Who Should Register for Sales and Use Tax?
Every business, person, or facilitator engaged in business in North Carolina of one or more of the following must register online or by mail with the Department to obtain a Certificate of Registration:
- Selling tangible personal property at retail.
- Selling and providing taxable services.
- Renting or leasing taxable tangible personal property in this State.
- Selling certain digital property at retail.
- Operating a dry cleaner, laundry, or other similar business.
- Operating a hotel, motel, or similar business.
- Selling tangible personal property, certain digital property, or providing a taxable service at a specialty market or other event.
- Selling service contracts to maintain or repair tangible personal property or a motor vehicle.
- Selling prepaid meal plans.
- Charging admission to an entertainment activity.
Every business that buys taxable tangible personal property, services, digital property, or other items from out-of-state vendors for storage, use, or consumption in this State is required to file and remit the use tax due. These businesses must register to file and remit use tax unless:
(1) The business is already registered to file and pay sales tax and is therefore already registered to remit use tax, or
(2) The business has paid its vendors all North Carolina sales and use taxes due on its purchases.
A wholesale merchant must register with the Department and obtain a Certificate of Registration before engaging in business in this State. A wholesale merchant that does not make taxable retail sales or purchases can select "wholesale only" when registering and will not be required to file sales and use tax returns.
Are individuals who don't operate a business required to register and file for sales and use tax if they make purchases without paying sales tax?
Individuals are required to report and remit the use tax due on their North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return, Consumer Use Tax Return, or Boat and Aircraft Use Tax Return. Refer to our use tax web page for details.
See the Sales and Use Tax Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
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