Did you know if you’re a small business owner, part of a nonprofit organization, or a faculty member at a university, you might be able to make tax-exempt purchases?
Retail mega-chain Walmart runs a tax-exempt program for goods in their stores, but if you’re just starting out with it or not even sure if you qualify, it can be a bit overwhelming.
Here is your complete guide to the Walmart tax-exempt program and how it can benefit you!
What Is The Walmart Tax Exempt Program?
Walmart’s tax-exempt program allows organizations with sales tax-exempt status to enroll on their website or in person, and shop in-store or online, without having to pay sales tax. Tax-exempt organizations are issued a Walmart tax-exempt card in-store, which they present to the cashier prior to check-out.
To learn more about whether your organization may qualify to receive tax-free purchases at Walmart, how you can sign up for Walmart’s tax-exempt program, and more, keep reading!
Who Can Take Part In The Walmart Tax Exempt Program?
You or your organization might qualify for tax-exempt status, thus benefitting from Walmart’s tax-exempt program (or WTEP), and not even realize it.
There are seven types of organizations that qualify for sales tax-exempt status. These include:
- Religious groups
- Education providers
- Government agencies
The reseller one is significant for any of you small business owners out there.
If you purchase items wholesale from Walmart (which you then sell), you would not have to pay sales tax on the purchase, increasing your profitability.
And this is one way in which our government encourages small business activity.
So if you see you and your organization in any of these categories, it is worth looking into.
Additionally, with Walmart seemingly on every corner, the convenience of taking advantage of tax-exempt status at this retailer cannot be overstated.
Your first step is to get approved by your state government as a tax-exempt organization.
(If you work at a school or university, or a charity or religious group, they might already have the documentation for you.)
Next, you’ll want to find your state’s tax-exempt application, collect all the necessary paperwork, turn everything in, and wait to see if you are approved.
If so, you can then apply for Walmart’s tax-exempt program.
How Do You Obtain Tax Exempt Certificate For Walmart?
To shop as part of the WTEP, you will need to obtain a tax-exempt certificate from Walmart.
This is done differently online and in-store, so let’s examine each process.
Obtaining your tax-exempt certificate for the WTEP is a bit more complicated than in-person, but not terribly so.
You should plan to apply for WTEP at least a few days ahead of when you want to start shopping, as the approval process takes time.
You’ll begin by creating a Walmart.com account using an organization-based email (not personal) and include the name of the person who will primarily be shopping.
Additionally, you will also need to have the tax-exempt documentation required by your state on hand. Walmart provides a handy list here.
When you have submitted everything, you simply wait for Walmart to review the application on their end.
Within a few days at most, you will receive confirmation of either approval, at which point you can immediately start shopping.
For Walmart’s online instructions, check out their WTEP enrollment page.
For in-store certification, you will need to bring all the necessary state-issued and organization-related documentation in with you.
Once in-store, head to the customer service desk, in which an associate will look over your documentation and, if approved, provide you with a WTEP card.
Obviously, the in-store method is a lot faster, but if you want to shop online and in-store, you will have to apply for each separately.
How Do You Use The Walmart Tax Exempt Program In Stores?
To use your WTEP card in Walmart stores, you must first make sure that you have a WTEP card issued by a store from the same state.
Because state laws and regulations vary, you can’t use an Oklahoma card, for example, in California.
And to get a card for that state, you will also need the documentation that you are tax-exempt in that state.
You can collect the items you are shopping for as usual, but if you are doing any personal shopping, you should keep those separate and pay for them separately.
When you get to the registers, it’s important that you show them the WTEP card before they start ringing anything up.
Upon completion of the sale, you should look at the receipt to ensure that you weren’t taxed for anything inappropriately.
If you were, you will likely want to speak to a manager to rectify the situation.
How Do You Use The Walmart Tax Exempt Program In Online?
As noted above, you will have to create a Walmart.com account specifically to shop as part of the WTEP.
Using that account, you can add items to your cart and then check out as normal. Sales tax should automatically be removed.
What Can You Not Purchase With The Walmart Tax Exempt Program?
Not everything available at Walmart is tax-exempt, even when you participate in WTEP.
Some obvious items that cannot be purchased as part of this program include alcohol and cigarettes.
Additionally, pharmacy services, Vudu purchases, and Apple products are not tax-exempt.
Tires and auto services, as well as photo printing, may be applicable but would require manual refunds (you apply for a refund after paying).
If you’re shopping online, items that participate in Walmart’s Marketplace program are also not tax-exempt, with some exceptions (see here).
Finally, and this is important: If you are a reseller, items used for personal or professional consumption should not be purchased as part of WTEP.
Only items that you plan on reselling are applicable under WTEP.
Walmart’s tax exemption program is a convenient way for approved organizations, and individuals shopping on their behalf, to make tax-exempt purchases.
Though qualifications vary by state, the WTEP is a straight-forward, accessible and beneficial way to take advantage of sales tax-exempt perks at the largest retailer in the world.