How to Make Tax-Exempt Purchases in Retail and Online Stores

by Galyna on February 16, 2015

Hi there! If you are selling online then you’ve probably heard about the possibility to avoid paying sales tax on purchases. This is true as long as you are buying things that you will resell later. This has been implemented by states to avoid so-called “double taxation”.

Different states has different sales tax and some don’t charge sales tax at all. To get more information regarding this, I recommend you checking in with your Department of State and with CPA.

Different stores have different procedures for selling their items without collecting sales tax and/or refunding it. It takes time to figure it all out and to comply. That’s why I’ve created this table below to help you with this task.

Note that many stores are presented here twice – one for their brick-and-mortar location and second is for their online store.  This is because very often the procedures are different.

Please also note that every time you are attempting to make a purchase without paying the sales tax (or to obtain tax-exempt card), you will have to present your reseller / tax exempt certificate. Please refer to your Department of Revenue for additional info.

StoreProcedureRefund Possibility
StoreProcedureRefund Possibility
Walmart.comHave to request a refund on the eligible purchases AFTER the purchase has been made.
Check out Wal-Mart Tax-exemption.
Yes
Walmart StoresBEFORE you’ve made a purchase – head to Customer Service to obtain gray colored Wal-Mart tax exempt card with your customer ID number. Present this card to cashier every time BEFORE he/she starts scanning your items. No
BestBuy / BestBuy.comApply for Best Buy Tax-exempt Quick Card Program by mail or in-person. Wait for 10-15 business days to get processed by mail or receive instantly in the store.
Check out Best-Buy Tax-exemption.
Letter from Best Buy:
BestBuy Quick Card Letter
N/a
WalgreensYou will have to present your reseller certificate every time you want to make tax-exempt purchase. After your items are scanned cashier then will enter all your data to the system.
This has to be done every time, currently there is no possibility to create a tax-exempt account with Walgreens.
No
BigLotsApply for an account in store to obtain Customer Number. Account valid in the state it was created in. Present your Account Number every time the purchase is made.No
OfficeDepot / OfficeMaxObtain a tax-exempt card at customer service desk. Get a temporary copy immediately and receive a permanent card by mail. Valid in-state only. Present the card to cashier every time, before making a purchase. N/a
Staples/ Staples.comObtain Staples Tax-exempt Customer number by following this procedure. .
Add your number to your Staples.com online account to get it to automatically applied to all online purchases.
No / N/a
Target.comBEFORE: Follow the steps here to sign-up: this procedure. .Yes
To receive a refund for tax paid on exempt purchases, please contact us at 1-800-591-3869

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