Nebraska Sales Tax Guide
Nebraska, the Cornhusker state, has been the source of many keys to modern life. The concept and first implementation of 911 hails from the state, as well as the king of all sandwiches the Reuben. Perhaps more importantly, (Oh Yeah!) Kool-Aid was invented there in 1927. Not to be corny, but many small business owners are proud to call Nebraska their home. If you’re one of them, you’ll obviously need to be sure your business complies with Nebraska's sales tax laws. No worries! We have assembled this all-in-one guide for sales tax so that you can meet the sales tax compliance requirements for a small business in Nebraska.
After reading this guide, you will have learned:
- How to be prepared for your call with the Nebraska Department of Revenue.
- How to contact the Nebraska Department of Revenue.
- When to charge sales tax in Nebraska.
- What goods, products, and services are taxable in Nebraska.
- When you establish a sales tax nexus with the state of Nebraska, and the nuances of various thresholds.
- How to register for a sales tax license in Nebraska.
- How to collect sales tax in Nebraska.
- How to file and pay sales tax in Nebraska.
If, after reading, you still have any questions to help you determine your tax sales obligations in Nebraska and how to fulfill them, we are here for your small business bookkeeping needs!
Nebraska Sales Tax Contacts
✅ Do you need to get in touch with the Nebraska Department of Revenue?
✅ Are you uncertain about whether to visit, call them, or contact them through their website?
✅ Do you wonder what information you should have ready before you contact them?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, please read onward, as we have just the information you need! :)
The Nebraska Department of Revenue is reachable by phone at 402-471-5729.
You can also send them a message by way of the contact form on their website, or you may visit one of their five physical locations. If you are hoping for the fastest response, our suggestion is that you call rather than send a message or visit in person.
When you do call the Nebraska Department of Revenue, you will want to have some information on hand. It will save time to have the following information easily accessible before you call:
- Taxpayer Name
- Sales & Use Tax ID Number
If you are calling on behalf of an individual or a business, or having a third party call on your behalf, you must have a Nebraska Power of Attorney (form f-33, PDF) signed before you call or else you will be wasting your time; they can only help if you have a completed form.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us so we can assist you with your sales tax needs.
Nebraska Sales Tax Registration
Are you a new business selling tangible property in Nebraska? If yes, you are going to want to register your business with the Nebraska Department of Revenue so that you can pay your sales tax on time.
You need not fret as this is a relatively simple process and one for which you’re about to be fully prepared. We are going to outline the steps below so you are totally ready to register for your sales tax license.
Here we go! Remember...
Preparation is key.
Let’s get started!
How do I register to collect sales tax in Nebraska?
You can apply or register for a Nebraska sales tax permit by visiting the Nebraska Department of Revenue and following the instructions provided.
Nebraska also has an old school paper based form (PDF) you can print and mail in, but this is going to be a slower setup and with greater possibility for errors. We don’t recommend it, and Nebraska discourages it on their website, but we wanted to make the option available in case it suits the needs of someone out there.
What information do I need to register for a Nebraska sales tax permit?
Before you sign up for Nebraska sales tax permit you’ll want the following information on hand:
- Business name
- Business entity type
- Description of business activities
- Date business activities began or will begin
- Business address and mailing address
- Business contact information
- Associated business entities
- NAICS code that best matches the business
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
- List of business officers, partners, managing members, and/or trustees
Don’t forget! Preparation is key. When you have all this information ready, you can go online and register for your permit at the Nebraska New Business Tax Registration website.
How much does it cost to register for a Nebraska sales tax permit?
$0! Nebraska charges exactly zero dollars and zilcho cents for a business to register to pay sales tax :)
Do I need a Federal Tax ID Number or EIN to register for a Nebraska sales tax permit?
Indubitably, yes! You will most assuredly need one, but if you don’t already have one and need to get a new EIN, it’s a painless process. You can register for a Federal EIN right here :).
Which agencies in Nebraska do I need to additionally register with?
You may need to apply to some of the following agencies:
You’ll want to give this some thought and do a little research or investigating; since every business is unique, and there are such different rules, regulations, and laws that may apply.
We suggest contacting the Nebraska Department of Revenue to verify which additional government agencies you may be required to register with.
You are now prepared to register for your Nebraska sales tax permit in Nebraska.
