Skip to main content

Product & Service Guide

2020 Review of Avalara Returns for Small Business


Avalara Returns for Small Business

From the 2020 reviews of sales tax compliance systems.

Designed for small businesses that are looking to simplify the entire returns process, Avalara Returns for Small Business tackles the entire sales tax returns process from form preparation and filing, to sales tax remittance.

Designed for automation, users only need to connect sales data to Avalara Returns, add state tax registration details, and start filing. A cloud-based application, business owners can easily manage all of their sales data from a central dashboard, with Avalara Returns easily connecting to popular online sales platforms including Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart. Avalara Returns does not provide sales tax calculations, but instead works with other applications, including Avalara’s AvaTax, to calculate the appropriate sales tax for all transactions. 

Avalara Returns files sales tax returns for multiple states where business is conducted.

If managing sales taxes for multiple platforms or jurisdictions, users will need to set up the required information for each state, registering with the appropriate state(s) where tax will need to be collected. Local tax jurisdictions are also supported in Avalara Returns, with even Canadian returns supported in the Managed Returns and Managed Returns plans.

Those using Avalara AvaTax will be able to automatically sync all tax calculations into Avalara Returns. The product also handles adjustments for merchandise returns and allows users to adjust sales data before filing. Nontaxable sales are also supported in the application.

Users can view details about each return prior to filing. This includes all related forms, filing frequencies, sales activity, and tax amounts, which are available to be viewed for any state that has been set up in the application. Adjustments can also be added at this time as well, with the option to complete the reconciliation process to ensure that return totals equal tax calculation totals. Once the review is complete, users can choose to have Avalara file the return on their behalf or choose the ‘I’ll File on My Own’ if the return will be submitted manually.

Once the tax jurisdictions have been set up and data synced from various online sellers, users can use the Avalara Returns dashboard to view totals and remit payments automatically. Along with online selling platforms, users can also import data from third-party applications such as QuickBooks or by using a CSV file.

Using Avalara Returns, users can schedule returns, update the filing frequency at any time, and stop filing a return for a particular location at any time.  

Avalara Returns for Small Business is a good option for small businesses that use multiple selling platforms, with integration available for multiple applications such as Amazon, Shopify, 3dcart, WooCommerce, X-Cart, BigCommerce, and Etsy. The product also integrates with various third-party accounting applications including QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, as well as payment applications such as Stripe, and PayPal, though integration is limited to AvaTax users. Though some manual data entry may be necessary, the majority of data can be imported using connectors or imported as a CSV file.  

The Avalara Help Center is available for all Avalara products, with Avalara University offering a variety of training options for product users. Toll-free support is available during regular business hours, with email and chat support options offered as well. Users can also submit a request for support directly from the Avalara website if desired.  

Avalara Returns for Small Business is a new option designed for small businesses that wish to automate the entire sales tax process from form creation to remittance. When used with Avalara AvaTax, all sales tax calculations are automatically shared with Avalara Returns for seamless e-filing and remittance.  Avalara Returns for Small Business runs $249 for an annual subscription, with a $25 per return cost added. Users that are looking for advanced features such as Canadian returns, return adjustments and scheduling may want to look at Managed Returns or Managed Returns Premium, with pricing available directly from Avalara.

2020 Overall Rating: 5 Stars


  • Designed specifically for small businesses
  • Easy to use
  • All-in-one platform

Potential Limitations:

  • Does not offer tax calculation directly, but can with integration
  • Should be used with Avalara AvaTax