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Farmers, Timber Harvesters and Nurserymen Sales Tax Exemption

Farmers, nurserymen, and timber harvesters wishing to make sales tax-free purchases of qualified farm equipment, seed and other tax-exempt farm and nursery supplies must present proof of their status as an exempt farmer, nursery operator or timber harvester directly to the seller.  One of the following documents is required to be submitted to a seller for sales tax exemption:

  • A copy of the Tennessee Department of Revenue Agricultural Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption
  • A copy of the wallet-sized exemption card also provided by the Department of Revenue, or
  • A fully-completed Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption, which includes the exemption number on the certificate or card issued by the department

Sellers must keep a copy of one of these documents on file and include the buyer's name, address and description of tax-exempt purchases on each invoice.  Farmers, nurserymen, and timber harvesters should retain their original documents in a safe place for future use during the exemption period.

The Department of Revenue mailed Agricultural Sales and Use Tax Certificates of Exemption to those who were determined automatically to qualify for the exemption in December 2011. These certificates are good for the period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015.  Older cards are for exemptions prior to January 1, 2012 and cannot be used for current purchases.  Sellers should still keep copies of the older exemption certificates to support any tax exempt sales made prior to January 1, 2012.

Those who have already received their certificate do not need to fill out an application or file additional documentation with the Department of Revenue.  For those who have not received a certificate, please print and fill out an application and file it with Revenue to receive a certificate authorizing tax-exempt purchases. Receipt of a certificate serves as the notice of sales tax exempt status. 

Please see below for links to other important information.

Items that are exempt from sales and use tax when sold to persons who have received an Agricultural Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption include:

  • Any appliance used directly and principally for producing agricultural products (does not include autos, trucks, household appliances or property that becomes real property, such as barns, sheds and fencing)
  • Grain bins and attachments
  • Aircraft designed for crop dusting
  • Equipment used for harvesting timber (does not include trailers and trucks for transporting)
  • Livestock trailers
  • Self-propelled fertilizer or chemical application equipment
  • Systems for environment control, feeding, watering and egg conveyance for poultry
  • Replacement parts and labor for previously qualifying equipment
  • Gas or diesel fuel used for agricultural purposes (does not include pre-mixed gas and oil of one gallon or less)
  • Seed, seedlings, plants, fertilizer and pesticides used to produce food or fiber, including tobacco, for human or animal consumption
  • Farm containers and plastic or canvas covers used in raising plants, including tobacco, for human or animal consumption
  • Feeds and drugs for livestock
  • Agri-sawdust
  • Electricity, gas, propane, coal, wood and fuel oil used in the production of food or fiber for human or animal consumption or in the production of nursery and greenhouse crops

For questions on this topic, please call the Department of Revenue at (615) 253-0600 (outside Tennessee and local Nashville) or (800) 342-1003 (inside Tennessee toll-free).  Email questions may be directed to