Refund Claims

General Sales and Use Tax Refund Claim

General Sales and Use Tax Refund Claim

A taxpayer may request a refund of an overpayment made by the taxpayer by taking one of the actions shown below within the statute of limitations for obtaining a refund.  Refunds are allowed for an overpayment of taxes provided a request for refund is made within three years after the due date of the return set by statute or within two years after payment of the tax, whichever is later.

The actions are:

Exception to the General Statute of Limitations for Certain Events

Refunds for Nonprofit Entities

Refunds for Nonprofit Entities

Certain nonprofit entities are allowed a semiannual refund of North Carolina sales and use tax paid by them in this State on direct purchases of tangible personal property and services for use in carrying on their nonprofit work.  Sales and use tax liability indirectly incurred by a nonprofit entity through reimbursement to an authorized person of the entity for the purchase of tangible personal property and services for use in carrying on the work of the nonprofit entity is considered a direct purchase by the nonprofit entity.

In order to receive a determination from the Department as to whether an organization is a qualifying nonprofit that is allowed a refund, the entity must furnish the Department the following information:

  • Entity's Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • A copy of the entity’s Section 501(c)(3) determination letter issued by the Internal Revenue Service
  • The organization’s National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) Code 
  • A copy of the entity's bylaws, constitution, or other organizational documents if the organization is not incorporated or is not classified as a Section 501(c)(3) organization

       Note:  A nonprofit entity may file a claim for refund pending the Department’s
                 determination of the organization’s eligibility to receive refunds. 

Please send all information to the following address:

North Carolina Department of Revenue
Sales and Use Tax Division
Nonprofit Sales and Use Tax
PO Box 25000
Raleigh, NC 27640-0640
 

The refund provisions provided in this section are not applicable to the following taxes:

  • Sales and use tax remitted on taxable sales made by nonprofit entities.
  • Sales and use tax incurred by employees on purchases of food, lodging, or other taxable travel expenses paid by employees and reimbursed by the nonprofit entity. These expenses are personal to the employee since the contract for food, shelter, and travel is between the employee and the provider and payment of the tax is by the employee individually and personally. The nonprofit entity has incurred and paid no sales and use tax liability; instead, it has chosen to reimburse a personal expense of the employee.
  • Sales and use tax paid on the purchase of electricity, telecommunications and ancillary services, and video programming.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of “alcoholic beverages” as defined in G.S. § 18B-101.
  • Local occupancy taxes paid to certain counties and cities in this State.
  • Local prepared food and beverage taxes paid to various local governments in this State.
  • Highway use tax or alternate highway use tax paid on the purchase, lease, or rental of motor vehicles.
  • Scrap tire disposal tax paid on purchases of new tires.
  • White goods disposal tax paid on purchases of new white goods.
  • Dry cleaning solvent tax paid on dry cleaning solvent purchased by a dry cleaning facility.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of piped natural gas.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of prepaid meal plans.
  • The 1% Certain Machinery and Equipment privilege tax.
  • Solid waste disposal tax.
  • 911 Service charge for prepaid wireless telecommunications service.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of certain digital property.
  • Other states’ sales and use taxes paid to those states.

A claim for refund of sales and use tax paid on qualifying purchases is to be filed on Form E-585.  In cases where more than one county's sales and use tax has been paid, Form E-536R, Schedule of County Sales and Use Taxes for Claims for Refund, must be attached to the claim for refund showing the amount of each county's applicable local and applicable transit tax separately and the total amount of tax paid on purchases of qualifying food.

For additional information see the Department’s FAQ's Regarding Form E-585, Nonprofit and Governmental Entity Claim for Refund State, County, and Transit Sales and Use Taxes, and SUTB 73-3 Refunds for Nonprofit Entities and Hospital Drugs.

Refunds to Certain Governmental Entities

Refunds to Certain Governmental Entities

Certain North Carolina governmental entities are entitled to an annual refund of North Carolina sales and use tax paid by them on their direct purchases of tangible personal property and services, unless otherwise stated below.  Sales and use tax liability indirectly incurred by a governmental entity on building materials, supplies, fixtures, and equipment that become a part of or are annexed to any building or structure that is owned or leased by the governmental entity and is being erected, altered, or repaired for use by the governmental entity is considered a sales or use tax liability incurred on direct purchases by the governmental entity. 

The refund provisions provided in this section are not applicable to the following taxes:

  • Sales and use tax remitted on taxable sales made by governmental entities.
  • Sales and use tax incurred by employees on purchases of food, lodging, or other taxable travel expenses paid by employees and reimbursed by the institution.  These expenses are personal to the employee since the contract for food, shelter, and travel is between the employee and the provider and payment of the tax is by the employee individually and personally.  The institution has incurred and paid no sales tax liability; instead, it has chosen to reimburse a personal expense of the employee.
  • Sales and use tax paid on the purchase of electricity, telecommunications and ancillary services, and video programming.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of an “alcoholic beverage” as defined in G.S. § 18B101. 
  • Local occupancy tax paid to certain counties and cities in this State.
  • Local prepared food and beverage tax paid to certain counties and cities in this State.
  • Highway use tax or alternate highway use tax paid on the purchase, lease, or rental of motor vehicles.
  • Scrap tire disposal tax paid on purchases of new tires.
  • White goods disposal tax paid on purchases of new white goods.
  • Dry cleaning solvent tax paid on dry cleaning solvent purchased by a dry cleaning facility.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of piped natural gas.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of prepaid meal plans.
  • The 1% Certain Machinery and Equipment privilege tax. 
  • Solid waste disposal tax.
  • 911 Service Charge for prepaid wireless telecommunications service.
  • Sales and use tax paid on purchases of certain digital property.
  • Other states’ sales and use tax paid to those states.

A claim for refund of sales and use tax paid on qualifying purchases is to be filed on Form E-585.  In cases where more than one county's sales and use tax has been paid, Form E-536R, Schedule of County Sales and Use Taxes for Claims for Refund, must be attached to the claim for refund showing the amount of each county's applicable local and applicable transit tax separately and the total amount of tax paid on purchases of qualifying food. 

For further information see SUTB 73-4 Refunds to Certain Governmental Entities and SUTB 73-5 Refunds to North Carolina State Agencies

Forms & Supporting Schedules Information Regarding Economic Incentive Refunds

Information Regarding Economic Incentive Refunds

Sales and Use Tax Bulletins

  • SUTB 73-6 Refunds to Major Recycling Facilities
  • SUTB 73-7 Refunds for a Professional Motorsports Racing Team or Motorsports Sanctioning Body
  • SUTB 73-8 Refunds for Eligible Railroad Intermodal Facility
  • SUTB 73-9 Refunds for Transformative Projects