Sales Tax Relief Is Available for Sevier County Residents
A Presidential Disaster Declaration was issued for Sevier County on December 15, 2016. Through this declaration, Sevier County will receive individual federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This declaration also means Tennessee sales tax relief is available for affected individuals. The General Assembly passed law changes that expand Tennessee's natural disaster sales tax refund to individuals who primary and/or secondary residence was damaged or destroyed as a result of the Sevier County wildfires. Read more information about this tax relief below, as well as in this important notice.
Who qualifies for sales tax refunds?
Individuals whose primary and/or secondary residence was damaged or destroyed as a result of the Sevier County wildfires during November 28 through December 9, 2016 can receive a refund for Tennessee sales tax paid on certain items for their residence(s). Any person filing a claim for refund for their primary residence must include documentation verifying the assistance they received from FEMA. Individuals filing a claim for refund for their secondary residence must certify the damage or destruction was the result of the Sevier County wildfires and provide a copy of their fire department report, insurance adjuster’s report or other documentation to verify the secondary residence was damaged or destroyed during the Sevier County wildfires. A person can file only one claim for a primary residence and only one claim for one secondary residence.
When should claims be filed?
A claim can be filed up to one year from the date on the FEMA decision letter. The claim for refund for a secondary residence must be filed by April 1, 2018. A claimant should wait until he or she has made all purchases before filing a claim for refund. Receipts and invoices should be compiled and tracked so that all eligible items purchased after the date of the disaster from all retailers can be submitted at one time. The maximum amount of Tennessee sales tax that can be refunded is $3,500 per residence.
What items qualify for the sales tax refund?
The Tennessee sales tax paid on eligible items can be refunded. Eligible items are major appliances purchased for $3,200 or less, residential furniture purchased for $3,200 or less, and residential building supplies purchased for $500 or less.
To be eligible, major appliances and residential furniture must be purchased to replace damaged or destroyed items used in the individual’s primary and/or secondary residence. Residential building supplies must be used for the purposes of restoration, repair, replacement, or rebuilding the individual’s primary and/or secondary residence. You can view a detailed list of eligible and ineligible items here.
Is there a limit on the amount of sales tax that can be refunded?
The maximum amount of refund available to any one residence is $3,500.
Can you include sales tax paid by a contractor in the claim?
People filing a claim for refund may also include the Tennessee sales or use tax paid on eligible items their contractor purchased and used when making repairs to their home. Affected individuals should ask their contractor to provide them with an invoice listing the items purchased and the amount of Tennessee sales tax the contractor paid on those purchases.
What are the steps for claiming a refund of sales tax?
A person can file only one claim for a primary residence and only one claim for one secondary residence. The claim should include all Tennessee sales and use tax paid, up to $3,500, to all retailers for any eligible items. The claim for refund for a primary residence must be filed within one year from the date on the FEMA decision letter. The claim for refund for a secondary residence must be filed by April 1, 2018. The refund claim(s) should only include eligible items purchased after the date of the disaster. To file claim for refund, follow these steps:
- Gather a copy of your FEMA decision letter if the claim is for your primary residence, or the fire department report or insurance claim if the claim is for a secondary residence, and all of your receipts and invoices showing payment of Tennessee sales tax on eligible items. Include contractor invoices, if applicable, and any other payment documents if store receipts are not available.
- File your Sevier County Wildfire Disaster Claim for Refund using the Department’s new tax filing website, called Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP). Submitting your claim using our new website will allow for faster processing.
- However, if you do not want to use the Department’s website, you can also mail the completed Sevier County Wildfire Natural Disaster Claim for Refund of Sales Tax form and a copy of your FEMA decision letter for a primary residence (or a copy of a fire department report, insurance adjuster's report or other documentation to verify the secondary residence was damaged or destroyed during the wildfires) to:
ATTN: Natural Disaster Refund Claim
Tennessee Department of Revenue
Andrew Jackson State Office Building
Nashville, TN 37242
Note: Remember to retain the original FEMA decision letter, the fire department report, or insurance claim for your records.
- Keep all receipts and invoices for a period of three years from December 31 of the year in which the claim for refund was filed. Do not send receipts and invoices with the claim for refund. If needed, the Department will request the receipts and invoices.
If a corporation owns rental cabins that were damaged or destroyed in the Sevier County wildfires, can the corporation get a tax refund for items purchased to repair the cabins or replace damaged items in the cabins?
No. Tennessee law allows a refund to individuals for Tennessee sales tax paid on items purchased to repair or replace their primary and/or secondary residence and items in their residence(s) damaged or destroyed as a result of the Sevier County wildfires. Your primary residence is the main place where you live.