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How Does Sales Tax Work?

by on ‎04-16-2013 01:28 PM - edited on ‎04-24-2018 04:16 PM by Social Media Specialist Social Media Specialist (21,058 Views)


Tax Information 














Tax Information for Purchases


Does sales tax apply to my purchase


Where sales tax applies, your online order will show tax applicable to the destination to which your order is shipped, delivered or picked up, at current tax rates. Shipping charges may also be subject to tax in certain states. Best Buy is required to collect tax in all states where we have a physical presence. You can estimate your sales tax by entering your ZIP code in your cart.


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How is the tax calculated? 


Best Buy calculates the tax in accordance with applicable state and local laws. Generally, the tax rate is based on the type of product or service purcahsed and where your purchase is shipped, delivered or picked up.


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Cell Phone and Activated Tablet Purchases


The sales tax collected on purchases of cell phones and certain similar devices depends in part on the method of purchase. Common scenarios include:


  • Sales tax on devices financed through a monthly payment plan will be due at the time of purchase. The sales tax due will be charged on the full price of the device.
  • In certain states, devices sold at a discount are taxed based on the discounted price. In other states, however, applicable regulations require that devices sold at a discount are taxed at the full, undiscounted price of the device (which may vary from the displayed price) or at the wholesale cost of the device to the retailer.
  • The estimated tax due at the time of purchase will be displayed in your cart. The final sales tax charged on your order will be displayed in your order confirmation sent via e-mail.


What are any other Fees & Taxes? 


Some products have state and local fees or taxes imposed on them, based on the type of product and where you live. Some fees are subject to sales tax; others are not. Common fees and taxes include:


  • Public Improvement Fee (PIF)& Retail Sales Fee (RSF)

Apply to certain retail purchases in designated districts of Colorado. Designated districts impose these fees as a means to finance the district's cost for a new development or public improvement (i.e., curbs, sidewalks, public street lighting, etc.).


  • California Electronic Waste Recycling Fee

Applies to video display products such as computer monitors and TVs sold in California. California imposes this fee to offset the cost of properly recycling these items.


  • White Goods Disposal Tax

Applies to the purchase of large household appliances, or white goods, in certain states. These states impose this tax for the disposal of refrigerators, washers, dryers, ranges, dishwashers and other large appliances.


  • E911 Fee

Applies to the purchase of prepaid wireless services in certain states. These states require the fee to help pay for emergency response services such as fire and rescue. For more information about a particular fee or tax, please contact your state's department of revenue.


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What are Tax-Exempt Purchases? 


If you qualify, there are two ways you can make tax exempt purchases on


1. Use a government-issued credit card (government purchase card).

  • At checkout, enter your purchase card info as you would for any other credit card.
  • Check the box to acknowledge the card is a government-issued purcahse card and agree to the Tax Exemption Agreement.

2. Use a Best Buy Tax-Exempt Quick Card.

  • At the Payment Information screen, click Use a Best Buy Tax-Exempt Quick Card.
  • Enter the Customer ID number located on the front of your card, then click "Apply." Learn more about the Best Buy Tax-Exempt Quick Card, including how to apply for one.


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Tax-Exempt Refunds



I'm tax exempt but was charged tax on my order. What do I do


If you make a tax exempt purchase on but do not use one of the cards listed above, you have 30 days to give us your tax exemption information and receive a refund for the tax. There are two ways to get a refund:


1. Send us a fax.


Within 30 days of your purchase, fax a copy of your tax exemption certificate, resale certificate or other required documentation to 1-866-964-1842. Follow these steps:


          1. Write your order number and e-mail address on your tax-exemption.                                                    


          2. Label your fax cover sheet "Attention: Tax Exempt."


For your security, if you're faxing us a copy of a government purchase card, be sure to black out the 16-digit number on the card.


We will notify you via e-mail if your request has been approved or denied. If denied, we'll tell you why, and may request more information.


Once your order is fulfilled, a credit for the applicable tax amount will be applied to the form of payment used to make the purchase. If you used a credit card, please allow up to three billing cycles for the credit to appear on your statement.



2. Visit a Best Buy store.


Within 30 days of your purchase, you can get a refund at your local Best Buy store. Bring a copy of your order confirmation, along with an exemption certificate, resale certificate or other required documentation, to the customer service counter.


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Who may qualify for tax-exempt purchases? 


  • Nonprofit organizations

Schools, public charities, churches and other religious entities, and other nonprofit organizations generally qualify under federal law. A tax exemption certificate is required.


  • Individuals

Foreign diplomats, agents of foreign governments, and other individuals may be exempt from paying state and state-collected sales tax. A sales tax exemption card, such as a federal government purchase card or foreign diplomat card, is required.


  • Federal and state governments

The U.S. government, its agencies, and its instrumentalities may make exempt purchases of goods and services. An exemption certificate or copy of government purchase card is required.


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Are there Payment Restrictions for Tax Exempt Purchases? 


Many states require organizations, schools, churches and hospitals to use organizational funds. This means that the credit card used must be issued by the organization to receive tax exempt status. The personal credit card of an employee working for a tax exempt organization cannot be used.


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How Can I Receive an Updated Receipt to Reflect a Tax Exempt Refund? 


If you need a receipt for your records that reflects the tax exempt refund you received, sign in to My Account and print a receipt. The receipt will show the credit as an adjustment to your order.


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What are Sales Tax Holidays? 


At certain times of the year, some states offer a sales tax holiday which makes qualifying items exempt from sales tax during the holiday period. Common types of sales tax holidays include Energy Star, Storm or Hurricane Preparedness and Back-to-School. Various items such as washers, refrigerators, flashlights, clothing and computers may be exempt during this period. will post current sales tax holiday dates as the information becomes available.


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