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Prepare returns

This article applies to:Avalara Returns for Accountants

Returns with no validation errors are auto-built, and their status is changed to Ready for Filing. All the remaining returns that do not auto-build must be prepared manually. Their status is set to Ready for Prep.

Initial setup before prepping

Review each new filing calendar request.

  • Download all filing calendar requests
  • Approve the requests
  • Verify login credentials by logging into the client's DOR sites



If two-factor authentication is active for the site, contact the client to arrange to pass the authentication code to you. Inform the client you are directing the authentication code to a firm email address so that the client doesn't have to be contacted each time you want to log into their DOR account.  

Once the credentials are verified, while still on the DOR site, verify the tax form and filing frequency are correct. Check to see if the client is registered to report individual locations.

Identify returns to prep

In Returns for Accountants, Returns > Filing Tasks > Filter pane, enter criteria in the following fields:

  • Companies
  • Tax Period
  • Country
  • Company Groups (if set up)

Once the table has been filtered:

  • Rows in pink identify a variance: difference between the liability was approved on the liability summary and the calculation in the return; validation errors occur when fields in the return that tie are off (for example, it could be a rate difference); both variances and validation errors can cause a return to require prepping
  • You are looking for returns with Ready for Prep status
  • Returns with notes attached but no pink colored row are automatically set to Ready for Prep. If there is also a validation error on the return, the row is pink as well; notes always stop the return from auto-building



If you are convinced the validation errors have been satisfied (for example, the error is incorrect or you are making the changes by filing the return on the DOR site), you can override by selecting clipboard_edefeb6be31b99ed75233d7d245538d84.png in the row and select Mark as Valid to remove the pink color. This signifies you are accepting the validation errors.

In the Filing Tasks table, do the following:

  • In the Status column, filter for returns in Ready for Prep status; you can clear the Select All checkbox or clear individual checkboxes. Note any returns in Pending Approval status; once they are approved, these returns may require prepping
  • In the Frequency column, look for any returns with a frequency of quarterly, annual, or semi-annual (if they are not expected). If any of these returns show up, look at the filing calendar for the return to see why it would appear in the table. Occasionally, returns appear because of states with odd month schedules (for example, HI). Check the DOR sites for those returns to make sure they don't belong on the tasks list for the month

See also 

Link to a related topic
Link to a related topic

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