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Avalara Help Center

eFile Basics

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.

► A WalkMe tutorial is available for this topic.

An eFile created in the software is an electronic file for submission to a tax jurisdiction.

.  There are 5 types of eFiles created in Returns Excise:

  • CSV -  Comma Separated Value
  • EDI - Electronic Data Interchange
  • EXCEL - Microsoft Excel compatible file
  • TEXT - Plain text document
  • XML - Extensible Markup Language

Create a new eFile

eFile Creation produces the format mandated by each jurisdiction's tax return.  

  1. Click eFiling > eFile Creation.
  2. Click Add New Record on the eFiles tab.
  3. Confirm or select the Country, Jurisdiction and the ending date of the Taxpayer Session.
  4. The eFile Version will be automatically selected to the correct one based on the Country, Jurisdiction and Taxpayer Session.
  5. A new filing is always set to E-Filing Option: Original.
  6. On the Tax Sessions tab, check mark the Taxpayer Types box to include all types, or check them individually.  The Form Status must say Passed.
  7. If changes were made to your schedule data, and a new return not generated, you see a Warning.  Changes made without generating a new return will not reflect on the eFile.
  8. Click the Settings tab to verify the Contacts are the Test/Production Indicator are correct.  ​The Control Seed Number is auto-generated by the software.  
    • Contacts appear in the dropdown when they are added under Maintenance > Taxpayer Contacts.
    • Do not manually change the Control Seed Number unless specifically instructed by your tax jurisdiction or Support. 
    • There may be other required fields on this tab, like Sender Code or Security Information.  These are obtained from your tax jurisdiction.
  9. Click Generate.
  10. When the file has successfully completed, you will see Passed in the Status column.


Recreating an existing eFile

A tax session that is marked as filed will not appear as a choice to create an eFile. See File and Unfile a Tax Return for details.

  1. There are instances when you might make changes to your tax return after the eFile has been created.
  2. The existing file will be overwritten.  The software keeps only the latest eFile generated.
  3. You may get a warning Tax Return should be regenerated due to recent data change.  You can still recreate the eFile, but it is recommended you generate a new return first.
  4. You will see a warning that Taxpayer Type is already associated with an existing eFile.  Selecting this Taxpayer Type will destroy the prior file.
  5. If you want to keep the existing file, you can download it to your computer before generating a new one.  If the eFile that is incorrect and not yet submitted to the tax jurisdiction, it is typically OK to overwrite it.  
    • You can also mark the file as submitted, as outlined below, to keep it from being overwritten.  Usually only the file that is actually sent to the tax jurisdiction is saved in the submitted files, and not incomplete files.
  6. Click Generate to create a new file.

Save and view the eFile

  1. To save the eFile, click the row and then choose click Download from the Tax Sessions tab.
  2. Click the Viewer tab to see the file.  The example below is in EDI format.  Excel and encrypted XML files will not display in the viewer.  You must download them to view.
  3. If your jurisdiction accepts direct transmission of the eFile from Avalara Excise Returns, you will see a Transmit button on the Tax Sessions tab.  Click here for eFile transmission setup instructions.
  4. Transmitting he file moves it automatically from  eFiling > eFile Creation menu to eFiling > eFile Submissions.
  5. To view the submitted file, click eFiling > eFile Submissions and click on the grid row.


Submit an eFile

When your eFile has been accepted byt the jurisdiction, it is highly recommended that you mark as submitted.  This prevents it from being overwritten by subsequent eFile creations.

  1. Click eFiling > eFile Creation.
  2. Click the grid row for the file you wan to mark as submitted.
  3. Click Mark as Submitted.
    • The jurisdictions you can transmit will not see the mark as submitted button.
  4. The file moves automatically from the eFiling > eFile Creation menu to the eFiling > eFile Submissions menu.
  5. To view the file, click eFiling > eFile Submissions and click on the grid row.



How to find what format is required 

  1. All of the formats created by the software are in the Express View.
  2. Click Reporting > Express View from the main menu.
  3. Select eFile Version Taxpayer Returns and Types for the Data Source.
  4. Select Company if you are licensed for more than one.
  5. Click Execute.
  6. Use the grid options to hide columns, group, sort or filter the results.
  • The Taxpayer Return Frequency Type abbreviations are:

A -  Annual

F - First half of month

L - Second half of month

Q - Quarterly

M - Monthly

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