Let’s summarize what we have covered:
- Have all the required information easily accessible before registering online.
- Acquire a tax ID or EIN before registering for a Nebraska sales tax permit.
- Register online at the Nebraska Department of Revenue website.
- Look into what other agencies you may have to additionally register with.
Registering for your Nebraska sales tax permit will be stress free as long as you are prepared. We recommend organizing all the essential information in a folder, preferably using a system like Box.com or Dropbox (something we’re happy to handle for our customers).
Nebraska Sales Tax FAQ
By now, you may have already contacted the Nebraska Department of Revenue and applied for a Nebraska sales tax permit.
Once you have a license to collect and remit sales taxes in Nebraska, you will probably be asking yourself two questions:
- When do I charge a sales tax in Nebraska?
- What goods and services are subject to sales taxes in Nebraska?
We are going to go over some common questions that our clients have asked. We believe these questions will help you appreciate the nuances of taxable goods so you can be confident in fulfilling your tax obligations.
Let’s start with the first question…
What goods and services are considered taxable in Nebraska?
The following items are all taxable in the state of Nebraska:
- Sales of tangible goods at retail.
- Repairs or alterations of tangible personal property.
- Property rentals, leases, or licenses [e.g. commercial, mini-warehouse]
- Selling service warranty contracts.
- Short-term rentals for living accommodations (e.g. motel/hotel, beach houses, condos, timeshares, vacation homes, or RV homes).
- Rental/lease of personal goods (e.g.: machinery, vehicles, equipment, or other property).
- Charges for admission to any place of amusement, sport, or recreation.
- Manufacturing or producing goods for retail sales.
- Operating vending machines or amusement rides.
- Services are mostly exempted
The bottom line is …
Your business must pay taxes on sales of any non-exempt goods, and some taxable services.
Let’s now review some of our clients’ frequently asked questions:
- Is Nebraska an origin or destination sales tax state?
- What creates a sales tax nexus in Nebraska?
- What is the economic threshold in Nebraska?
- Does Amazon have fulfillment centers in Nebraska?
- Does Nebraska have Click-Through Nexus?
To best understand your tax obligations, new businesses need to consider how they are doing business and the type of relationships they have with buyers and any third parties to their transactions.
Let’s discuss some questions that will help you understand the nature of your small business and the subsequent tax implications.
Is Nebraska an origin or destination-based sales tax state?
Nebraska is a destination-based sales tax state, which simply means you charge sales tax based on the location of the purchaser rather than that of the seller. Local cities and unincorporated areas may choose to add an additional tax from .5% to 2%. Nebraska’s Department of Revenue offers a website to check the sales tax rate based on an address.
Protip: Charge the customer tax based on their location
What creates sales tax nexus with the state of Nebraska?
Having nexus, also known as "sufficient business presence,” with Nebraska means your business has established a taxing connection with a state. When this happens, you are required to collect and remit sales tax in Nebraska because you created a sales tax Nexus.
Even if your business maintains its main headquarters in another state, you may still have to charge and pay sales tax to the Nebraska Department of Revenue even if you never step foot in Nebraska.
So, how do you create a sales tax Nexus in Nebraska?
A business establishes a nexus in Nebraska by:
- having a business location in Nebraska;
- having property stored in Nebraska;
- employing any person in Nebraska;
- contracting with a salesperson or other agent in Nebraska;
- leasing equipment used in Nebraska;
- performing services in Nebraska;
- licensing the use of intangible property in Nebraska, or transporting property in Nebraska using the taxpayer’s vehicles.
Let’s talk a bit more specifically about where your goods are stored, such as in the instance of an Amazon warehouse.
Does Amazon have fulfillment centers in Nebraska?
No, Nebraska has no distribution centers at this time.
This information is relevant for our customers who sell products on Amazon or are recognized as Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers. When Amazon stores products in one of its fulfillment centers in any state including, it triggers a sales tax requirement.
Does Nebraska have economic nexus?
Yes, Nebraska now has an economic nexus law. As of January 1st, 2019 remote sellers are liable to pay sales tax beyond a certain threshold. This means that even businesses without a physical presence or traditional nexus can be required to register for, collect, and pay sales taxes.
The threshold for registering is having a cumulative gross revenue of over $100,000 to Nebraska purchasers or over 200 transactions.
For more information see the Nebraska DOR’s remote sellers page here.
