Frequently Asked Questions - Small Business Counseling Program

Effective January 2014, NCDOR is no longer accepting new applicants for this program. The Trust Tax Recovery Program is now available.


How can a small business enter the Program?

Contact an NCDOR representative by calling 1-877-252-4549 or visit one of our service center locations across the state.

Who qualifies for the program?

Active businesses with 200 or fewer employees may qualify for the program if all of the following conditions are met: 

  • Must have an outstanding balance of trust taxes due
  • Must have an owner, responsible corporate officer, responsible LLC member or manager, or responsible partnership partner agree to attend small business counseling in North Carolina through the counseling services of the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) or the NC Small Business Center Network (SBCN).
  • Must not have defaulted on this program or the Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program
  • Not be facing criminal charges or be the subject of a criminal investigation by the NCDOR

Contact a Revenue Officer at one of our service center locations to determine if a business qualifies for this program.

What are trust taxes?

Trust taxes are taxes that are paid by a customer to a seller or withheld from an employee and held in trust by the business until they are filed and paid to the Department of Revenue. The following tax types are trust taxes:

  • Motor vehicle lease and rental
  • Sales and use
  • Scrap tire disposal
  • White goods disposal
  • Withholding

A purchaser's use tax liability due on purchases of tangible personal property, certain digital property, or certain taxable services on which sales and use taxes were not paid at the time of purchase, does not constitute a trust tax. Use taxes collected by a seller on a remote sale shipped to a recipient or a recipient's donee in North Carolina constitutes a trust tax.

Why is the Department making this offer to small businesses?

The goal is to help small businesses by offering small business counseling and waiver of penalties and fees assessed by NCDOR upon successfully completing the terms of this program.

What is the benefit of entering the program?

This program will allow the small business to pay unpaid or non-filed State taxes to the Department in installments based on predetermined installment agreement terms. Upon full payment of tax and applicable interest, and completion of counseling requirements with the university system’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBDTC) and/or the community college system’s Small Business Center Network (SBCN), all penalties and the collection assistance fees assessed on the above referenced tax schedules will be waived.

Additionally, the SBTDC and the SBCN will assist participating small business taxpayers with financial planning and other business needs.

What is small business counseling?

Business counseling is a one-on-one, confidential relationship between the business owner and/or management team and a professional business advisor. The business advisor’s role is to help analyze the current business situation, identify improvement opportunities and provide recommendations for planning and implementing improvements. The business advisor will not do the work for the business owner but will provide advice and tools to help implement improvements. Assistance can range from helping to stabilize and sustain a business to helping with growth strategies.

A key role of the business advisors under this program is to help the business owner understand the current financial situation, compare it to its industry standards and ensure that the business can discharge the payment plan while continuing to operate.

Business advisors from the SBTDC and/or the SBCN provide the counseling under this program. Counseling services are free of charge, and all information remains confidential. No information is exchanged with third parties, including the NC Dept. of Revenue, and any information shared is exempt from public records disclosures.

How do I request counseling?

To request counseling, contact the SBTDC at (919) 600-6169. You must have your NCDOR application available and indicate that you were referred by NCDOR.

What if I am in the program and cannot fulfill the terms of the agreement?

Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement will automatically disqualify a small business from the program. This will result in the immediate reinstatement of all penalties and fees and could result in forced collection actions without further notice.

How can a small business obtain additional information about the Program?