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Avalara Help Center

Get tax code recommendations

This article applies to:AvaTax

Upload a list of your products so Avalara can make tax code recommendations. Finding the right tax code for each of your products and services is one of the most important steps in making sure that AvaTax calculates the most accurate sales tax rate for your customers. If you choose not to use Avalara tax codes, all products and services are taxed at the standard rate for each jurisdiction. Examples of products with varying tax rates include clothing, food, software, medical supplies, software subscriptions, and freight.  



While Avalara tries to make the tax code recommendations as accurate as possible, it's up to you to decide which tax codes to use. 

Before you begin

Prepare a .csv or .tsv product catalog file with all of the items for which you need tax code recommendations. Export this from your business application if you can.

For mapping, the file must include:

  • A description of each item. Avalara uses this as the Item Description.
  • A unique code for each item. Avalara uses this as the Item Code.
  • Optionally, include additional columns with catalog numbers such as SKU, UPC, EAN, or ASIN to help improve the accuracy of Avalara's recommendations.

Additional file size and data requirements: 

  • Your file must be a .csv or .tsv file. 
  • Your file cannot have any empty rows. 
  • Your file cannot contain duplicate values, which means that no two cells in your file can have the exact same information. For example, you cannot have two items with the same item code of 12345. 
  • All of your columns must have titles. 
  • Your file can have up to 5,000 rows. 
  • Your file can be up to 50 MB. 


  1. In Avalara, select Settings > What you sell.
  2. Select Upload your product catalog or Get recommendations.
  3. Upload your product catalog.
  4. Select the drop-down menu for each category to see the list of columns from your product catalog, then select the appropriate column.
    • You must map the Item code and Item description categories, but all other categories are optional.
    • Leave the other categories blank if your product catalog doesn't include a corresponding column.
  5. Select Next.
  6. Review the list of product categories, then select at least one category and any subcategories that describe the items in your product catalog.
  7. Select Next.
    Avalara reviews your product catalog and the selected categories to make recommendations. This might take a few minutes.
  8. On the Review tax code recommendations screen, select Download recommendations to download a spreadsheet with Avalara's tax code recommendations.
    The file includes three tax code recommendations for each item. The closest match is in the code_1 column.

Review the recommendations and choose the tax code that is the best match for each product or service. After you've decided which tax codes to use, you can map your items to tax codes in AvaTax.

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