State of New York Flag

New York Sales Tax Guide for Businesses

Sales Tax Rate
4.0%
Local Taxes
Yes
Website
Department of Taxation and Finance
Tax Line
518-485-2889

We wrote this guide for online sellers who want to know if they even have to bother with sales tax in New York, and if so, how best to tackle the sales tax situation in the Empire State.

After reading this, you’ll know:

  • Do you or don’t you need to collect New York sales tax?
  • Which customers do you collect from?
  • How much do you collect?
  • What do you do with all the sales tax you’ve collected?
  • Way more than you probably ever wanted to know about New York sales tax

Do you Have Sales Tax Nexus in New York?

Good news! You only have to begin thinking about New York sales tax if you have sales tax nexus in New York.

“Sales tax nexus” is just a fancy way of saying “significant presence” in a state.

New York considers a seller to have sales tax nexus in the state if you have any of the following in the state:

  • An office or place of business
  • An employee present in the state for more than 2 days per year
  • Goods in a warehouse
  • Ownership of real or personal property
  • Delivery of merchandise in New York in vehicles owned by the taxpayer
  • Independent contractors or other representatives in New York

You can click here to read exactly what the New York Department of Taxation and Finance (New York’s taxing authority) has to say about what constitutes sales tax nexus in New York.

Do you have sales tax nexus in New York if you sell on FBA?

Selling on FBA does not create sales tax nexus in New York. Storing physical products in a state can create sales tax nexus, and New York does not (yet) have any Amazon Fulfillment Centers.

Read here for more about Amazon FBA and sales tax nexus. Here’s a list of all Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the country.

Is What You’re Selling Even Taxable?

You’ve probably read this far because you realized you have sales tax nexus in New York. Your next step is to determine if what you’re selling is even taxable.

Certain services in New York are considered taxable. If your business includes performing repair and maintenance services to real property, you are required to register for sales tax. This includes services such as: lawn mowing, interior or exterior painting of an existing house or structure, snow removal services, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, and swimming pool maintenance.

Tangible products are taxable in New York, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include certain groceries and food items, over-the-counter and prescription medicine, family planning products, medical devices, and certain clothing and footwear sold for less than $110 per item. Also, tax exempt are medical devices, certain machinery and chemicals used in research and development.

So, if you sell a product like empty jam jars, then charge sales tax to your New York customers. But if you’re an artisanal jam-maker, neither your service, nor your product would be subject to sales tax to your New York customers.

If you have sales tax nexus in New York and your products are taxable, your next step is to register for a sales tax permit.

How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in New York

Sellers with sales tax nexus in New York must apply for a New York sales tax permit, which in New York is called a Certificate of Authority.

Don’t skip this step! New York considers it unlawful to collect sales tax in their name without a permit. Go here for more on how to register for a sales tax permit in New York.

How to Collect Sales Tax in New York

So you’ve determined that you have sales tax nexus in New York and what you’re selling is taxable. And you’re all set and registered for your New York sales tax permit(s).

The next step is to determine how much sales tax to collect.

The sales tax rate you collect in New York depends on exactly where in New York your buyer is located.

How to Collect Sales Tax in New York if You are Based in New York

New York is a destination-based sales tax state. So if you live in New York, collecting sales tax can be a bit complicated. You should be charging everyone in your state the rate where the item is being delivered. That could include a combination of state, county, city, and district tax rates.

You can look up your local sales tax rate with TaxJar’s Sales Tax Calculator or by going to TaxJar.com/mobile on your mobile device.

Example: You live and run your business in Schenectady, NY, but sell to a buyer in Buffalo, NY, in the 14201 zip code. The sales tax rate in Buffalo is made up of the 4.0% New York sales tax rate, plus the 4.75% Erie County rate for a total of 8.75%. You would charge each of your New York customers the total sales tax rate for their location.

How to Collect Sales Tax in New York if you are Not Based in New York

New York wants sellers who made a sale into New York from outside the state to charge sales tax based on the destination of the buyer.

Example: You live in Colorado, but have sales tax nexus in New York due to having attended multiple trade shows in the state, over the course of a year. If you make a sale to a buyer in Yonkers, New York (10701 zip code) then you would charge sales tax based on the sales tax rate in the buyer’s location, Yonkers.

Should you collect sales tax on shipping charges in New York?

