Part 2. Taxes Levied.

105-164.4. Tax imposed on retailers.

(a) A privilege tax is imposed on a retailer at the following percentage rates of the retailer's net taxable sales or gross receipts, as appropriate. The general rate of tax is four and three-quarters percent (4.75%).

(1) The general rate of tax applies to the sales price of each item or article of tangible personal property that is sold at retail and is not subject to tax under another subdivision in this section.

(1a) The general rate applies to the sales price of each manufactured home sold at retail, including all accessories attached to the manufactured home when it is delivered to the purchaser.

(1b) The rate of three percent (3%) applies to the sales price of each aircraft or boat sold at retail, including all accessories attached to the item when it is delivered to the purchaser. The maximum tax is one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) per article.

(1c), (1d) and (1e) Repealed by Session Laws 2005-276, s. 33.4(b), effective January 1, 2006.

(1f) (See note for delayed repeal of subdivision) The rate of two and eighty-three-hundredths percent (2.83%) applies to the sales price of electricity that is measured by a separate meter or another separate device and sold to a commercial laundry or to a pressing and dry-cleaning establishment for use in machinery used in the direct performance of the laundering or the pressing and cleaning service.

a. Repealed by Session Laws 2007-397, s. 10(b), effective October 1, 2007, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

b. Repealed by Session Laws 2006-66, s. 24.19(a), effective July 1, 2007, and applicable to sales made on or after that date.

c. Repealed by Session Laws 2007-397, s. 10(b), effective October 1, 2007, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

(1g) Repealed by Session Laws 2004-110, s. 6.1, effective October 1, 2004, and applicable to sales of electricity made on or after that date.

(1h) Expired pursuant to Session Laws 2004-110, s. 6.4, effective for sales made on or after October 1, 2007.

(1i) Repealed by Session Laws 2007-397, s. 10(a), effective October 1, 2007, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

(1j) Repealed by Session Laws 2007-397, s. 10(f), effective July 1, 2010, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

(2) The applicable percentage rate applies to the gross receipts derived from the lease or rental of tangible personal property by a person who is engaged in the business of leasing or renting tangible personal property, or is a retailer and leases or rents property of the type sold by the retailer. The applicable percentage rate is the rate and the maximum tax, if any, that applies to a sale of the property that is leased or rented. A person who leases or rents property shall also collect the tax imposed by this section on the separate retail sale of the property.

(3) A tax at the general rate applies to the gross receipts derived from the rental of an accommodation. The tax does not apply to (i) a private residence or cottage that is rented for fewer than 15 days in a calendar year; (ii) an accommodation rented to the same person for a period of 90 or more continuous days; or (iii) an accommodation arranged or provided to a person by a school, camp, or similar entity where a tuition or fee is charged to the person for enrollment in the school, camp, or similar entity.

Gross receipts derived from the rental of an accommodation include the sales price of the rental of the accommodation. The sales price of the rental of an accommodation is determined as if the rental were a rental of tangible personal property. The sales price of the rental of an accommodation marketed by a facilitator includes charges designated as facilitation fees and any other charges necessary to complete the rental.

A person who provides an accommodation that is offered for rent is considered a retailer under this Article. A facilitator must report to the retailer with whom it has a contract the sales price a consumer pays to the facilitator for an accommodation rental marketed by the facilitator. A retailer must notify a facilitator when an accommodation rental marketed by the facilitator is completed and the facilitator must send the retailer the portion of the sales price the facilitator owes the retailer and the tax due on the sales price no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar month. A facilitator that does not send the retailer the tax due on the sales price is liable for the amount of tax the facilitator fails to send. A facilitator is not liable for tax sent to a retailer but not remitted by the retailer to the Secretary. Tax payments received by a retailer from a facilitator are held in trust by the retailer for remittance to the Secretary. A retailer that receives a tax payment from a facilitator must remit the amount received to the Secretary. A retailer is not liable for tax due but not received from a facilitator. The requirements imposed by this subdivision on a retailer and a facilitator are considered terms of the contract between the retailer and the facilitator.

A person who, by written contract, agrees to be the rental agent for the provider of an accommodation is considered a retailer under this Article and is liable for the tax imposed by this subdivision. The liability of a rental agent for the tax imposed by this subdivision relieves the provider of the accommodation from liability. A rental agent includes a real estate broker, as defined in G.S. 93A-2.

