How to file a sales tax return in North Carolina North Carolina: Sales Tax Handbook

North Carolina:

How to file your sales taxes in North Carolina

Once your business has a North Carolina sales tax license and begins to make sales, you are required to start collecting sales taxes on behalf of the North Carolina government and filing regular sales tax returns. This page will help you understand the basics of your tax collection and filing responsibilities.

How To Collect Sales Tax In North Carolina

If the seller has an in-state location in the state of North Carolina, they are legally required to collect sales tax at the rate of the destination of the buyer, as North Carolina is a destination based sales tax state.

If the seller's location is out of state, then the collection of sales tax is still done in the same way. The seller would still be required to charge the buyer's local tax rate, so long as the seller has sales nexus in North Carolina.

Sales Tax Collection Discounts In North Carolina

While many states allow merchants to keep a small percentage of the sales tax they collect as a collection discount, or compensation for the work put in collecting the tax on behalf of the state, North Carolina does not currently allow this.

Your North Carolina Sales Tax Filing Requirements

To file sales tax in North Carolina, you must begin by reporting gross sales for the reporting period, and calculate the total amount of sales tax due from this period.

The state of North Carolina provides all taxpayers with three choices for filing their taxes. One option is to file online by using the North Carolina Department of Revenue. This online system can also be utilized to remit the payment. The online system Autofile can be utilized to both file and pay your business's taxes online. the final option is filing manually through the mail, using form E-500.

Tax payers should be aware of a late filing penalty. Each month or fraction of a month that the filing is late, is a 5% penalty. The maximum compounded filing penalty is 25%. A late payment results in a 10% penalty. Interest is due on this penalty until it is completely paid.

The state of North Carolina requires that every seller who owns a sales tax permit to file a sales tax return on the required day, even if it is a "zeroes-out" tax return, and there is nothing to report.

Your North Carolina Sales Tax Filing Frequency & Due Dates

Your business's sales tax return must be filed by the 20th of the month following reporting period for monthly filers, for quarterly filers on the last day of the month following quarter. For a list of this year's actual due dates, see our calendar of North Carolina sales tax filing due dates.


Where To File Your North Carolina Sales Tax Return:

Filing Your North Carolina Sales Tax Returns Online

North Carolina supports electronic filing of sales tax returns, which is often much faster than filing via mail.

North Carolina allows businesses to make sales tax payments electronically via the internet.

Electronic payments are required for taxpayers whose tax liability was a minimum of two hundred and forty thousand dollars during any year long period.

You can process your required sales tax filings and payments online using the official North Carolina Electronic Services website, which can be found here . You should have received credentials to access your North Carolina Electronic Services account when you applied for your North Carolina sales tax license.

Filing Your North Carolina Sales Tax Returns Offline

While it is highly recommended that you file online using the North Carolina Electronic Services website, it is possible to file your required sales tax reportings offline using North Carolina Form E-500, which you can download and print here . Once you have completed your required reportings, you can mail it to the state at this address:

North Carolina Sales Tax Filing Address:
PO Box 25000
Raleigh, NC 27640-0700

Please note that if you file your North Carolina sales taxes by mail, it may take significantly longer to process your returns and payments.

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