The Wake County Board of Commissioners implemented a 1½% gross receipts tax on rental vehicles effective July 1, 2000. This gross receipts tax is a substitute for the property tax on a short-term leased or rental vehicle. This refers to any rental vehicle that is offered at retail for short-term lease or rental and is owned or leased by an entity engaged in the business of leasing or renting vehicles to the general public.

The county gross receipts tax on rental vehicles is independent of rental vehicle taxes administered by the Triangle Transit Authority and the NC Department of Revenue.  For information on the filing requirements of these businesses, please visit their web sites using the links provided in the Related Links section on the right side of this page.

A Rental Vehicle is:
  • A motor vehicle of the private passenger type, including a passenger van, mini-van, sport utility or recreational vehicle
  • A motor vehicle of the cargo type, including a cargo van, pickup truck or truck with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less used predominately in the transportation of property for other than commercial freight and that does not require the operator to possess a commercial driver's license
  • A trailer or semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 6,000 pounds or less.

Subject Businesses include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Automobile Sales Dealers
  • Truck Sales Dealers
  • Trailer Sales Dealers
  • Automobile Rental Agencies
  • Truck Rental Agencies
  • Trailer Rental Agencies
  • Equipment Rental Agencies
  • Any other establishment, place of business or enterprise maintaining facilities, equipment, services or inventory for the lease of rental or any type or kind of short-term lease or rental of a vehicle.

Short-Term Lease or Rental
This applies to a lease or rental that is made under a written agreement to lease or rent property to the same person for a period of less than 365 continuous days.

  
Rental Location within City Limits
An additional 1½% gross receipts tax will be collected from any rental location situated within any city limit in the county of Wake. The tax will be charged at the rental location at which the customer takes delivery of the vehicle.
 
General Filing Information
Retailers must complete a Rental Vehicle Tax Application to establish an account number for tax reporting purposes.  Completed applications should be mailed to:

Wake County Revenue Department
Rental Vehicle Tax Division

P.O. Box 2719
Raleigh NC 27602-2719

For assistance in completing an application or questions regarding the Vehicle Rental Tax, please call the Wake County Revenue Department at 919-856-5999.

Once a tax account number is established, a coupon book will be sent to the retailer for use in filing their monthly report. View a sample payment coupon.

  • A report must be filed each month on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues.
  • Reports must be received in the Wake County Revenue Department, or postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service, by the twentieth day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues.  Metered mail is considered to be received as of the date the remittance is received in this office.
  • The tax shown to be due must be paid with the report or penalties will be charged. See North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) 105.236 for information regarding penalties.
  • Remittance should be made by check or money order made payable to the Wake County Revenue Department. One check for all locations will be accepted; however, a separate report for each location must be filed.
  • If you do not owe any tax for a month, you must file a report showing "No Tax Due."
  • As provided in NCGS 160A-208.1, a return  filed with the Wake County Revenue Department shall not be considered a public record and information contained in a return may not be disclosed except as required by law.

Return Check Penalties
NCGS 105-236 states: "When the bank upon which any uncertified check tendered to the Department of Revenue in payment of any obligation due to the Department returns the check because of insufficient funds or the nonexistence of an account of the drawer, the Secretary shall assess a penalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the check, subject to a minimum of one dollar ($1.00) and a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000). This penalty does not apply if the Secretary finds that, when the check was presented for payment, the drawer of the check had sufficient funds in the account at a financial institution to pay the check and, by inadvertence, the drawer of the check failed to draw the check on the account that had sufficient funds.