The following definitions apply in this subdivision:

a. Accommodation. - A hotel room, a motel room, a residence, a cottage, or a similar lodging facility for occupancy by an individual.

b. Facilitator. - A person who is not a rental agent and who contracts with a provider of an accommodation to market the accommodation and to accept payment from the consumer for the accommodation.

(4) Every person engaged in the business of operating a dry cleaning, pressing, or hat-blocking establishment, a laundry, or any similar business, engaged in the business of renting clean linen or towels or wearing apparel, or any similar business, or engaged in the business of soliciting cleaning, pressing, hat blocking, laundering or linen rental business for any of these businesses, is considered a retailer under this Article. A tax at the general rate of tax is levied on the gross receipts derived by these retailers from services rendered in engaging in any of the occupations or businesses named in this subdivision. The tax imposed by this subdivision does not apply to receipts derived from coin, token, or card-operated washing machines, extractors, and dryers. The tax imposed by this subdivision does not apply to gross receipts derived from services performed for resale by a retailer that pays the tax on the total gross receipts derived from the services.

(4a) (See note for delayed repeal of subdivision) The rate of three percent (3%) applies to the gross receipts derived from sales of electricity, other than sales of electricity subject to tax under another subdivision in this section. A person who sells electricity is considered a retailer under this Article.

(4b) A person who sells tangible personal property at a specialty market, other than the person's own household personal property, is considered a retailer under this Article. A tax at the general rate of tax is levied on the sales price of each article sold by the retailer at the specialty market. The term "specialty market" has the same meaning as defined in G.S. 66-250.

(4c) The combined general rate applies to the gross receipts derived from providing telecommunications service and ancillary service. A person who provides telecommunications service or ancillary service is considered a retailer under this Article. These services are taxed in accordance with G.S. 105-164.4C.

(4d) The sale or recharge of prepaid telephone calling service is taxable at the general rate of tax. The tax applies regardless of whether tangible personal property, such as a card or a telephone, is transferred. The tax applies to a service that is sold in conjunction with prepaid wireless calling service. Prepaid telephone calling service is taxable at the point of sale instead of at the point of use and is sourced in accordance with G.S. 105-164.4B. Prepaid telephone calling service taxed under this subdivision is not subject to tax as a telecommunications service.

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 1998-212, s. 29A.1(a), effective May 1, 1999.

(6) The combined general rate applies to the gross receipts derived from providing video programming to a subscriber in this State. A cable service provider, a direct-to-home satellite service provider, and any other person engaged in the business of providing video programming is considered a retailer under this Article.

(6a) The general rate applies to the gross receipts derived from providing satellite digital audio radio service. For services received by a mobile or portable station, the service is sourced to the subscriber's business or home address. A person engaged in the business of providing satellite digital audio radio service is a retailer under this Article.

(6b) The general rate applies to the sales price of digital property that is sold at retail and that is listed in this subdivision, is delivered or accessed electronically, is not considered tangible personal property, and would be taxable under this Article if sold in a tangible medium. The tax applies regardless of whether the purchaser of the item has a right to use it permanently or to use it without making continued payments. The tax does not apply to a service that is taxed under another subdivision of this subsection or to an information service. The following property is subject to tax under this subdivision:

a. An audio work.

b. An audiovisual work.

c. A book, a magazine, a newspaper, a newsletter, a report, or another publication.

d. A photograph or a greeting card.

(7) The combined general rate applies to the sales price of spirituous liquor other than mixed beverages. As used in this subdivision, the terms "spirituous liquor" and "mixed beverage" have the meanings provided in G.S. 18B-101.

(8) The general rate applies to the sales price of each modular home sold at retail, including all accessories attached to the modular home when it is delivered to the purchaser. The sale of a modular home to a modular homebuilder is considered a retail sale. A person who sells a modular home at retail is allowed a credit against the tax imposed by this subdivision for sales or use tax paid to another state on tangible personal property incorporated in the modular home. The retail sale of a modular home occurs when a modular home manufacturer sells a modular home to a modular homebuilder or directly to the end user of the modular home.

(9) (Effective July 1, 2014) The combined general rate applies to the gross receipts derived from sales of electricity and piped natural gas.

(10) The general rate of tax applies to admission charges to an entertainment activity listed in this subdivision. Offering any of these listed activities is a service. An admission charge includes a charge for a single ticket, a multioccasion ticket, a seasonal pass, an annual pass, and a cover charge.

