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Filing frequencies

This article applies to:

Avalara Managed Returns has several filing frequency choices available when scheduling your returns. The filing frequency you're required to use is determined by the Department of Revenue (DOR). See Returns Central for state-specific filing requirements.

Note: Companies filing monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually for Hawaii, Michigan, and/or Rhode Island, also have to to file a yearly return for annual reconciliation. If you aren't sure if you need to file a reconciliation return or not, contact the state's department of revenue.

Frequency Comments
Monthly Once per month.
Bi-monthly Every two months.
Quarterly Every three months.
Semi-annual Twice a year; half-yearly.
Annual Once a year.

If you need to file an annual return on a fiscal year instead of calendar year, contact Avalara Support after creating the return. Provide your account number, company code, the name of this form, and the fiscal filing period that you want to use (for example, July 2020 to June 2021), so that Avalara Support knows what changes to make for you.

Inverse-quarterly Related to monthly filing; when selecting this frequency, you are putting your form on a monthly frequency. The first two months of a quarterly period are filed as inverse-quarterly, while the quarterly form is filed in the third month.

Generally this filing frequency is used in CA, IA, NJ, and NY. In these states, you file a quarterly return, but in the off quarter months, you make prepayments. 

For example, January and February are set as inverse-quarterly returns; there is no detail to the return and the only figure is the total liability. The quarterly return in March then takes these inverse-quarterly payments and reduces the quarterly liability by the prepayment amount.

Occasional Some jurisdictions assign an Occasional filing frequency if the client does not have enough sales to require filing; the client only submits a return when the business has tax to remit.

Filing on an Occasional frequency means a return is only filed when there are sales to report.

  • If you have sales that took place in a given month, whether that resulted in tax collected or not, a return is filed.

  • If you would only like Occasional returns filed when there is a tax amount, please contact Support so our Compliance team can document your request.

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