Department of Revenue Unveils New Online Service - Businesses Now Able to Electronically Verify Resale and Exemption Certificates

Thursday, February 07, 2013 | 10:46 am

Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee businesses often have customers who wish to make purchases free from sales tax, either because they intend to resell the items they are purchasing or because they are making purchases for non-profit organizations or for agricultural purposes.  These businesses now have a new tool to help determine the validity of exemption certificates presented to them by their customers.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue now offers an online search at their website, www.TN.gov/revenue, to verify the status of exemption certificates. Businesses using this service can ensure the entity making the purchase is qualified to be exempt from sales tax on the transaction before the sale is completed. 

The use of this service allows business owners to simply type the account number and select the type of exemption certificate being presented.  The search result shows whether the certificate is valid or invalid.  This verification does not relieve the vendor of the responsibility of maintaining a copy of valid exemption certificates on file.  This search also does not reveal any details about the business, protecting each business’ privacy as required under Tennessee law.

“We are glad to add this convenient tool to our expanding list of electronic services,” said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. “Businesses across the state do a great job in voluntarily complying with our state’s tax laws.  Being able to verify the validity of certificates before accepting them is an excellent way for businesses to ensure their sales tax exemptions are proper before the transaction is made.”

Businesses are encouraged to visit www.TN.gov/revenue and look for the link for certificate verification.  Once there, click the link and bookmark this for later use.  Certificates of resale, nonprofit exemption certificates, and agricultural exemption certificates can be verified using this site.  Other types of exemptions may be verified by contacting the Department of Revenue’s contact center at 800/342-1003 (toll-free within Tennessee) or 615/253-0600 (Nashville and out-of-state) from 7:00am-5:00pm, Central time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature, and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 88 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2012 fiscal year, the Department collected $13.6 billion in state and local taxes and fees. In collecting taxes, the Department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance.

The Department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.

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