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Using reference lists in advanced rules

This article applies to:AvaTax

To manage complicated tax scenarios, you may need your advanced rules to have more data than is available to them from the transactions submitted to Avalara. Use reference lists to create rules based on your own custom data sets.

You can use any column of a reference list as a value in an advanced rule by typing the name of the file, a period, and then the name of the column. Column titles can't have spaces for this to work.

Before you begin

Create your reference lists and upload them to Avalara.

Example 1: Reference Tax Codes

You want tax on your transactions to be calculated using tax codes based on a custom reference code instead of whatever tax code was attached to the transaction.

  1. Create a .csv file with two columns of information; the reference code that you want the advanced rules to use, and the tax code that you want associated with that particular reference code.
  2. Set up a find and replace rule to replace tax codes on transactions with the ones associated with those reference codes.
    1. For the When condition, on the line level set the reference code field to equal the column that you defined in the reference list .csv. For example, if the reference list is called MatGroup.csv and the column is MaterialGroup, you would say when Ref1 (or whatever reference field you're using) equals MatGroup.MaterialGroup. f_and_r_1.png
    2. For the Then condition, on the line level set TaxCode to equal the tax code column in your reference list. For example, MatGroup.TaxCode.f_and_r_2.png
  3. Save your new rule and run a test transaction to make sure it's working.

Example 2: Change Tax Code Based on Delivery Method

You have a product that has different tax codes depending on which version is being sold (for example, you sell both physical and digital copies of a book or similar product).

  1. Create a .csv file with three columns of information; the tax codes you want to change based on delivery method, the delivery method for each tax code, and the tax code you want to change it to.
  2. Set up a find and replace rule to check for the tax code and delivery method and change the tax code where you want it to be different.
    1. For the When section, set a line level condition checking if the tax code equals any of the codes in the column of your reference list, and a second condition checking for the delivery method (which your business software has to pass on in one of the reference variables provided on transactions--Ref1, Ref2, etc).
    2. For the Then section, set the transaction's tax code to match whatever is in the output tax code column of your reference list.


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