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, you can have us file your returns for you.
Before you begin
- If you're using AvaTax to calculate tax on your transactions before sending them to Returns for Small Business, add all the states where you're registered to pay sales tax to AvaTax. Any transactions in AvaTax are automatically sent to Returns for Small Business.
- If you aren't using AvaTax, import your transactions to Returns for Small Business.
- Make sure you set up your returns in time to file them. Any returns that you want Avalara to file need to be set up and submitted by the end of the reporting period (so for example a return for June, or Q2, would have to be submitted by June 30).
It might take a little while for information on where you collect tax to reach Returns for Small Business after you add new locations and regions in AvaTax. Similarly, if you don't use AvaTax, it may take a little while for Returns for Small Business to analyze your transactions to figure out where you collect tax.
- In Avalara, go to Returns > File returns.
- Select a state or region where you want to set up a return.
Don't see a region listed?
If you're using AvaTax, go to Settings > Where you collect tax.
If you aren't using AvaTax, import transactions so Returns for Small Business knows where you've been collecting tax.
If you still don't see the region listed, go to Returns > View and add returns and select Add a tax return to set up a return.
- Chose a return form.
Find the form you need to file and select Set up this return. For information on the possible forms to choose from, see State return forms for small businesses.
If you don't know which form to choose:
- Review your past returns and any documents you've received from regional tax authorities.
- If you don't have any past returns or documents, contact the department of revenue or other tax authority in regions where you're collecting and paying tax.
- Add information in the form you've selected.
Depending on the form selected, you are prompted to enter different information, such as:
- State or region account number
- Jurisdiction's permit number
- Business registration information
- Mailing address
If your mailing address is different from your default company address, then click Add new location to enter the mailing address.
Note that certain states may require you to pay some tax before filing returns. This usually happens when your business exceeds a liability threshold. Prepayment forms aren't available in Returns for Small Business, so if you want Avalara to file prepayments for you automatically, talk to your Account Manager about upgrading to Managed Returns.
- Select a filing frequency of the return.
For information on the possible filing frequencies, see Filing frequencies. If you are not sure about the filing frequency to be selected, refer to Departments of Revenue and taxing authorities by state.
- Confirm your filing method
- Enter your credentials that you use to login to your state's Department of Revenue (DOR) website, and click Test your login for Avalara to verify your credentials with the website.
- Update two-factor authentication email.
This step is applicable only for the states that support two-factor authentication.
- Select Save after you finish the form.
- Repeat steps 2-6 for each jurisdiction where you want us to file returns on your behalf.
Once your returns are set up, 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.