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Schedule a return

This article applies to:Avalara Returns for Accountants

Schedule returns for your clients by submitting a filing calendar for each return form that you file on behalf of the client. A filing calendar identifies a single return, and includes all of the information you need to file the return. This includes the filing frequency of the return (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually), the form to be submitted, and the filing method.

Before you begin

  1. Consult with the client to determine where they are registered to collect tax.
  2. Collect company and filing information in the event you are setting up the client's company for the first time or updating a current company or filing request. It is recommended that you monitor your client's account monthly to make sure their filing information is current.
  3. Obtain location codes for location-based reporting; this is reflected in the company transactions.
  4. If you're scheduling many returns for a client, consider scheduling multiple returns at once instead of scheduling them individually.
  5. If the client has previously used Avalara’s Returns Services, the calendar(s) will already be available in the expired status. Avalara recommends to clone the calendar to keep a record of the previous filings and verify the information starting from Step 3, as it may change.


  1. In Returns for Accountants, select the Filing calendars tab.
  2. Select the + button to add a new filing calendar.
    The Add filing calendar menu opens.
  3. On the Add filing calendar menu, enter the following information:
    • Select the client's company
    • Form country: Country of filing
    • Form region: The state jurisdiction for the return
    • Form: Form name of the return being filed
    • Frequency: Filing frequency assigned by the state
    • Fiscal year end month: The final month of the fiscal year
      This is updated based on the form you select, but can be adjusted if necessary.
    • Effective date: The first day of the first filing period you want to file on behalf of the client
      For example, to schedule an annual return for 2021, enter an effective date of 1/1/2021.
    • End date: An expiration date to stop filing the return, if necessary
      If there is no end date, the return continues to be filed until the client asks the return to be discontinued.
    • EIN: The number the client uses to do business within the U.S. Call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line if there are questions about the client company's Taxpayer ID Number
    • Filing method:
      • Electronic: Select this if you have the client's login credentials and plan to file electronically, either directly from Returns for Accountants or via the taxing authority web portal 
      • Paper: Paper return mailed to the state
  4. Select Next to review the company address, and update it if necessary.
  5. Select Next, and then add the client's jurisdiction registration information.
    Include the following, if applicable:
    • Local Tax ID/Permit Number: Registration number provided by the local jurisdiction
    • Registration ID:  Registration number provided by the state
    • Location Code: If the return is specific to a single company location, select the location code from a list. Otherwise, leave this field blank.
    • Efile username: The username used to sign in to the state Department of Revenue website
    • Efile password: The password used to sign in to the state Department of Revenue website
  6. Enter additional information, if prompted.
    Some filing calendars require additional information, specific to the jurisdiction or return form. For example:
    • State-related questions: Questions relating to unique state situations
    • Prepayments: Often required when the client's business exceeds a liability threshold; for more information, see Add recurring prepayments and prior payments.
    • Deduction breakout: Clients may request that deductions be itemized on returns.
  7. Select Next.
  8. Review the following information:
    • Tax type: The tax types reported on the return form. Avalara doesn't recommend adjusting the default tax types, because additional tax types can prevent returns from being automatically prepared. The available tax types are:
      • Sales tax: A tax collected on intrastate sales, and some interstate sales. Some businesses are required to collect sales tax on interstate sales.
      • Sellers use: A tax collected on some interstate sales. Some businesses are required to collect sales tax on interstate sales.
      • Consumers use: A self-assessed tax paid by the purchaser
      • Lodging: A hospitality tax, typically associated with hotels and vacation rentals
      • Rental: A tax on the rental or lease of manufacturing, commercial or industrial equipment, consumer goods, and passenger automobile
      • Rent to own: A type of rental tax on rental-purchase agreements
      • Excise: A tax on the sale of certain goods or services, such as fuel and tobacco
    • Fixed prepayment amount: Optionally, enter a fixed amount to include as a prepayment on each return.
    • Recurring filing task note: Optionally, enter a recurring note that you can see each month when preparing the return
    • Filing task note: Optionally, enter a note that you can see when preparing the first return
  9. Select Save to save the return form. 

Repeat these steps for each jurisdiction where you file returns on the client's behalf. Some states require the client to file multiple returns for location-based reporting, with one request submitted for each location and account number.

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