North Carolina Sales Tax Guide for Businesses

Fast Facts

Return Location:

Has Local Filings: Yes

Sales Tax Rate: 4.75% state rate plus local rates. Click here for more information about local sales tax rates.

Contact Information: Visit their website or call 1-877-252-3052  for their business hotline.

How is Tax Calculated?: North Carolina sales taxes are based on the destination of the sale (rate is based on where the buyer is located).

Are Services Taxable?: Sales of services are generally exempt from North Carolina sales tax unless they are specifically taxable. Read more here.

Nexus in Florida

What Creates Nexus: A business is considered to be “engaging in business in North Carolina” (and therefore owe sales tax) if they have:

  • An office or place of business in North Carolina
  • Employees, independent contractors, agents, or other representatives in North Carolina
  • Any place of distribution, sales or sample room, warehouse or storage place, or other place of business that you maintain, use or occupy in North Carolina (either directly or indirectly, temporarily or permanently)
  • Read more about nexus conditions in North Carolina here.

Affiliate Nexus: As of this posting, North Carolina does not have any affiliate nexus laws.

eCommerce Nexus?: North Carolina does have special laws that create nexus for online sellers, specifically “click-through” nexus. Read more here.

How to File a Sales Tax Return in North Carolina


Online or mail-in: North Carolina recommends that you file a sales tax return using the North Carolina Department of Revenue site.

We will be adding an instructional video here at a later date. 

How to Get a Sales Tax Permit in North Carolina


View our full guide:  Coming soon

Where to Register: North Carolina Department of Revenue

Registration Fee: There is no fee to register your business in North Carolina

Renewal Required?: No, North Carolina does not require that you renew your permit

North Carolina Sales Tax Filing Frequency


North Carolina has taxpayers file on a monthly or quarterly basis depending on their monthly tax liabilities:

Monthly: For monthly tax liabilities greater than $100

Quarterly: For monthly tax liabilities less than $100

Discounts: North Carolina does not offer an early filing discount

Late Fees: If you file your return or pay tax late in North Carolina, a penalty of 5% per month (or fraction thereof) will apply, with a maximum of 25%.

Read more about North Carolina sales tax penalties and late fees here.

North Carolina Sales Tax Return Due Dates

North Carolina’s sales tax returns are typically due on the 20th or 31st of the following month. Read more on North Carolina’s website.

Monthly Filing Frequency

January Collection — February 20th

February Collections — March 20th

March Collections — April 20th

April Collections — May 21st

May Collections — June 20th

June Collections — July 20th

July Collections — August 20th

August Collections — September 20th

September Collections — October 22nd

October Collections — November 20th

November Collections — December 20th

December Collections — January 22nd (following year)

Quarterly Filing Frequency

Q1: Jan – March Collections — April 30th

Q2: April – June Collections — July 31st

Q3: July – September Collections — October 31st

Q4: October – December Collections — January 31st (following year)


North Carolina Sales Tax Holidays

North Carolina does not offer any sales tax holidays in 2018.

Special Notes for Amazon Sellers

Amazon does have a warehouse in North Carolina. Be sure to check to see if your FBA inventory is being stored in North Carolina, as it will create a sales tax obligation.

We can help you determine where Amazon is storing your inventory. Contact us to learn more.

Receive a complementary nexus study from our team.

You'll learn where you owe sales tax and what your historical liabilities are.

Receive a free nexus study to learn where you owe sales tax.