed with them what information you need to submit, Returns Excise Pro can generate the file for you.

Due to their use of sequence reference numbers, ExSTARS and the state of Texas have a separate document for amending a return.  

Create an amendment

The sequence number of your original filing is always 0, and each amendment increases the sequence number by 1. An amended return cannot be created until the previous tax session has been marked as filed

Changes requested by a tax jurisdiction

When your tax jurisdiction asks you to submit an amendment to correct a mistake, you need to create a corrected file. Typically there will be a communication from the jurisdiction detailing what records are incorrect in an email or an acknowledgment text file.  Here is how to file a correction:

  1. Click Tax Filing > Tax Sessions.
  2. Click on the row of the filed session to be amended.
  3. Click Create Amendment.
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  4. Verify the tax session information.
    • The Sequence Number indicates the sequence to be amended, not the new one you are creating.
  5. Choose the type of file to create.
    • The choices may vary between jurisdictions.
    • The session choice may be grayed out, and not allow you to choose a different type per jurisdiction specifications.
  6. Click the Create Amendment button.
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  7. You will see the message "Record Inserted".
  8. Go back to the Tax Filing > Tax Sessions menu to see the new sequence.
  9. The new sequence will be one number higher than the one you are amending.
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  10. Correct your records using import, manual entry or Query Wizard.
    • Importing to a sequence marked as Filed will automatically create a new sequence in that same session.
  11. Set the taxpayer preferences to reflect whether you want the original records in the return or not.
  12. If the jurisdiction asks you to negate records that were incorrectly entered, add those to your import file with a minus value exactly as they were originally entered.
    • For example, if you need to negate and correct a record for 2000 gallons, it will contain two of the same record. The first one will be exactly as it was in the original with a -2000 gallon total. The second will be the record with field corrections and the positive gallons total.
  13. Generate the tax return.
  14. If your jurisdiction accepts eFiles, continue with the steps below:
  15. Click eFiling > eFile Creation.
  16. Click Add New Record.
  17. In the fields, select the Jurisdiction, eFile Version and Taxpayer Session from their respective drop-down menus.

    Note:
    Remember that only an open sequence will appear in the dropdown, so the selections will be limited to your last open sequence in the filing period.

  18. In the eFiling Option field, select Amendment-Corrected from the drop-down menu.
    • The choices may vary between jurisdictions.
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  19. Generate the eFile  as you would for the original filing.
  20. Save and submit to the jurisdiction as normal.
    • Check to see if your jurisdiction has a naming requirement for amended filings.
    • You can rename your file during the creation step, or after it is saved.

Filing rejected

A file that has been rejected usually means that no part of it was processed, and you must submit a new original filing. A file may be rejected for reasons other than bad records, like incomplete taxpayer information. Check with the taxing jurisdiction if you are unsure why the eFile was rejected. If this is the case, follow these steps:

  1. Click Tax Filing > Tax Sessions.
  2. Click on the row of the filed session to be amended.
  3. Click Unfile Tax Return.
  4. Make the appropriate changes and upload the new import file if needed. Make sure you delete the existing transactions.
  5. Generate a new tax return.
  6. Create and save a new original eFile (if applicable).
    • There may be naming standards you need to apply to amended eFiles.
  7. Submit the eFile according to the jurisdiction's instructions.
  8. When you are finished, file the tax session again.

Additions to an accepted filing

Adding previously omitted records to an accepted file is called a supplement. First, check if your jurisdiction allows late loads filing before you supplement an accepted file, and if so, include it in your current filing. Some jurisdictions do not allow any records from previously filing periods, and others – for example, the IRS – allow late loads up to 12 months. If your jurisdiction does not eFile, refer to their tax guidelines to find out how to file supplemental records.  

Follow these steps to creating a supplement eFile:

  1. Click eFiling > eFile Creation.
  2. Follow the instructions for changes requested by a tax jurisdiction, steps 1-10.
  3. In the eFiling Option field, select Amendment-Supplemental from the drop-down menu.
    • If your jurisdiction requires you to also include the original records in your Taxpayer Preferences, in the Process Original field, click Yes.
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  4. Generate the eFile as you would for the original filing.
  5. Click Save and submit to the jurisdiction as normal.
    • Check to see if your jurisdiction has a naming requirement for amended filings.

Set Taxpayer Preferences

Your taxpayer preferences include settings for amendments. To change the default settings, follow these steps:

  1. Click Maintenance > Taxpayer Preferences.
  2. Filter your return in the grid.
  3. Click your Company's Row (not Company 0).
  4. In the the Process Amended field, select Yes from the drop-down menu (this is the system default value).
  5. Determine your jurisdiction requirements to include the original file on the return with the amended records, or just the amended. For the following fields, select from the drop-down menu one of these options below:
    • If you submit an eFile,in the eFile Amended Schedules field, select:
      • All: Includes schedule transactions from all sequences; or
      • Current: Includes only current sequence schedule transactions
    • If you are preparing an amendment in which your total is off due to rounding of fractions, you will need to change the default settings of the eFile Calculation View field. Your advanced preferences dictate where the calculations are performed in the  PDF Calculation View'(your tax return) and/or the eFile Calculation View if you are producing an eFile to submit.  Generally the overall effect is a few cents difference, especially when there are multiple corrections filed.
      • Current: Calculations are based on the session's current sequence transactions only (default);
      • 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; or
      • Overall: Sum of all the current values for each sequence with recalculation of calculated fields
    • In the PDF Amended Schedules select:
      • All: Includes schedule transactions from all sequences; or
      • Current: includes only the current sequence schedule transactions
    • In the PDF Include Schedules, select:
      • Yes: Includes schedules when generating a return. The Include Schedules option can also be checked at the time the return is generated; or
      • No: Excludes schedules when generating a return
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  6. If you submit an eFile, in the eFile.
    • eFile Amended Schedules
      • All: Includes schedule transactions from all sequences.
      • Current: Includes only current sequence schedule transactions.
  7. Your taxpayer preferences for this return will be saved until you change them.
  8. See the Taxpayer Preferences  document if you need to set the calculation views.

Amendment examples

Here are some example scenarios that walk you through the amending process. These are generic examples, so for your amendment you need begin by asking your jurisdiction contact what kind of file to submit, what to include in the file and when it is due. In many jurisdictions, a new tax period cannot be filed until the corrections are made to the previous filing.

In all example cases, follow your jurisdiction's guidelines for amending returns before you submit any additional files.

  • You have discovered that last month's submitted file contained a record that reported 100 gallons instead of 1000 gallons on a load.
    • Create a supplemental file for the additional 900 gallons.
  • The jurisdiction accepted your file, but with an error because you have used an invalid carrier FEIN on a load of 873 gallons.
    • Create a correction file, using the correct FEIN.  
    • If the jurisdiction requires you to negate the errors, add a -873 (minus 873) gallon record using the bad FEIN in addition to the 873 gallon record with the good FEIN to your import file.
  • The jurisdiction sent you a file rejected notice and instructed you to submit a new file.
    • If the rejection is due to master data, such as missing taxpayer contacts, you still need to generate a new return after you have made changes, even though it does not affect your schedule transaction records.

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