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Most businesses starting in Nebraska that are selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a sales tax permit.  This is commonly referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax license, sales tax number or sales tax registration.   

The sales tax permit is obtained through the Nebraska Department of Revenue as a part of applying for a Nebraska Tax ID Number

Check out the rest of this guide to find out who needs a sales tax permit, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit and reporting requirements.

Who needs a sales tax permit in Nebraska?

A business must register for a sales tax permit in Nebraska when:

  • A business has “nexus” (significant presence in the state) such as a retail store, office or warehouse where products are produced, stored and/or delivered
  • Selling, leasing or renting tangible personal property in Nebraska (includes occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, conventions, etc.)
  • Providing taxable services in the state
  • Employees (including sales representatives or agents) are working in Nebraska
  • An online business located in Nebraska is selling taxable products to Nebraska residents
  • An out-of-state business selling to Nebraska residents and one of the following:
    • Total annual sales of tangible personal property to Nebraska residents is $100,000 or more; or
    • Having 200 or more separate transactions with Nebraska residents annually.

What products and services are taxable in Nebraska?

Physical products

There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in Nebraska.  Common examples include:

  • General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
  • Titled or registered items like vehicles

Prescriptions, groceries and certain manufacturing equipment is tax-exempt.  See the full list of sales tax exemptions in Nebraska.

Digital Products

Digital products are taxable in Nebraska.

Services

Most services aren’t taxable in Nebraska, however there are a few exceptions, some of which include:

  • Pest control services
  • Building cleaning and maintenance
  • Towing
  • Motor vehicle painting
  • Car detailing
  • Security services
  • Animal specialty services like dog grooming
  • Repair or maintenance services

See the full list of taxable services in Nebraska.

How to register for a sales tax permit in Nebraska

A sales tax permit can be obtained by registering for a Nebraska Tax ID Number online or by mailing in the Nebraska Tax Application (Form 20).

Information needed to register includes:

  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Sole proprietorship operating under the owner’s SSN will need to obtain a FEIN before registering.
  • Doing Business As and legal name of the business
  • Physical and mailing address of the business
  • Names, addresses and social security numbers of owners/officers/members
  • Type of business entity (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, LLC)
  • Accounting basis (cash or accrual)
  • Accounting period (calendar or fiscal)
  • Description of what products or services are being sold
  • Projected sales tax liability
  • Expected date of first sale

How much does a sales tax permit cost in Nebraska?

There is no cost for a sales tax permit in Nebraska.

How long does it take to get a Nebraska sales tax permit?

Expect up to 2 weeks to receive a sales tax permit.

Do you have to renew your Nebraska sales tax permit?

The sales tax permit is a one-time registration and no renewals are needed.  Be mindful that if any information about the business changes such as the mailing address, additional locations or change in ownership, those changes need to be updated with the Department of Revenue.

Sales tax reporting

How is sales tax collected?

When a business makes a sale of a taxable product or service, the business charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer.  This tax is collected by the business who then sends it to the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

How much sales tax is charged?

The sales tax rate that is charged varies depending on the address of the business if the purchase is made in the store.  When shipping in-state, the sales tax is based on the address of the purchaser.

In addition to the statewide tax, there are additional sales taxes that may be added by cities and municipalities.  To find sales tax rates, see the sales tax rate finder from the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

 When are Nebraska sales tax returns due?

The Department of Revenue will determine a filing frequency based on the expected volume of sales, which will be monthly, quarterly, annually.  Generally, a collecting over $3,000 each month will file monthly. 

Filings are due the 20th day of the month following the reporting period, unless the 20th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, in which case would move to the next business day.

Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing is still required indicating no sales occurred.

Sales tax on purchases for resale

A business is able to purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax.  The tax liability is passed from the wholesaler or distributor to the retailer who will then charge sales tax to the end user of the item. 

Wholesalers and distributors will require a sales tax number and fill out the Nebraska Resale Certificate to document the items being purchased are for resale. 

Questions

If you have questions about the sales tax permit, the Nebraska Department of Revenue has a guide to sales and use taxes in Nebraska or can be contacted by calling 800-742-7474 or 402-471-5729. 

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