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Posted by salestax on March 18, 2010

I’ve seen my fair share of people trying to get out of paying U.S. sales taxes:  forging certificates, making false claims about exemptions, giving false information on a certificate, shipping to one state and then claiming they took it across the border or in their suitcase to another country.  But in all my years, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about someone trying to make money this way:

I wish that ND would have been more forthcoming with the actual businesses/websites that are claiming you can buy a taxpayer number and exemption certificate. 

But nevertheless, you can’t just go out and purchase an exemption certificate.  Generally, you must apply with the state in which you do business, and they will either provide you with a permit/license or some kind of certificate/letter that you can use to give to your vendors to claim an exemption, or you will use the number given by your state on that permit, license, etc. to complete a valid certificate.

As a vendor, if you need to check that the number placed on a resale/exemption certificate is valid, see the list of states on the right that offer verification sites.

Also, if you need a blank exemption certificate for your state, you can either go to the relevant state’s website or check out CertCapture for current blank exemption certificates available throughout the U.S. –  FREE!

As always, with sales & use tax, it’s not only “buyer beware” but vendors must be equally aware.



  1. FN said

    Please be careful about the use of BLANKET certificates in Florida. Under current Florida law, the old index styled blanket certificate is no longer acceptable for certain types of transactions involving resale scenarios or sales to exempt entities such as governments or 501(c)(3) organizations.

    In Florida, you MUST provide a signed copy of the ANNUAL RESALE certificate for resale oriented transactions. You can confirm proper formats of resale certificates here:

    Pay particular attention to the use of MULTIJURISDICTIONAL CERTIFICATES also in Rule 12a-1.038 FAC (above)

    For exempt customers, you can go here to find information on CONSUMER CERTIFICATES OF EXEMPTION:

    I can’t tell you how many times in my 15+ years of auditing a failure to secure a copy of a valid certificate lead to taxpayer problems lead to significant deficiencies. Notices of the changes in acceptable certificates were mailed…and ignored by taxpayers.

  2. thanks for the informative post, this is the information i was searching for.

  3. Buy Direct said

    It’s in reality a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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