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Avalara Help Center

Schedule returns in Managed Returns

This article applies to:

Before we can file tax returns for your company, we need to know three things:

  • Where to file
  • Which forms to submit
  • How often to file

After you give us this information for each region where you file, we do the work of reviewing your returns.

If you're using Returns for Small Business instead of Managed Returns, learn how to schedule returns in Returns for Small Business.

Before you begin

  • Add all the locations where you're registered to pay sales tax, if you haven't already. Make sure that transactions from those locations include the relevant location code.
  • Make sure you schedule returns according to the monthly Managed Returns cycle, on the filing frequency requested by the tax authority.
    • Schedule new returns by the 20th of the month of your first tax period. For example, schedule a return by January 20th for your January return, which is filed in February. This gives us time to validate your information.
    • Submit any changes to returns by the last day of the month prior to the one in which the changes will occur. For example, if your filing frequency changes in April, you need to submit an updated return by March 31st for us to make the change.
  • Filing timelines may differ for customers participating in Avalara's SST program. See SST Filing Timelines.

It might take a little while for information on where you collect tax to reach Managed Returns after you add new locations and regions in Avalara.

Steps

  1. In Avalara, if you're using Managed Returns, go to Returns > Manage and Approve Returns.
  2. Find the state or region where you want to set up a return and select Manage Returns.

    Tip icon

    Don't see a region listed? Go to Settings > Manage Where You Collect and Remit Tax to add it.

    If you already have a region added and still don't see it listed, go to Returns > All Scheduled Returns and select Add a Tax Return Form to set up a return.                 

  3. Find the form or forms you need to file and select Schedule This Return for each one.
    If you don't know which ones to choose:
    • Review your past returns and any documents you've received from regional tax authorities.
    • Visit Returns Central, which breaks down forms and filing requirements for every state. 
  4. Fill out each form you've selected for that state.
    Fields vary by form; we need only the information pertinent to each jurisdiction.
    • Keep in mind that some states require you to file multiple returns, which means completing multiple forms.
      For example, certain location-based filing states require you to submit a different form for each business location you have in the state. 
    • Certain states may require you to pay some tax before filing returns.
      This usually happens when your business exceeds a liability threshold. With a few exceptions, prepayment forms are available in Managed Returns. Learn more about recurring prepayments and prior payments
  5. Select Save Filing Settings after you finish the form.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for each jurisdiction where you want us to file returns on your behalf. 

    Tip icon

    To see the latest information for a region where you've scheduled returns, select Refresh rebuild_icon.png.

The Avalara Compliance team reviews your returns for accuracy and completeness. If we need more information to process the return, we'll contact you. During our review the return is pending, which means you can still edit it. Returns may be listed as pending until the beginning of the first month in which it's being filed.

Once your returns are active, reconcile and file your returns each month they're due. Depending on when you go live and your return filing requirements, you might decide to file the first time on your own. 

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