An admission charge does not include a charge for amenities. If charges for amenities are not separately stated on the face of an admission ticket, then the charge for admission is considered to be equal to the admission charge for a ticket to the same event that does not include amenities and is for a seat located directly in front of or closest to a seat that includes amenities.

When an admission ticket is resold and the price of the admission ticket is printed on the face of the ticket, the tax does not apply to the face price. When an admission ticket is resold and the price of the admission ticket is not printed on the face of the ticket, the tax applies to the difference between the amount the reseller paid for the ticket and the amount the reseller charges for the ticket.

Admission charges to the following entertainment activities are subject to tax:

a. A live performance or other live event of any kind.

b. A motion picture or film.

c. A museum, a cultural site, a garden, an exhibit, a show, or a similar attraction or a guided tour at any of these attractions.

(11) The general rate of tax applies to the sales price of a service contract.

(b) The tax levied in this section shall be collected from the retailer and paid by him at the time and in the manner as hereinafter provided. Provided, however, that any person engaging or continuing in business as a retailer shall pay the tax required on the net taxable sales of such business at the rates specified when proper books are kept showing separately the gross proceeds of taxable and nontaxable sales of tangible personal property in such form as may be accurately and conveniently checked by the Secretary or his duly authorized agent. If such records are not kept separately the tax shall be paid as a retailer on the gross sales of business and the exemptions and exclusions provided by this Article shall not be allowed. The tax levied in this section is in addition to all other taxes whether levied in the form of excise, license or privilege or other taxes.

(c) Certificate of Registration. - Before a person may engage in business as a retailer or a wholesale merchant, the person must obtain a certificate of registration from the Department in accordance with G.S. 105-164.29. (1957, c. 1340, s. 5; 1959, c. 1259, s. 5; 1961, c. 826, s. 2; 1963, c. 1169, ss. 3, 11; 1967, c. 1110, s. 6; c. 1116; 1969, c. 1075, s. 5; 1971, c. 887, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 193; c. 1287, s. 8; 1975, c. 752; 1977, c. 903; 1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1218; 1979, c. 17, s. 1; c. 22; c. 48, s. 1; c. 527, s. 1; c. 801, s. 73; 1981, c. 984, ss. 1, 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), cc. 1207, 1273; 1983, c. 510; c. 713, ss. 89, 93; c. 805, ss. 1, 2; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1065, ss. 1, 2, 4; c. 1097, ss. 6, 13; 1985, c. 704; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 925; c. 1005; 1987, c. 557, ss. 4, 5; c. 800, ss. 2, 3; c. 854, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1044, s. 4; 1989, c. 692, ss. 3.1, 3.3, 8.4(8); c. 770, s. 74.4; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 813, ss. 14, 15; 1991, c. 598, s. 5; c. 689, s. 311; c. 690, s. 1; 1993, c. 372, s. 1; c. 484, s. 2; 1995, c. 17, s. 6; c. 477, s. 1; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 13, ss. 1.1, 9.1, 9.2; 1997-475, s. 1.1; 1998-22, s. 5; 1998-55, ss. 8, 14; 1998-98, ss. 13.2, 48(a), (b); 1998-121, ss. 3, 5; 1998-197, s. 1; 1998-212, s. 29A.1(a); 1999-337, ss. 29, 30; 1999-360, s. 3(a), (b); 1999-438, s. 1; 2000-140, s. 67(a); 2001-424, ss. 34.13(a), 34.17(a), 34.23(b), 34.25(a); 2001-430, ss. 3, 4, 5; 2001-476, ss. 17(b)-(d), (f); 2001-487, ss. 67(b), 122(a)-(c); 2002-16, s. 4; 2003-284, s. 38.1; 2003-400, s. 15; 2004-110, ss. 6.1, 6.2, 6.3; 2005-144, s. 9.1; 2005-276, ss. 33.1, 33.4(a), (b); 2006-33, ss. 2, 11; 2006-66, ss. 24.1(a), (b), (c), 24.19(a), (b); 2006-151, s. 3; 2007-145, s. 9(a); 2007-323, ss. 31.2(a), (b), 31.16.3(h), 31.16.4(g); 2007-397, s. 10(a)-(f); 2009-451, s. 27A.2(b), (e); 2010-31, s. 31.6(a); 2010-123, s. 10.2; 2011-330, s. 16; 2013-316, ss. 3.1(a), 4.1(c), (e), 5(b), 6(b); 2013-414, ss. 9, 40.)