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North Dakota Sales Tax Guide for Businesses

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We wrote this guide for online sellers who want to know if they even have to bother with sales tax in North Dakota, and if so, how best to tackle the sales tax situation in the Peace Garden State.

After reading this, you’ll know:

  • Do you or don’t you need to collect North Dakota sales tax?
  • Which customers do you collect from?
  • How much do you collect?
  • What do you do with all the sales tax you’ve collected?
  • Way more than you probably ever wanted to know about North Dakota sales tax!

Do you have sales tax nexus in North Dakota?

Good news! You only have to begin thinking about North Dakota sales tax if you have sales tax nexus in North Dakota.

“Sales tax nexus” is just a fancy way of saying “significant presence” in a state.

North Dakota considers a seller to have sales tax nexus in the state if you have any of the following in the state:

  • A temporary or permanent office or place of business
  • An employee or agent
  • Leasing or renting tangible personal property

You can click here to read exactly what the North Dakota Department of Revenue (North Dakota’s taxing authority) has to say about what constitutes sales tax nexus in North Dakota (p. 2).

Is what you’re selling even taxable?

You’ve probably read this far because you realized you have sales tax nexus in North Dakota. Your next step is to determine if what you’re selling is even taxable.

Tangible products are taxable in North Dakota , with a few exceptions. These exceptions include certain groceries, prescription medicine and medical devices, and machinery and chemicals used in agriculture.

Many services are also taxable with some exceptions. Check out this document for information about which services are taxable and tax exempt in North Dakota.

If you have sales tax nexus in North Dakota and your products (or services) are taxable, your next step is to register for a sales tax permit.

How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in North Dakota

Sellers with sales tax nexus in North Dakota must apply for a North Dakota sales tax permit.

Don’t skip this step! Many states consider it unlawful to collect sales tax in their name without a permit. Go here for more on how to register for a sales tax permit in North Dakota.

How to Collect Sales Tax in North Dakota

So you’ve determined that you have sales tax nexus in North Dakota and what you’re selling is taxable. And you’re all set and registered for your North Dakota sales tax permit.

The next step is to determine how much sales tax to collect.

How to Collect Sales Tax in North Dakota

North Dakota is a destination-based sales tax state. So no matter if you live and run your business in North Dakota or live outside North Dakota but have nexus there, you would charge sales tax at the rate of your buyer’s ship-to location.

Example: You live and run your business in Fargo, ND where the sales tax rate is 7.5%, but you sell to a customer in Dickinson, ND. The sales tax rate in Dickinson is only 6.5%. You would charge your customer the 6.5% sales tax rate at their location.

You can look up your local sales tax rate by going to on your mobile device or look up any sales tax rate by zip code by going to with TaxJar’s Sales Tax Calculator.

Should you collect sales tax on shipping charges in North Dakota?

Shipping charges are generally taxable in North Dakota.

Read a full explanation of sales tax on shipping in North Dakota here.

Rank City Population County Total Sales Tax
1 Fargo 105,549 Cass 7.50%
2 Bismarck 61,272 Burleigh 7.65%
3 Grand Forks 52,838 Grand Forks 6.75%
4 Minot 40,888 Ward 7.50%
5 West Fargo 25,830 Cass 7.50%
6 Mandan 18,331 Morton 6.50%
7 Dickinson 17,787 Stark 6.50%
8 Jamestown 15,427 Stutsman 6.00%
9 Williston 14,716 Williams 8.00%
10 Wahpeton 7,736 Richland 7.00%
11 Devils Lake 7,141 Ramsey 7.00%
12 Valley City 6,585 Barnes 7.50%
13 Grafton 4,284 Walsh 7.75%
14 Beulah 3,121 Mercer 7.00%
15 Rugby 2,876 Pierce 7.00%
16 Horace 2,430 Cass 5.50%
17 Hazen 2,411 Mercer 6.50%
18 Lincoln 2,406 Burleigh 5.50%
19 Casselton 2,329 Cass 6.50%
20 Bottineau 2,211 Bottineau 7.00%

Caption: Top 20 Most Populous Cities in North Dakota and their Sales Tax Rates

When are North Dakota Sales Tax Returns Due?

North Dakota sales tax returns are always due the last day of the month following the reporting period. You’ll be assigned a sales tax filing frequency when you apply for your North Dakota sales tax permit.

To break it down:

2016 North Dakota Monthly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
January February 29, 2016
February March 31, 2016
March May 2, 2016*
April May 31, 2016
May June 30, 2016
June August 1, 2016*
July August 31, 2016
August September 30, 2016
September October 31, 2016
October November 30, 2016
November January 2, 2017*
December January 31, 2017

2016 North Dakota Quarterly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
Q1 (Jan - Mar) May 2, 2016*
Q2 (Apr - Jun) August 1, 2016*
Q3 (Jul - Sep) October 31, 2016
Q4 (Oct - Dec) January 31, 2017

2016 North Dakota Annual Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
Year 2016 January 31, 2017

*indicates a due date pushed back due to a weekend or holiday

How to File Sales Tax in North Dakota

When it comes time to file sales tax in North Dakota you must do three things:

  1. Calculate how much sales tax you owe
  2. File a sales tax return
  3. Make a payment

We’ll walk you through these steps.

How to Calculate How Much Sales Tax You Owe in North Dakota

Calculating how much sales tax you should remit to the state of North Dakota is easy with TaxJar’s North Dakota sales tax report.

All you do is connect the channels through which you sell – including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Square and more – and we’ll calculate exactly how much sales tax you collected. All the information you need to file your North Dakota sales tax return will be waiting for you in TaxJar. Start your 30-day free trial of TaxJar today!

How to File and Pay Sales Tax in North Dakota

You have two options for filing and paying your North Dakota sales tax:

Other Facts You Should Know about North Dakota Sales Tax Filing

There are a few more things you should know about sales tax in North Dakota:


  • Late Filing Penalty – Greater of 5% of tax due per month or fraction (maximum 25%) or $5.
  • Late Payment Penalty – Greater of 5% of tax due or $5.

Other penalties for fraud or serial offenses include higher penalties and even criminal charges.

“Zero returns”:

North Dakota requires that any seller with a sales tax permit file a sales tax return on your due date even if you don’t have any sales tax to report or pay. Click here for a list of states that require zero sales tax returns.


Many states understand that collecting sales tax is a difficult burden on merchants, and will provide a discount to help alleviate some of this burden. In North Dakota, a discount is available of 1.5% tax due. The maximum discount amount available is $93 per month.Click here for more about state sales tax discounts.

And that’s it. You’ve mastered North Dakota sales tax filing! Now that sales tax is out of the way, you can get back to what you do best – running your business.

North Dakota Sales Tax Resources

For more about North Dakota sales tax, check out the North Dakota section of the TaxJar blog.

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