Does Nebraska have click-through nexus?
No, no click-through nexus at this time for Nebraskan business owners to worry about when conducting affiliate marketing.
Is Nebraska a streamlined sales tax state?
Yep! Since October, 2005 Nebraska has been a full member of Streamlined Sales Tax.
If you are planning on taking advantage of the Streamlined Sales Tax as a business, it is recommended you use a Certified Service Provider though businesses may opt to register themselves without a CSP. Ultimately the aim of streamlined sales tax is to simplify payment to multiple different states of sales and use tax. It isn’t required that you utilize them, but it can significantly reduce complexity to do so, especially if your business sells in multiple states.
More effectively manage your tax needs by keeping this guide handy.
You and your business can be better equipped to avoid situations like paying fines, paying back taxes that you did know you had to pay in the first place, or facing an audit by the tax authorities in Nebraska.
Collecting Sales Tax in Nebraska
By now you know if you are a business that has established a nexus with Nebraska. So you have an understanding about whether, or when, you are required to collect sales tax. Knowing this is just half the battle! Now, we are going to help you with the next half of the battle: how to navigate the process of collecting taxes.
Let’s review some common questions our clients have asked regarding their Nebraska Sales Tax obligations.
- How do I collect Nebraska Sales Tax?
- Who is eligible for Nebraska Sales Tax exemptions?
- What should I do if my customer is exempt from sales tax in Nebraska?
- What happens if I lose a Nebraska nontaxable transaction certificate?
After reading this, you will be better equipped to determine when --and when not-- to collect sales tax in Nebraska.
How do I collect Nebraska sales tax?
As we mentioned above, Nebraska is a destination-based state, so you’ll want to collect tax based on the purchasers location. Your point-of-sale software should make this relatively simple, including accounting for any local surtaxes.
What are the current Nebraska sales tax rates?
Nebraska’s state-wide sales tax rate is 5.5% at the time of this article’s writing, with the local surtaxes potentially bringing that as high as 7.5%. However, since sales tax rates may change, we shall refer you to check out the Nebraska Department of Revenue tax rate lookup page. Any change will be reflected on that page.
It always helps to be accurate and up to date with this type of information! :)
What is exempt from Nebraska Sales Tax?
Here is a sample list of exemptions:
- purchases for resale
- Everyday clothing items
- Medical supplies
Nebraska has too many exempt items to list here, but they go into greater detail on their website.
Who are eligible for Nebraska sales tax exemptions?
At this point, you should know what products are exempt from sales tax in Nebraska. You also want to know who may be exempt.
Under Nebraska law, the type of buyer or the way the goods will be used can qualify can buyer for a sales tax exemption. A good example of this is a merchant purchasing goods for resale, aka a wholesaler.
Other common examples of an exempt buyer may include:
- Government agencies
- Non-profit organizations
- Religious groups
- Out-of-state buyers (should their business not have nexus in their home state).
Note that a non-profit or contractor status doesn’t necessarily immediately confer tax exempt status. To learn more about this, click here.
What should I do if my customer is exempt from sales tax in Nebraska?
Purchasers who are tax exempt must have completed form f-13 (PDF) and must present their completed exemption certificate at the time of purchase. It is then incumbent upon the seller to hold on to this exemption certificate. Failure to do so may leave you unable to justify tax exempt sales.
Remember, you always want to collect and file a copy of the exempt certificate. Such certificates must be produced upon request in the event of an audit to justify tax-exempt sales.
What happens if I lose a Nebraska Sales Tax exemption certificate?
Hmm... Obviously this issue is best to be avoided! Imagine finding out you’ll be audited and discovering you cannot produce an exemption certificate for a buyer! That nightmare scenario would mean you could be held liable to pay all taxes on behalf of the buyer. This is a bad scene and can be avoided by taking proper care with your paperwork… which happens to be one of our specialties! :)
Does Nebraska have a sales tax holiday?
No, unfortunately they offer nary a day’s respite!
We have now covered who you need to collect sales taxes from, how to determine whether goods for sale are deemed taxable, what goods and services fall under tax exemptions, who is eligible for tax exemption certificates, and, finally, the process of collecting sales tax in Nebraska state.
Now that we’re this far down the rabbit hole there’s only one thing we need to learn about next… how to pay the piper!
