Cornhusker Commerce: Analyzing the Structure and Implications of Nebraska’s Sales Tax

Key takeaways

  • Understand the significance of Nebraska sales tax and who needs to collect it.
  • Get to know what happens if you fail to collect Nebraska sales tax.
  • Learn how to register for sales tax in Nebraska.
  • Learn how to file and collect Nebraska sales tax.

Who needs to collect Nebraska sales tax?

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The physical presence of a firm within the state of Nebraska is one of the major factors affecting sales tax collection there. This may entail having a physical location for a business, an office, a warehouse, or even staff members in Nebraska. This requirement's justification is that enterprises must contribute to the tax system in order to use the state's infrastructure and services. 

In addition, regardless of physical presence, businesses conducting sales operations in Nebraska must collect sales tax. This applies to in-state telemarketing, online sales, and mail-order sales. The key element is that the company is selling to people who reside in Nebraska, which sets off the requirement to collect sales tax. When evaluating a company's obligation to collect sales taxes, the sorts of transactions it engages in are significant.

The retail sale of tangible personal property is subject to sales tax in Nebraska. This covers many products, including furniture, clothes, electronics, and other physical commodities. Additionally, if some criteria stated by Nebraska law are met, certain services could also be liable to sales tax. To achieve sales tax compliance, businesses must familiarize themselves with these categories.

In Nebraska, there are certain exceptions to the regular application of sales tax. Sales to tax-exempt organizations, for instance, nonprofit organizations or governmental bodies, might not need to be taxed. Similarly, some products or services, such as food or prescription drugs, may not be subject to sales tax. To minimize problems with compliance, firms need to comprehend and use these exemptions properly.

Sales tax rates

In Nebraska, the state sales tax is 5.5% as of the time of writing. Within the state, taxable sales are subject to this rate. It is crucial to remember that local governments may apply different sales tax rates, which would cause variances across various regions. According to Nebraska's county, city, or other local taxing jurisdictions, local sales tax rates might change. The local sales tax rates that apply to a business location must be determined. The collection and submission of taxes based on the total of the state and municipal rates must be precise.

Businesses may assure compliance and help the state's economy expand and flourish by considering the requirements for sales tax collection and comprehending the sales tax rates in Nebraska.

Companies must be aware of Nebraska's sales tax rates to calculate and correctly collect the correct sales tax amount. An overview of the state's relevant sales tax rates will be given in this section.

Do you have a Nexus in Nebraska?

Understanding your responsibilities as a business owner depends on determining whether you have a sales tax nexus in Nebraska. A "nexus" is a material relationship or presence that renders a company liable for the collection and remittance of sales tax. Several things can help establish a sales tax nexus in Nebraska.

Physical presence is one of the main strategies to create nexus in Nebraska. You probably have a sales tax nexus if your company has a physical presence in the state, such as a brick-and-mortar site, an office, a warehouse, or even people that work there. You are liable for collecting and remitting sales tax because of the substantial relationship to the state that is established by this physical presence.

Nebraska acknowledges economic links in addition to physical presence. You could be regarded as having an economic nexus if your company's sales or transactions in the state surpass specific levels. From state to state, different requirements for economic linkage must be met. As a result, it's critical to remain current on Nebraska's regulations to evaluate whether your company qualifies.

What happens if you fail to collect Nebraska sales tax?

There may be severe repercussions if you have a sales tax nexus yet fail to collect Nebraska sales tax. There are substantial repercussions for failing to collect sales tax, and the Nebraska Department of Revenue takes non-compliance with sales tax rules very seriously. Here are some examples of what such effects may be:


You might face fines from the Nebraska Department of Revenue if you don't collect sales tax. The extent of these fines might vary according to the amount of unpaid tax and the length of your non-compliance. These fines may be a fixed sum or a percentage of the unpaid tax.

Interest Fees

In addition to fines, the Department of Revenue may assess interest fees on unpaid sales taxes. The state regulations set the interest rate, which started to accumulate on the day the tax was supposed to be collected.

Audits and Inquiries

Failure to comply with sales tax laws may result in audits or inquiries from the Nebraska Department of Revenue. This may result in additional fines, higher tax obligations, and even potential legal action.

Understanding and complying with your sales tax duties is necessary to prevent these unfavorable effects. Maintaining correct records, ensuring appropriate sales tax collection, and timely tax remittance are essential for complying with Nebraska sales tax requirements.

How to register for sales tax in Nebraska?

Registering for sales tax is a must for companies with a sales tax nexus in Nebraska. The registration procedure described below should be followed to assure compliance and acquire a sales tax permit:

Determine Your Nexus

The first step in registering for sales tax is ascertaining if your company has a physical or economic nexus in Nebraska. A physical presence in the state, such as a business, office, warehouse, or workers in Nebraska, establishes a physical nexus. Meeting specific sales or transaction benchmarks is the basis for an economic nexus. You must register for sales tax if any of these conditions apply to your company.

