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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039
Monday, September 8, 2008

North Dakotans Reminded to Apply for Sales Tax Refund

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong reminds retailers and shoppers of the three-year deadline to file for a partial refund of the local sales tax they paid on purchases made on or after October 1, 2005. The refund program has been in place since October 2005 when North Dakota joined the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP).

“Customers may apply for a refund anytime within three years from the date of the purchase,” said Fong. “Because this is only the third year of the program, shoppers may not be aware of the three-year deadline that will be here soon. We want to be sure they are aware of the refund program and the three-year time limit for receiving a refund.”

The sales tax refund program has been available as part of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project. The refund program replaces the sales tax “caps” that most North Dakota cities and some counties imposed prior to October 2005.

Since October 1, 2005, the Tax Department has processed 5,131 refunds for a total of $3.6 million with an average refund of $701.

Fong said, “The amount of refund a customer may request is equal to the difference between the amount of city and county sales tax paid and the amount that would have been paid if the cap was in place.”

  • For example, a customer purchases furniture costing $6,000 in a city that previously provided for a $25.00 cap on local tax.
    • A 1% city sales tax equals $60.00.
    • The customer should request a refund from the Tax Department for $35.00.
    • $60.00 less $25.00 cap = $35.00.

To apply for a refund, a shopper simply files a “Claim for Refund of City or County Sales and Use Tax Transmittal” form, along with copies of invoices, to the Office of State Tax Commissioner. The customer should keep the original invoices for three years from the date of purchase. Fong added that motor vehicles are not subject to a local sales tax, and as such would not qualify for a refund./p>

“All local tax collected by the Tax Department is sent to the city or county,” said Fong. “If a customer does not request the refund, the tax revenue stays with the city or county.”

For more information about the refund program or to access the refund claim forms, visit the Tax Department’s web site at www.nd.gov/tax, e-mail the department at [salestax@nd.gov], or call the Tax Department’s Sales Tax Section at (701) 328.1246.

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