New York Sales Tax

New York Sales Tax At a Glance

New York Sales Tax State rate: 4%
Maximum combined rate: 8.875%
Sourcing: Destination
Tax Holidays: None
Governing Body: New York Department of Taxation & Finance

New York sales tax is one of the more complicated configurations in the United States. There are multiple levels of sales tax (state, county, city, and others) to be considered, particularly within New York city. The rules and regulations are complicated and may be difficult to understand. We’ve provided this guide to inform retailers of the basics. But because tax laws change regularly, we advise you to review the New York Department of Taxation & Finance website and/or seek legal advice if you intend to do business within the state of New York.

New York Sales Tax Rates

New York State sales tax varies by location. There is a state sales tax as well as by city, county or school district rates. New York (NY) Sales Tax Rate: 4% plus any local tax rate imposed by city, county or school district, typically between 3-5%.

New York (NY) Sales Tax Rate: 4%
Maximum rate for local municipalities: 8.875%

New York Sales Tax varies by county, but a given county may have more than one rate due to local taxes. Therefore, a retailer cannot determine the tax rate simply by knowing the county. Likewise, New York sales tax also cannot be accurately determined by zipcode alone.

New York collects destination based sales tax, that is, local sales tax based on the destination of shipment or delivery within the state by businesses. There is no sales tax charge for deliveries outside the state. Learn more details at their web page.

New York Sales Tax Nexus

Businesses that have a physical location in the state of New York are required to collect sales tax. This is known as "nexus". Most other businesses will not have New York sales tax nexus, except for the following:

  • Businesses that sell tangible personal property and make 12 or more deliveries of these products using their own vehicles. In other words, delivery by common carrier (UPS, FedEx, or USPS) or LTL providers do not count toward these deliveries.
  • You have employees or other representatives in state who solicit sales or products or services.
  • You solicit the sale of tangible personal property or services via catalog or other advertising materials, and have some additional connection with the state.
  • If you are associated with a vendor in-state, via an ownership test. (See this PDF for complete details.
  • If you have New York affiliates, and your sales to New York buyers exceeds $10,000 in a calendar year, you will incur click-through nexus, and be required to collect and remit sales tax, the same as an in-state retailer.

What is Taxable in New York?

As expected, the retail sale of most products is subject to New York sales tax. Certain services, admissions, and dues are also taxable. New York lists the following items as being subject to sales tax:

  • Tangible personal property, unless a specific exemption has been defined, such as food for home consumption
  • Utilities services: gas, electricity, refrigeration, steam, and telephone
  • Selected services: telecommunications, interior decorating/design, protective/detective services, and passenger transportation services (see note below)
  • Food and drink sold in restaurants or other facilities, or by caterers
  • Hotel stays
  • Some admission charges and dues

Food for home consumption, prescription and non-prescription medication, and sales to the government or charitable/exempt organizations are not taxable.

Certain other services are subject to New York City sales tax, but not state or other sales tax. These include beautician services; massage services; weight control and related services; and written/oral credit rating services. For a complete list, see this guide.

Registration

Sellers of tangible personal property and providers of taxable services must register with the NY tax department prior to doing business. This registration process will provide the business with a Certificate of Authority. This applies regardless of whether the business operates from a commercial property or is a home-based business. You must have a NY.gov ID before you can apply.

Check out the Department of Taxation & Finance website for:

At the time of this writing, out-of-state sellers with no nexus in the state are not required to collect New York state sales tax.

Filing

The E-file mandate requires certain for file Web file their tax returns and pay electronically, if they:

  • don’t use a tax preparer to prepare sales tax returns;
  • use a computer to prepare, document, or calculate returns; and
  • have broadband Internet access.

This covers most filers. You must must register with Online Services first.

In addition, PrompTax is an electronic filing and payment program that is mandatory for certain businesses. If you have taxable receipts of more than $500,000 or have an annual liability for prepaid sales tax on motor fuel and diesel motor fuel exceeding $5 million, you must enroll and file there.

Deadlines

New York requires businesses to file and pay sales tax either monthly, quarterly, or annually. The frequency with which you must file is determined by your business’s estimated yearly income.

Monthly Filers:  No later than 20 days after filing period (20th of each month, or next available business day).

PeriodDue Date
JanuaryFebruary 20
FebruaryMarch 20
MarchApril 20
AprilMay 20
MayJune 20
JuneJuly 20
JulyAugust 20
AugustSeptember 20
SeptemberOctober 20
OctoberNovember 20
NovemberDecember 20
DecemberJanuary 20

Quarterly Filers: No later than 20 days after filing period. (20th of month following end of quarter, or next available business day)

PeriodDue Date
January – March (Q1)April 20
April – June (Q2)July 20
July – September (Q3)October 20
October – December (Q4)January 20

Annual Filers: March 20th

If a due date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.

Special rules apply to sales tax vendors and employers subject to electronic funds transfer requirements. See PrompTax above.

Penalties and Interest

New York has strict penalties for a failure to file a return and/or failure to pay sales tax due, as well as additional money owed as interest. In addition to civil penalties, there are also possible criminal repercussions, including jail time.

For failing to file a return, the civil penalties are as follows:

  • Failing to file a return with no tax due: $50.
  • File a return late by 60 days or less: 10% of the tax due for the first month, plus 1% for the second month if applicable. The minimum penalty in this case is $50.
  • File a return that is more than 60 days late: The greater amount of (a) 10% of the tax due for the first month, plus 1% for each additional month or partial month. This penalty should not exceed 30%. (b) $100, or 100% of the amount required to be shown as tax on the return, whichever is less; or (c) $50.

For failing to pay tax due, the civil penalties are as follows:

  • If you file a return but do not pay the tax due, the penalty is 10% for the first month plus 1% for each additional month or part of a month, not to exceed 30%.
  • If you pay less than 75% of the tax due: 10% of the tax you failed to report
  • If you fraudulently fail to pay: an amount equal to twice the amount of the tax not paid, plus interest, paid at the greater of 14.5%, or the rate set by the Tax Commissioner

There are additional penalties for not filing or displaying a Certificate of Authority as required, or if you violate certain laws relating to documents and record-keeping.

Complete details can be found at this location on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website.

Vendor Collection Credit

You may be eligible for a vendor collection credit if you file the on time and pay the full amount due. This credit reduces how much you send to NY State with your return. Learn more details at their web page.

Resources

New York Sales Tax Software

TaxTools by AccurateTax is a simple and cost-effective solution for New York retailers to calculate and collect sales tax on all products shipped anywhere within the state of New York, as well as any other states where a retailer may have nexus. If you are struggling to comply with the detailed and complex New York sales tax requirements, including apparel tax, tobacco tax, or other product classes, consider TaxTools. Configuring sales tax on your ecommerce store has never been easier. Contact us for more information or register for a free trial of the TaxTools software.

Start Your Free Trial Today

You can also use our free sales tax calculator to look up the rate for any New York state address.