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Map the items you sell to Avalara tax codes

This article applies to:Avalara AvaTax Update

Map the items you sell to Avalara tax codes so that AvaTax Update calculates the most accurate sales tax rate for your customers. If you don't assign 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.  

Before you begin

Determine where you want to map items to Avalara tax codes.

  • The most common place to map an item to a tax code is the place where you maintain your master inventory list, which is typically in your business application. Find your business application or system for specific instructions.
  • We recommend mapping items to tax codes in either your business application or system or AvaTax Update, but not both. Mapping items in AvaTax Update overrides mapping items in your application. 
  • If your transactions come from multiple systems, it's usually easier to map all of them in AvaTax Update to simplify item mapping maintenance. 


To map items to Avalara tax codes in AvaTax Update

  1. In AvaTax Update, go to Settings > What You Sell.
  2. Click Add an Item.
  3. Enter an item code and description.
    The item code must match the name of the product, service, or charge as it is recorded in your business application.
  4. Select the Avalara tax code that best fits your item.  
    A list of codes displays when you start typing.
  5. If you can't find the code you're looking for, scroll down to the end of the list and click Browse the Directory. Or, create a custom tax code
  6. Click Save when you're done.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 if you have more than one item to map. 
    Tip icon

    If you need to map many items to Avalara tax codes, see import and map items to tax codes in AvaTax Update

AvaTax Update adjusts the tax rate and displays the items on the What You Sell page. Go to Settings > What you Sell to see your items.  

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