Visit the website of the Nebraska Department of Revenue

To start the registration procedure, go to the Nebraska Department of Revenue's official website. The website provides thorough tools and information for sales tax registration and filing. To correctly finish the registration procedure, be sure to read the supplied instructions and recommendations carefully.

Create an Online Account 

Create an online account with the Nebraska Department of Revenue if needed. You may obtain the required forms with this account and finish the online registration procedure. Create an account by following the website's instructions and entering the necessary information.

Obtain Form 20

From the Nebraska Department of Revenue website, download Form 20, sometimes referred to as the Nebraska Tax Application. To obtain a hard copy of the form, you may also contact the Department of Revenue.

Fill out Form 20

Fill out Form 20 completely and accurately, including all required information. This contains information about your company, such as its legal name, organizational structure, contact data, federal tax identification number (EIN), and other pertinent details. For the registration process to go smoothly, accuracy is essential.

Supporting Documents

In addition to Form 20, you might also need to provide supporting documentation for your registration. A copy of your federal tax identification number confirmation, your articles of incorporation or organization, and other relevant company paperwork are frequently asked for. Depending on your firm's type and legal structure, several documents could be needed. For a complete list of necessary papers, see the Nebraska Department of Revenue website or contact their office.

Submit the application

The Nebraska Department of Revenue must receive your application when it has been filled out and accompanied by the required supporting documentation (Form 20). Please adhere to the electronic submission guidelines if you are filing online. Use the Department of Revenue's approved mailing address to transmit the completed form and any necessary supporting documentation if you're filing by mail. All submitted documents should be copied for your records, so do so.

Wait for Confirmation

The Nebraska Department of Revenue will send you a confirmation once you've submitted the registration application. This confirmation will usually include your sales tax permit number. You should keep a safe location where you can easily access this confirmation and permission number. Your ability to collect and submit sales tax in Nebraska is a crucial document made possible by the sales tax permit.

How to file sales tax in Nebraska?

Understanding how to submit your sales tax reports accurately is imperative after receiving a Nebraska sales tax permit. Reporting your sales, figuring up how much tax you owe, and sending the money to the Nebraska Department of Revenue are all steps in the procedure. Here is a quick rundown of the sales tax filing procedure:

Determine Filing Frequency

The Nebraska Department of Revenue determines the frequency of your sales tax returns (monthly, quarterly, or yearly) on the past tax obligation of your company or its projected annual sales. In future letters from the Department of Revenue or your sales tax authorization confirmation, you can see the allotted filing frequency.

The web address for the Nebraska Department of Revenue

Visit the Nebraska Department of Revenue's official website to access your online account. If you still need to create one, follow the steps.

Get the Sales and Use Tax Return Form

After logging in, look for and download the sales and use tax return form that is appropriate for your filing frequency. You can get the form via mail if you'd instead physically file it.

Calculate the Sales Tax due

Use the data on the return form to determine your sales tax due for the reporting period. Your taxable sales, including any local or special district taxes, should be taxed at the appropriate rate.

Submit the Sales Tax Return

The Nebraska Department of Revenue must receive the sales tax return once you have filled it out and paid the required amount. Follow the online submission guidelines if you're filing electronically. Send the completed return form and any necessary payment vouchers to the Department of Revenue's specified mailing address if you're filing by mail. 

How to collect Nebraska sales tax?

Businesses must adhere to a straightforward procedure in Nebraska to collect sales tax. Determine the sales tax rate that applies in the first place, depending on the sale's location. The sales tax amount should then increase the total sales price of the goods or services. The customer's invoice or receipt should also prominently indicate the sales tax amount as a distinct line item. At the time of the transaction, take the customer's sales tax and send it with the appropriate paperwork and payments to the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

Nebraska sales tax deadlines

Depending on the filing frequency each firm is allocated, there are several deadlines for Nebraska sales taxes. The deadline for monthly filers is typically the 20th day of the next month, although the date for quarterly and yearly filers varies. To find the precise dates for your company, check with the Nebraska Department of Revenue or speak with a tax expert. Sales tax must be filed and paid on time to avoid fines and preserve compliance with state requirements.


In conclusion, it is critical for companies doing business in Nebraska to comprehend the rules and procedures related to the state's sales tax. It is crucial to register for sales tax, collect the correct amount of tax, and file returns on time to comply with state laws. Businesses may efficiently handle their sales tax responsibilities and prevent fines according to the instructions offered by the Nebraska Department of Revenue. To ensure correct compliance, it is important to be informed about any changes in sales tax legislation and to obtain expert guidance when necessary. Businesses may run efficiently while satisfying their sales tax duties in Nebraska by taking care of these tasks.

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Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

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