Filing Frequency and Due Dates

The following filing requirements apply to sales and use tax, utility and liquor sales and use tax, scrap tire disposal tax, white goods disposal tax, dry-cleaning solvent tax, motor vehicle lease and rental tax, and certain machinery and equipment tax:

Monthly Filing

Taxpayers whose total tax liability is consistently less than $20,000.00 per month and at least $100.00 per month must file monthly on or before the 20th day of each month for all taxes due for the preceding calendar month. The taxes due must be remitted with the monthly return.

Quarterly Filing

When a taxpayer's total monthly tax liability is consistently less than $100.00, the taxpayer shall file a quarterly return with the approval of the Secretary. The returns with remittance of tax are due on or before the last day of January, April, July, and October for the preceding three-month period.

Monthly Filing with Prepayment
(For businesses filing sales and use tax, utility and liquor sales and use tax, or certain machinery and equipment tax only)

A taxpayer who is consistently liable for at least $20,000.00 a month in State and local sales and use taxes must make a monthly prepayment of the next month's liability when filing the monthly return due on or before the 20th day of each month.  A taxpayer required to make a prepayment must submit all payments online.

The prepayment must equal at least 65% of any of the following:

  1. the amount of tax due for the current month,
  2. the amount of tax due for the same month in the preceding year, or
  3. the average monthly amount of tax due in the preceding calendar year.

Penalties or interest will not be due on an underpayment of a prepayment if one of these three calculation methods is used.

Taxpayers that file Form E-500, Sales and Use Tax Return and have a monthly with prepayment filing status are required to file their return online.  Refer to the Important Notice: Monthly with Prepayment Filers Required to File Electronically for additional information including available payment methods.

Taxpayers that file Form E-500E, Utility and Liquor Sales and Use Tax Return, and Form E-500J, Machinery and Equipment Tax Return, and have a monthly with prepayment filing status should file paper returns.  These taxpayers must submit the required prepayments by electronic funds transfer using either the ACH Debit method or ACH credit method or through the e-Business Center.  

The following filing requirements apply to use tax:

  • A business must report use tax on the applicable form.  Generally, a business will report and remit use tax on Form E-500, Sales and Use Tax Return, or through the Department's online filing and payment system.
  • An individual required to file Form D-400, North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return, must report the use tax liability on non-business purchases of taxable items, other than a boat, an aircraft, and food subject to the reduced rate of tax, on the individual's income tax return.
  • An individual not required to file Form D-400, North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return, must report the use tax liability on taxable purchases other than a boat or an aircraft, on Form E-554, Consumer Use Tax Return.
  • Any individual who purchases food subject to the reduced rate of tax must report the 2% tax on Form E-554, Consumer Use Tax Return.
  • An individual who purchases a boat or an aircraft must report the tax on Form E-555, Boat and Aircraft Use Tax Return.

The following filing requirements apply to the solid waste disposal tax:

Quarterly Filing

The returns with remittance of tax are due on or before the last day of January, April, July, and October for the proceeding three-month period.