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North Carolina: Use Tax Tips


 North Carolina taxes many digital goods, including ebooks.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue reminds that businesses and individuals owe use tax to the state when they purchase without sales tax a taxable good or service. This most typically occurs when the retailer is located out-of-state and is not required to collect nexus (the connection that creates a sales tax obligation) voluntarily collect and remit sales tax, others do not.

The list of taxable goods and services in North Carolina is extensive and includes numerous digitally delivered products. Taxable goods and services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Accessories, appliances, clothing, home furnishings, household goods and jewelry;
  • Admission charges purchased on or after January 1, 2014;
  • Audio CDs, tapes, records, and digital music delivered or accessed electronically;
  • Books, books on tape, and digital books delivered or accessed electronically;
  • Computers and other electronic equipment;
  • Magazines, publications and newspapers, including those delivered or accessed electronically;
  • Movies delivered or accessed electronically;
  • Prewritten software, including electronic downloads of softwared;
  • Ringtones;
  • Sales or recharges of prepaid telephone cards and phones;
  • Service contracts to maintain or repair taxable tangible personal property that was purchased on or after January 1, 2014, or for billing periods beginning on or after that date; and
  • Service contracts to maintain or repair an automobile purchased on or after January 1, 2014, or for billing periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014.

The Department of Revenue explains up-to-date filing requirements and provides answers to frequently asked questions on its use tax webpage.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.