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Add a Safe Harbor Override to change the interstate percentage used to calculate the Federal Universal Service Fund surcharge

This article applies to:AvaTax for Communications

AvaTax for Communications allows you to override the safe harbor percentages provided by the FCC for calculation of the Federal Universal Service Fund surcharge. Use this option if you've done a traffic study to find a percentage of interstate traffic that is more accurate for your business.



This is currently a beta feature available only to some customers using the REST API. See this guide for more information.

Before you begin

Safe Harbor Overrides have to be assigned to a profile to be applied to tax calculations, so make sure you have created a profile before setting up your overrides.


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Avalara recommends testing all customizations in your sandbox account before you add them to your production account. After you add customizations to your production account, run test transactions or use the tax determination calculator to make sure you receive the expected results before you complete any bill runs.
  1. In the Communications Customer Portal, select Settings.
    The Settings page opens.
  2. Next to Customizations, select Manage.
    The Customizations page opens.
  3. On the Profiles tab, select the Advanced Customizations tab.
  4. Select the Safe Harbor Overrides option beneath Advanced Customizations.
  5. Select Add Safe Harbor Override.
    The New Safe Harbor Override page opens.
  6. Enter a Safe Harbor Override Name.
  7. Select one of the following for the Safe Harbor Type:
    • VoIP
    • Cellular
    • Paging
  8. Enter the new Interstate Percentage that you found via a traffic study.
    This is the percentage of your traffic that is interstate or international.
  9. Optional: If you need to enter another Safe Harbor Type, select Add Another Safe Harbor Override and then repeat steps 7 and 8.
    You can have one Safe Harbor Override for each Safe Harbor Type.
  10. Assign the Safe Harbor Overrides to one or more profiles.
  11. Select Save Safe Harbor Override.

Calculation of the Federal Universal Service Fund surcharge now uses the interstate percentages that you entered.

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