The North Carolina (NC) state sales tax rate is currently 4.75%. Depending on local municipalities, the total tax rate can be as high as 7.25%.

County and local taxes in most areas bring the sales tax rate to 6.75% – 7% in most counties but some can be as high as 8 or 8.25%.

North Carolina requires use tax to be paid on products or services used within the state. The state provides a line on the state income tax return for identifying any use tax owed.

Anyone making retail sales of tangible personal property and certain digital property is required to register with the North Carolina Department of Revenue and obtain a Certificate of Registration. This is also required of anyone renting or leasing taxable tangible personal property or operating a hotel or similar business in NC.

North Carolina is a Streamlined Sales Tax state. Out-of-state businesses without a sales tax obligation are encouraged to register and collect and remit sales tax.

How to Register

Businesses may register online or complete a Web Fill-In Form and return it to the Department of Revenue.

Businesses selling into multiple states may register with the Streamlined Sales Tax Project.

How to File and Pay

Sales and use tax returns are required for each reporting period, even if no sales were made. When there is no tax due, “0.00” should be written on the “Total Due” line.

Sales and use tax returns are filed on Form E-500. Form E-500 may be submitted through the Department’s online filing and payment system, which monthly and prepayment taxpayers are required to use. Paper versions of Form E-500 may be downloaded or ordered by mail.

  • Businesses with a tax liability consistently less than $100 per month are required to file quarterly.
  • Businesses with a tax liability consistently more than $100 but less than $20,000 per month are required to file monthly.
  • Businesses with a tax liability consistently at or more than $20,000 are required to file monthly and include a prepayment for the next month’s tax liability.

Deadlines

Quarterly returns are due on or before the last day of January, April, July and October for the preceding three-month period.

Monthly returns are due on or before the 20th of the month following the end of the reporting period. Additional information.

North Carolina Department of Revenue