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Amend and file a return late

This article applies to:Avalara Returns

Amending and filing late returns are both actions that involve filing a return for a previous (now closed) filing period. Amending a return means correcting a return that was filed incorrectly. Filing late means filing a return that was missed and never filed. Avalara is able to provide these services for the United States and Canada.

Amend a return or file a late return

First, you need to determine whether amending or filing late is necessary. If you're uncertain about this, contact a tax professional, or reach out to your Customer Account Manager (CAM) at Avalara to see if our Professional Services team can assist you.

If you determine that amending or filing late is necessary, send a request to Avalara:

  1. Determine what happened
    1. Why do you need to amend or file late?
    2. Is this an ongoing problem or a one-off? Understanding what caused the problem can help us prevent it from happening again. 
  2. Determine the scope of what needs to be amended or filed late
    1. Which returns? Include the state, form, original filing period, and company name.
    2. What jurisdictions and which periods? Include the specific state and local jurisdictions.
    3. Do you have collection and remittance set up for these jurisdictions, and does the effective date include the periods that will be filed? If collection and remittance wasn't set up before the affected period, you need to adjust your transactions in AvaTax Update to reflect the correct tax amount.
    4. At what frequency (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc)?
    5. What time frame (the entire year or just one month)?
    6. Do you have a return scheduled for the jurisdiction you want amended or filed late? If no, you must schedule a return for the jurisdiction. If you want us to amend or file late for a jurisdiction you're no longer filing in, add this information to your request.
    7. Are all transactions for the jurisdiction in AvaTax Update? If not, you'll need to import the missing transactions. We're only able to file with the data that's in our service, so AvaTax Update transactions need to be correct and complete prior to our filing a return for a previous period.
  3. Send the request to Avalara. Once your data is ready, email with a request to amend or file a return late, along with the root cause of the problem and the scope of the work (as outlined in Steps 1 and 2 above).

Timing varies depending on the amount of work being done and the overall workload of our Professional Services team. Once your request is in process, your Customer Account Manager (CAM) can provide updates on the status of your returns. Professional Services sends you a summary of the returns being filed and the total amount Treasury will pull from your account. Typically, funds are pulled within a week of the statement from Professional Services, and, once funding is received and settled, your returns are filed.

To find returns that have been amended or filed late, go to Returns > Filed Returns and Confirmations in AvaTax Update.

Example request

  1. Didn't reconcile Q1 filing so we neglected to add missing transactions
  2. Jan – Mar 2016 (Q1) CA BOE 401 for ABC, Inc.
  3. Amended Filing
  4. Collection and remittance effective 1/1/2015 
  5. Transactions taxed appropriately
  6. Return is scheduled
  7. Transactions ready to file (all adjustments made)

Cost of amending and filing late

The pricing structure for amending and filing late is variable, depending on the amount of work being done. The majority of amending and late filing is handled by our Professional Services team, and they submit a proposal of work after reviewing the scope of your request. 

If you'd like an estimate of the total cost ahead of time, talk to your Customer Account Manager (CAM) for more information. The final cost is still determined by our Professional Services team, though you have the opportunity to engage them directly as part of the amending or late filing process before committing to any payment.

Credit from the state

Sometimes amending returns can result in the state owing you a credit. If this happens, you can either pursue a refund from the state on your own or ask your Customer Account Manager (CAM) to suggest one of Avalara's professional service partners to help you get your credit. States typically offer the option to take the credit against your future returns, apply the credit against other debts with the state, or take a cash refund. The time to process any of these options, or whether the options are available, varies widely state-by-state.

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