In New York, if you are selling taxable goods, and charge for shipping as part of an order, then it’s taxable. It doesn’t matter if the shipping charge is part of the price of the item or if it’s listed separately from the price of the item.

If the goods you are selling aren’t taxable, then neither is your shipping.

Read a full explanation of sales tax on shipping in New York here.

Rank City Population County Total SalesTax
1 New York 8,244,910 Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond 8.88%
2 Buffalo 261,025 Erie 8.75%
3 Rochester 210,855 Monroe 8.00%
4 Yonkers 197,399 Westchester 8.38%
5 Syracuse 145,151 Onondaga 8.00%
6 Albany 97,660 Albany 8.00%
7 New Rochelle 77,606 Westchester 8.38%
8 Mount Vernon 67,780 Westchester 8.38%
9 Schenectady 66,273 Schenectady 8.00%
10 Utica 62,110 Oneida 8.75%
11 White Plains 57,258 Westchester 8.38%
12 Troy 50,120 Rensselaer 8.00%
13 Niagara Falls 50,086 Niagara 8.00%
14 Binghamton 46,996 Broome 8.00%
15 Rome 33,660 Oneida 8.75%
16 Long Beach 33,395 Nassau 8.63%
17 Poughkeepsie 32,790 Dutchess 8.13%
18 North Tonawanda 31,501 Niagara 8.00%
19 Jamestown 31,020 Chautauqua 7.50%
20 Ithaca 30,054 Tompkins 8.00%

When are New York Sales Tax Returns Due?

Your sales tax returns are due on the 20th of the month following the taxable month. For example, your April sales tax return would be due May 20th

2016 New York Monthly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
January February 22, 2016*
February March 21, 2016*
March April 20, 2016
April May 20, 2016
May June 20, 2016
June July 20, 2016
July August 22, 2016*
August September 20, 2016
September October 20, 2016
October November 21, 2016*
November December 20, 2016
December January 20, 2017

2016 New York Quarterly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
Q1 (Jan - Mar) March 21, 2016*
Q2 (Apr - Jun) June 20, 2016
Q3 (Jul - Sep) September 20, 2016
Q4 (Oct - Dec) December 20, 2016

2016 New York Annual Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
Year (Mar 2016 - Mar 2017) March 21, 2017*

*indicates a due date pushed back due to a weekend or holiday

How to File Sales Tax in New York

When it comes time to file sales tax in New York you must do three things:

  1. Calculate how much sales tax you owe
  2. File a sales tax return
  3. Make a payment

We’ll walk you through these steps.

How to Calculate How Much Sales Tax You Owe in New York

Calculating how much sales tax you should remit to the state of New York is easy with TaxJar’s New York sales tax report.

All you do is connect the channels through which you sell – including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Square and more – and we’ll calculate exactly how much sales tax you collected. All the information you need to file your New York sales tax return will be waiting for you in TaxJar. All you have to do is login!

How to File and Pay Sales Tax in New York

The state of New York requires you to do all sales tax filing and payment remittance online. You can do one of two things:

  1. File online at the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. You must also remit your payment through their online system.
  2. AutoFile with TaxJar - Let TaxJar file your sales tax for you. We take care of the payments, too. You’ll never have to worry about spreadsheets, calculations or filling out complex sales tax returns.

Other Facts You Should Know about New York Sales Tax Filing

There are a few more things you should know about sales tax in New York:

Penalties:

  • Late Filing Penalty - The minimum penalty is $50, and interest at a rate that increases as time passes. Further information can be found, here.

Other penalties for fraud or serial offenses include higher penalties and even criminal charges and imprisonment.

“Zero returns”:

New York requires that any seller with a sales tax permit file a sales tax return on your due date even if you don’t have any sales tax to report or pay, at minimum, a late penalty of $50.

Discounts:

Many states understand that collecting sales tax is a difficult burden on merchants, and will provide a discount to help alleviate some of this burden. In New York, as long as the sales tax is paid on time, a discount is available equal to 5% of sales tax due and is not to exceed $200 per quarter, or longer period.

And that’s it. You’ve mastered New York sales tax filing! Now that sales tax is out of the way, you can get back to what you do best – running your business.

New York Sales Tax Resources

For more about New York sales tax, check out the New York section of the TaxJar blog.

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