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New York State Sales Tax Resource Launches

author photo of Tom Mazurek

Let’s face it…sales and use taxes can be complicated, time consuming and just plain awful at times. Throw in expansive filing requirements, high tax rates, extensive laws and regulations, and one of the most sophisticated and aggressive taxing authorities in the United States, and we have the regulatory jungle we like to call New York State.

While I may be exaggerating a bit for effect, sales tax compliance in the Empire State can be very difficult. That’s why I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge of the ins and outs of New York sales tax with readers, including my nearly 20 years of experience as a sales and use tax professional, as well as a CPA, working with both large and small businesses in a wide variety of industries. Hopefully I can provide you with some timely information and guidance, answer your questions and make things a little easier for you and your business, so it doesn’t feel like you’re going over Niagara Falls in a barrel the next time you have a New York State sales tax issue.

Feel free to contact me with questions or comments (or suggestions regarding future blog topics) at Tom Mazurek, or on Twitter @TronconiSegarra. Thank you.

Tom Mazurek

Questions or Comments?

Do you have questions about NEW YORK (and/or MULTI-STATE) sales tax - or does your business need assistance with other tax issues? Please use the "Request a Consultation" link on Tom Mazurek's FIRM PROFILE page to submit your business sales tax question and/or consultation request.

Other recent “New York (NY)” posts by Tom Mazurek, CPA:

NOTE: All blog content, comments, and participation subject to disclaimer at bottom of page.


16 Responses to New York State Sales Tax Resource Launches

  • Posted by Vanessa on March 16, 2018 2:30pm:

    Hello! If one's sales tax payable is slightly higher than tax collected, should the company pay what they calculated as payable or the amount they actually collected? Thank you so very much for this valuable resource!

    • Posted by Author photo of Tom MazurekTom Mazurek on March 16, 2018 2:53pm:


      If your sales tax payable (i.e., the amount you should have collected = taxable sales x tax rate) is higher than what you actually collected from your customers, you still need to remit the dollar amount that should have been collected. Unfortunately, the State does not care if your customers short-paid you on the sales tax you charged or if you used the incorrect rate and now there’s a deficiency when you prepared your return. Obviously, I don’t know the facts and circumstances that lead to this, but the State considered you liable or responsible for paying what is actually due.

      On the flip-side, if you over-collected tax form your customers, you still need to remit all the tax, including the excess collected.

      I hope this answers your question…if you’re having issues charging or collecting the correct amount of sales tax, please feel free to call or email me directly to discuss your issues.

  • Posted by Joe on January 16, 2018 10:39am:

    We are a plumbing company in NY State. We are sent out to jobs (service and installation) mostly by other general contractors. We currently charge sales tax on everything (labor, materials, markup on materials, service call fees if any, permit fees if any). We sometimes get an ST-120 form from these general contractors. We advise them this we don't use this form and we charge sales tax. We also request a credit from NY state every quarter and send them documentation as required. Should we be using a ST-120 form ?

    • Posted by Author photo of Tom Mazurektommazurek on January 24, 2018 5:00pm:

      Thanks for your question…it’s not easy being a contractor in New York. Sales and Use Tax can be very complicated for contractors and unfortunately that’s just one of the many problems you have to deal with.

      You are a plumbing subcontractor doing service and installation work for general contractors, who I assume you are billing directly? You are charging sales tax on labor, materials, etc. then taking a credit every quarter for the sales tax you paid on the materials you purchased.

      General contractors have providing you with ST-120.1 Contractor Exempt Purchase Certificates, which would allow the contractor to purchases your services for resale, however you are not accepting this form. This is a valid exemption certificate to exempt transactions between prime contractors and subcontractors or between two subcontractors. The retail seller (generally the prime contractor) will eventually bill the customer and collect sales tax on the contract price, unless the property owner gives the prime contractor a properly completed exemption certificate.

      A subcontractor should collect tax on all his charges to a prime contractor for repair, service, maintenance, and installation of tangible personal property unless the prime contractor issues a properly completed exemption certificate (ST-120.1) or a capital improvement certificate (ST-124) to the subcontractor.

      You are still eligible to seek a refund or credit for the sales tax you paid on materials used for taxable service and installation work that does not result in a capital improvement.

      I hope this answers your question.

  • Posted by Michael on August 31, 2017 12:45pm:

    we are a UK company looking to host (and sell tickets to) a trade conference in New York City. do we have to register and charge sales tax on our tickets?