Filing and Paying Sales Tax in Nebraska
It is time to talk about filing and paying your sales taxes in Nebraska. In this section, We are going to cover the following frequently asked questions from our clients:
- When is Nebraska Sales Tax due?
- What are the Nebraska Sales Tax thresholds?
- What if a Nebraska Sales Tax filing date falls on a weekend or holiday?
- How do I file a Nebraska Sales Tax Return?
- How do I correct a Nebraska Sales Tax return?
- What happens if I don’t collect sales tax?
- What happens if I file or pay my sales tax return late?
- Do I need to file a return if I don’t collect any sales tax in Nebraska?
- If I close my business, do I need to file a final sales tax return?
- Does the Nebraska Department of Revenue offer a discount for filing on time?
By the time you finish reading this, you will feel confident enough to file and pay your Nebraska Sales Tax.
When is Nebraska Sales Tax due?
Nebraska sales tax payments are due based on the filing interval. Filing intervals are based on the company’s tax liability [detailed ahead, be patient! :p]
No later than January 20th
No later than the 20th of the month following the quarter
No later than the 20th day of the month following the month being reported
What are the Nebraska sales tax filing interval thresholds?
The thresholds for filing intervals are based on the expected or actual tax liability owed:
Average Tax Liability Owed Monthly*
Less than $75
Between $75 and $249.99
More than $250
*anticipated if new business, actual if existing company
Not sure how to determine your tax filing frequency?
You can review your eCommerce or Point-of-Sale Software to see the volume of sales you have generated.
Don't worry though! The state will let you know when your due dates change. :)
Keep an eye out for notices in your mail from the State of Nebraska so that you don't miss any shift in deadlines.
What if a Nebraska sales tax filing date falls on a weekend or holiday?
The deadline is moved to the next business day, typically the Monday following the weekend or the day after the holiday. Where possible, we always suggest filing well before the holiday, of course ;).
How do I file a Nebraska sales tax return?
Paper: Complete form f-10 (PDF) and mail to the address on the form.
Electronic: File form f-10 online via NebPay and submit payment via EFT.
How do I correct a Nebraska Sales Tax return?
Paper: Download the relevant old form and re-submit upon completion.
Electronic: Correct the return via the NebPay website.
What happens if I don’t collect sales tax?
If you were required to collect sales taxes and failed to do so for whatever reason, that’s a big no-no! Ultimately the business will be held liable for the due tax. Always be sure to collect sales tax at the point of sale. Attempting to collect after the fact will be time consuming and most likely unsuccessful.
Protip: You are still responsible for remitting sales taxes even if you failed to collect them.
What happens if I file or pay my sales tax return late?
Nebraska's Department of Revenue charges a penalty of $25 or 10% of the tax owed, whichever is greater.
Do I need to file a return if I don’t collect any sales tax in Nebraska?
Yes, Nebraska requires businesses file a “Zero-Tax” return even when they have no sales during a taxing period.
If I close my business, do I need to file a final sales tax return?
Yes, Nebraska requires businesses to file a “Final sales tax” return when closing their doors.
Does the Nebraska Department of Revenue offer a discount for filing on time?
The Nebraska Department of Revenue does extend a discount for early filers! Up to a maximum of $75, 2.5% of the collected tax may be discounted for filing early..
Now that we have covered all our bases for filing and paying sales taxes in the state of Nebraska, you should feel more at ease about the process.
Some things to remember:
- Due dates are important. If anything, file and pay your taxes early.
- There are three payment plans for filing and paying your sales taxes depending on how much you collect in sales tax on average in a month.
- You can file and pay your taxes electronically or by mail
- If you need to amend a return, you may do so electronically or by paper.
- If you don’t collect sales tax and you were supposed to, you (not the buyer) is liable to pay the sales tax to the state of Nebraska.
- You will have to pay late fees if you fail to file your tax return on time and/or if you fail to make your tax payment on time.
- Even if you collect no sales tax, you still need to file a return.
- You need to file a “Final sales tax report” when you close your business.
Now, you are ready to file and pay your sales tax in Nebraska. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us.
Please note: This blog is for informational purposes only and the information is accurate as of 8/20/2019. If you want legal advice on sales tax law for your business, please contact a Sales Tax professional. Keep in mind that sales tax regulations and laws are subject to change at any time. While we strive to keep our blog current, this blog possibly may be out of date by the time you review it.