Food & Beverage Tax

Tax Collections Office
Dare County Justice Center
962 Marshall C Collins Dr
Room 166
Manteo NC 27954

Phone: 252.475.5957
Fax: 252.475.5949

The Food & Beverage Tax
 rate for Dare County is 1% of the sales price of prepared foods and beverages sold within the county for consumption on or off a premises by a retailer who is subject to sales tax under G.S. 105-164.4(a)(1). This tax is in addition to State and local sales tax.

Authorization for the prepared food tax became effective January 1, 1992 by House Bill 225, 1991 Session, General Assembly of North Carolina.

The use and distribution of the Food & Beverage Tax go to the Dare County Tourism Board. The first eligible expense is the cost of an annual audit. Of the remainder, 75% must be used for the cost of administration and to promote tourism. The Tourism Board's expenditures may include:

  • advertising to promote less than peak season events and programs
  • marketing research
  • a mail and telephone inquiry response program
  • welcoming and hospitality functions; and 25% must be used for services or programs needed due to the impact of tourism on the county.


This tax does not apply to the following:

  1. Prepared food/beverages served to residents in boarding houses & sold together on a periodic basis w/rental of a sleeping or lodging.
  2. Retail sales exempt from taxation under G.S. 105-164.13.
  3. Retail sales by means of vending machines.
  4. Prepared food/beverages served by a business subject to occupancy tax levied pursuant to this act if the charge for meals/prepared food/beverages is included in an a single non-itemized sales price together w/the charge for rooms/lodging/accommodation furnished by the business.
  5. Prepared food/beverages furnished without charge by employers to employees.
  6. Retail sales by grocers or grocery section of supermarkets or other diversified retail businesses other than sales of prepared food and beverage in the delicatessen or similar departments of the grocer or grocery section.


The county shall
 a tax levied under this act. A tax levied under this act is due and payable to the county tax collector in monthly installments on or before the fifteenth (15) day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues.

Every person, firm corporation, or association liable for the tax shall, on or before the fifteenth (15) of each month, prepare and render a return on a form prescribed by the county. The return shall state the total gross receipts derived in the preceding month from rentals and sales upon which the tax is levied.

A return filed with the Dare County Tax Collector under this act is not a public record as defined by
G.S. 132-1 and may not be disclosed except as required by law.

Failure to Report and/or Pay

Any person, firm, corporation or association who
fails to file
a return on the date it is due as required by this act shall pay a penalty equal to five percent (5%) of the amount of the tax due if the failure is for not more than one (1) month, with an additional five percent (5%) for each additional month or fraction thereof not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) in the aggregate, or five dollars ($5.00), whichever is the greater.

Any person, firm corporation or association who
fails to pay
 the tax on the date it is due shall pay a penalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the amount of the tax due. Failure to both file a return AND pay the tax as required by this act shall result in imposition of BOTH penalties.

Failure which is determined to be negligent, willful, or fraudulent will result in increased penalties and potential punishment as a Class 1 misdemeanor. G.S. 105-236.