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Sales and use taxes

Taxable goods

What goods are subject to sales and use tax in your state (at both state and local level)?

New York imposes sales tax on receipts from:

  • every retail sale (including sales, rentals, and leases) of tangible personal property (unless an exemption applies);
  • certain enumerated services; and
  • certain other enumerated items, including hotel occupancy, admission charges, and dues.

New York State authorizes cities and counties to impose local sales and use tax.

Use tax is due in specific circumstances, including when a taxpayer purchases tangible property without payment of sales tax and uses such property in New York or uses property previously held for resale.

State rate

What is the state sales tax rate?

New York State’s sales tax rate is currently at 4% and there is generally an additional tax imposed by the local authorities. New York City’s current sales tax rate is 8.875% (inclusive of the state rate).

Local rates

What is the range of local sales tax rates levied in your state?

Local rates (including the 4% state tax rate) range from 7% to 8.875%.

Exemptions

What goods are exempt from sales and use tax?

Exempt goods include:

  • clothing sold for less than $110;
  • most food products, beverages, dietary foods, and health supplements sold for human consumption (excluding candy, soda, or alcoholic beverages); and
  • medicines and medical equipment and supplies.

In addition, certain purchasers are generally exempt from sales tax, including:

  • the United States and its agencies;
  • New York State and its agencies; and
  • exempt organizations.

Further, specific sales are excluded from the definition of a taxable sale, including:

  • purchases for resale;
  • sales of physical components that will be incorporated into other tangible personal property; and
  • property to be used in performing services by the purchaser.

Services

Are any services taxed?

The following enumerated services are taxed in New York:

  • furnishing information by printed, mimeographed, or multigraphed matter, or by duplicating written or printed matter in any other matter;
  • producing, fabricating, processing, printing, or imprinting tangible personal property for a person who directly or indirectly furnishes the property on which services are performed, except when the property is for resale;
  • installing (except for mobile homes), maintaining, servicing, or repairing tangible personal property not held for sale in the regular course of business;
  • storing tangible personal property not held for sale in the regular course of business;
  • renting safe deposit boxes or similar spaces;
  • maintaining, servicing, or repairing real property or land;
  • providing parking, garage space, or storage space for motor vehicles by persons operating a garage;
  • interior decorating and design services;
  • protective and detective services;
  • furnishing or providing entertainment or information services by means of telephone, telegraphy, telephone services, or telegraph services; and
  • transporting persons within New York state.

New York City sales tax is also imposed on the following services performed or delivered in the city:

  • written or oral credit rating services;
  • oral credit reporting services not delivered by telephone;
  • beautician, barber, and hair restoration services;
  • tattoo services;
  • tanning services;
  • manicure and pedicure services;
  • electrolysis services;
  • massage services;
  • sale of services transporting, transmitting, distributing, or delivering gas or electricity when purchased from someone other than the gas or electricity vendor; and
  • sale of services by, and every charge for the use of:
    • weight control and health salons;
    • gymnasiums; and
    • Turkish and sauna baths.

Filing requirements

What filing requirements and procedures apply?

A taxpayer that falls within the definition of a vendor must register and collect sales tax on its sales.  A ‘vendor’ is any party that sells tangible personal property or services that are subject to sales tax, and:

  • maintains a place of business in New York State;
  • solicits business in the state through:
    • employees;
    • independent contractors;
    • agents; or
    • other representatives;
  • solicits business through catalogs or other advertising material, and has some additional connection with the state; or
  • sells taxable products to customers in the state, and regularly (at least 12 times a year) delivers the products by vehicle. 

Further, if a corporation performs a unitary business with an affiliate that has nexus in New York and satisfies certain ownership requirements, it may have nexus in New York as well.

There are monthly, quarterly, or annual filing requirements depending on the amount of the taxpayer’s taxable sales during the relevant taxable period. Unless an exemption applies, most filers are required to file and pay their sales taxes online.

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