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Exemption Certificates Quiz: Buyer, Bill-To or Ship-To...?

author photo of Silvia Aguirre

As you kick-off your campaign to collect sales tax exemption certificates from all your customers, you need to ask yourself who you need to contact...   When the state comes to audit your company they will provide a list of customer names and ship-to locations that need to have sales tax exemption certificates.

The first response from many people is that every ship-to location should have a valid exemption certificate and, therefore, every one of them should be contacted to acquire the correct forms. The correct and legal answer is that you, as a seller, have no connection to the ship-to location.  A seller has a contract with the buyer – who may be the ship-to location or may be a completely different company.  You should only be contacting the buyer or bill-to locations to ask for sales tax exemption certificates.  You should reference the states where the goods are delivered.  It is not just the bill-to customer’s home state that you need an exemption certificate from, it is every state in which goods are delivered.   So, though you will need to have every ship-to location covered, it may be covered by an exemption certificate with the bill-to customers name on it.

Note: Silvia Aguirre is no longer accepting new comments nor questions. More recent "Exemption Certificate Mgmt" posts by Michael Fleming (of Peisner Johnson) are still active. Also use the Site's SEARCH bar to locate other helpful information.

Other recent “Exemption Certificate Mgmt.” posts by Silvia Aguirre:

NOTE: All blog content, comments, and participation subject to disclaimer at bottom of page.


Note: Silvia Aguirre is no longer accepting new comments or questions.  More recent "Exemption Certificate Mgmt" posts by Michael Fleming (of Peisner Johnson) are still active.  Also use the Site's SEARCH bar to locate other helpful information.

4 Responses to Exemption Certificates Quiz: Buyer, Bill-To or Ship-To...?

  • Posted by Deanna on October 24, 2014 7:28am:

    I am trying to locate a local seminar or workshop that would specifically go over tax exemption certificates and fully explain in detail all the scenarios that a business would receive.

    • Posted by Author photo of Susan JaegerSusan Jaeger on December 5, 2014 7:01am:

      Thanks for your question Deanna. While Silvia Aguirre’s very helpful Exemption Certificate blog information is still available – she is no longer posting new items or responding to new comments or questions.
      HOWEVER... some good news… Andy Johnson and Michael Fleming of Peisner Johnson & Company have taken over the Exemption Certificate blogging activity. If you would like to post an Exemptions Certificate related question – feel free to submit through the comment section in the newest/latest post(s) listed on this linked page.
      Additionally - you may want to have a look at our Webinar/Seminar Calendar page - as many of our content contributors and sponsors often host Exemption Certificate related events. See

  • Posted by Emily on March 15, 2012 3:29am:

    Do you have a template letter that I can send to all my customers? Thanks!

    • Posted by Author photo of Silvia AguirreSilvia Aguirre on April 3, 2012 4:47am:

      Current certificates can be obtained through state DOR websites. You can also access blank exemption certificates through an online library such as the one which is available on the CertCapture website,


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