    • Posted by Author photo of Tom Mazurektommazurek on September 1, 2017 10:20am:

      Thanks for your question…

      It’s really hard to answer your question without knowing more about the trade conference and other services you may be offering, however, I can give you some general guidance.

      New York State and local sales taxes apply to charges for admission to places of amusement located in the state. Among the taxable admission charges listed in Sales Tax Bulletin No. TB-ST-8, are admission charges to trade shows open to the public, such as auto, boat or animal shows. On the other hand, admission charges to networking events are considered nontaxable, and I think a case can be made to call this a networking or business development-type event as well. This maybe a situation where you need to reach out to the Dept. of Taxation and Finance for guidance on this topic.

      Additionally, if you are going to provide any trade show services – rentals of displays, setup charges, utility charges, food/drink – as part of your business activities, many of these services are subject to sales tax.

      If you would like to discuss this issue more, I would be happy to follow-up with you.

  • Posted by Ane on August 31, 2016 5:37pm:

    For how long are sales tax exemption certicates good for in NY

    • Posted by Tom on September 6, 2016 2:24pm:

      NY sales tax exemption certificates do not have an expiration date like some certificates do in other states. However, we advise our clients to update their files every three years to cover the state's statute of limitations and to make sure the information on the certificate is accurate and complete.

  • Posted by Cliff on June 23, 2015 9:46am:

    I am a buyer business in Connecticut. I am purchasing goods via the internet from a New York City business. Do I have to pay the NYC & NYS sales taxes?
    Thank you.

    • Posted by Author photo of Tom MazurekTom Mazurek, CPA on June 23, 2015 11:56am:

      If the NYC business is shipping the goods to your location in CT, then you would not owe New York State and Local (NYC) sales tax on the purchases. You would be responsible for remitting CT use tax on the purchases if they are subject to tax there.
      If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly at

      • Posted by Ronald on March 3, 2017 4:19am:

        ...but what if the CT Business is buying from a NYC vendor and having the goods shipped to NYS location (origin based)?

        • Posted by Author photo of Tom Mazurektommazurek on March 3, 2017 6:25am:

          Sounds like a classic drop shipment scenario to me...The NYC vendor is going to want to charge the CT Business New York sales tax because they are shipping to another location within the State.

          The CT Business will have to provide a NY resale certificate (ST-120) to avoid paying tax on its purchase from the NYC vendor. If the CT Business is registered in NY, that's simple enough. If they are not registered in NY, they can still use an ST-120 if they are considered a "qualified out-of-state purchaser" pursuant to the terms outlined in Tax Bulletin ST-190 -

          If you have further questions, feel free to contact me directly at

  • Posted by Adrienne on April 14, 2015 7:15am:

    We have brokers who sell our product for us and earn a commission for their service. They are located in various states within the U.S. My company is located in NY. My question is, should we be paying sales and use tax on the commission we pay to these brokers?

    • Posted by Author photo of Tom MazurekTom Mazurek, CPA on April 14, 2015 2:07pm:

      Thank you for your question. Unless I'm missing some facts here, I can't think of any circumstances where you would need to pay sales and use tax on commissions paid to brokers who are selling your product, unless the State somehow construed this to be a taxable service, which I'm not aware of any who do that. The presence of commissioned sales reps in a particular state may create nexus for the Company for sales tax purposes however (as well as non-income-based gross receipts-type tax purposes (i.e., Ohio CAT, Texas Franchise Tax, etc.)) but I don't think you have to remit sales and use tax on the commissions you pay out.
      If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly at

  • Posted by Naiyer on March 13, 2015 12:22pm:

    we have a resale certificate to sell medical supply in New York. We sold medical product to a company in Chicago . Supplier is asking MULTI-STATE NO-NEXUS EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE in order exempt us from sales tax.
    Please provide us the information. How to get it or do we have to pay sales tax.
    thank you

    • Posted by Author photo of Tom MazurekTom Mazurek, CPA on March 16, 2015 8:38am:

      I don’t think you have a New York sales tax issue here, but I have come across this situation before. If I recall, the State of Illinois does not accept any multi-state sales tax resale certificates, only their own. They do allow out-of-state businesses with no nexus in Illinois to register for a resale number in order to provide suppliers with a resale certificate. This General Information Letter (GIL) from 2012 addresses this issue:
      If you have any questions or need assistance registering, please feel free to contact me directly

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