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This article applies to:Avalara AvaTax for NetSuite

Some products and services are taxed differently in different jurisdictions. Apply Avalara tax codes to products and services you sell to help account for this varying taxability. There are a few different ways you can apply, or map, Avalara tax codes to your products and services:

  • Map items to predefined Avalara tax codes; associate a code with each item you sell so AvaTax knows which tax rate to apply 
  • Map items to universal product codes (UPCs)

Items that aren't mapped to Avalara tax codes are treated as tangible personal property (TPP) and are fully taxed during calculation.

Map an item to a tax code

The process is simple. Map items to Avalara tax codes, and when your business application processes transactions or when you upload the transactions to AvaTax, AvaTax determines the taxability for the items you sell based on the rules behind these Avalara tax codes. For more information about Avalara tax codes, see Select Avalara Tax Codes.

Avalara recommends you map items to Avalara tax codes in your business application. To learn how to configure your business application to map Avalara tax codes in your business application, check your business application configuration documentation. See our handy chart for a little guidance deciding whether you should map items to Avalara tax codes in your business application or directly in AvaTax.

Keep in mind that Avalara updates Avalara tax codes when taxability rules and laws change, but you have to maintain your own custom tax codes and rules; these aren't automatically updated when changes occur. To be sure you're using the most current rules to tax your products and services, use Avalara tax codes. If you map your items to universal product codes (UPCs), you don't need to use Avalara tax codes because UPCs already have taxability rules associated with them.

If you map in your business application and in AvaTax, the mapping in AvaTax overrides any mapping in your business application.


How Do I Map Tax Codes - Final.png

Import a spreadsheet (CSV file) into NetSuite

The fastest way to map many products and services to tax codes is to use the NetSuite Import Assistant to import a comma-separated values (CSV) list of items and their tax codes.

  1. Download the CSV import template from importing tax items, or use a spreadsheet program to create and export a worksheet in CSV format that contains only three columns with headers spelled exactly as shown below:
    • Item: A unique identifier for the product, service, or charge (up to 50 characters long)
    • ItemDescription: A comment for the item tax code that describes the product, service, or charge (up to 255 characters long)
    • TaxCode: An Avalara tax code or a custom tax code that indicates the category of product, service, or charge
  2. In NetSuite, go to Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Records.
  3. In the Welcome to the Import Assistant dialog box, click Get Started!
  4. On the Import Assistant page, under Scan & Upload CSV Files, follow these steps:
    1. Under IMPORT TYPE, select Items.
    2. Select the RECORD TYPE.
    3. Under CHARACTER ENCODING, select Western (Windows 1252).
    4. Under CSV File(s), click ONE FILE TO UPLOAD.
    5. Click Select. In the File Upload window, navigate to and select your CSV file, and then click Open.
    6. Click Next.
  5. On the Import Assistant page, under Import Options, if you want to add new items and codes, click Add. If you want to update existing items with new codes, click Update. Then, click Next.
  6. On the Import Assistant page, under Field Mapping, follow these steps:
    1. Map the Name field from your CSV file to Item Name/Number.
    2. Map the Tax Code field from your CSV file to AvaTax TaxCode.
    3. Click Next.

  7. On the Save Mapping & Start Import page, type the Import Map Name and a Description.
  8. Click Save & Run.

Map multiple items to tax codes

Use the mass updates feature in NetSuite to map similar groups of items instead of your entire list of items. To use this feature, follow these steps:

  1. In NetSuite, go to Lists > Mass Update > Mass Updates.
  2. On the Mass Updates page, click General Updates.
  3. Under Items, select the item type that you want to update.
  4. On the Mass Update page, under FILTER, select AvaTax Taxcode (Custom).

  5. In the Mass Update dialog box, under AVATAX TAXCODE, select your search parameters. In the text box next to it, type a value, and then click Set.
  6. Click Mass Update Fields, and in the Mass Update Fields pane next to AvaTax Taxcode, type a tax code.
  7. Click Preview to view the potential results of the mass update. If you're satisfied, click Perform Update. When the update is complete, verify the results for accuracy.

Map an item to a tax code

Follow these steps to map codes to items one at a time:

  1. In NetSuite, go to Lists > Accounting > Items.
  2. Select the appropriate item from the list and click Edit
  3. On the item page, go to AvaTax tab and add the following details:
    1. User Defined 1 and User Defined 2: Contain data that doesn't impact tax calculations.
    2. AvaTax Tax Code: Contains product taxability information captured by AvaTax. If you leave the field blank, AvaTax for NetSuite doesn't automatically change the taxability of the customer transactions.
  4. Click Save.

Map expenses to tax codes in NetSuite

In NetSuite, Expense Categories are available in Purchase Transactions and need to be mapped separately. To map codes to Expense Categories, follow these steps: 

  1. In NetSuite, go to Setup > Accounting > Expense Categories.
  2. Select the appropriate expense category from the list and click Edit
  3. On the expense category page, go to AvaTax tab and type the AvaTax Tax Code.
  4. Click Save.

Map an item to a UPC

Instead of using Avalara tax codes, send the model number or the UPC from your business application to AvaTax. If the UPC isn't available, the model number is set as the default and sent to AvaTax. To customize taxability for specific products, items need to be mapped to UPCs and model numbers. 

In an item definition, the Item Name / Number is a required field and the default value in the item details. The Item Name / Number is sent to AvaTax if the UPC isn't available. For the Item Code, use tax rules and codes. For a valid UPC, the tax rule and code is sent by the UPC service. If the UPC is invalid, the UPC service sends the default tax code P0000000.

The item code or UPC is added when an item is defined. To define an item, follow these steps:

  1. In NetSuite, go to Lists > Accounting > Items.
  2. On the Items page, select the item and click Edit.
  3. On the Edit Item page, add the UPC for this product.
  4. Click Save.
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