The 2016 New York State Sales Tax
What is the 2016 New York Sales Tax Rate?
The New York state sales tax rate is 4%, and the average NY sales tax after local surtaxes is 8.48%.
- Groceries, prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs are exempt from the New York sales tax
- Counties and cities can charge an additional local sales tax of up to 4.875%, for a maximum possible combined sales tax of 8.875%
- New York has 2158 special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
- New York has a lower state sales tax than 86.5% of states
Counties and cities in New York are allowed to charge an additional local sales tax on top of the New York state sales tax, and all municipalities in New York have done so.
Products sold remotely via magazine or the Internet and shipped into New York may be required to charge the appropriate sales tax rate for the municipality in which the items were purchased if the out-of0state merchant generates more then $10,000 in sales through in-state affiliates. This is the result of New York's so-called "Amazon Law", designed to force Internet retail giant Amazon.com to pay New York sales taxes.
Finally, there are specific exemptions to the sales tax that allow college textbooks and clothing items priced under $110 (as of April 2012) to be purchased free of sales tax. Local sales taxes may still apply to clothing sales, including in all five counties of New York City.
If you are a New York business owner, you can learn more about how to collect and file your New York sales tax return at the 2016 New York Sales Tax Handbook .
New York Sales Tax Exemptions
New York doesn't collect sales tax on purchases of most prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and groceries. In most states, necessities such as groceries, clothes, and drugs are exempted from the sales tax or charged at a lower sales tax rate.
Some items may not be eligible for these reduced sales tax rates, such as expensive clothing, unhealthy food or drinks like soda, and certain non-essential pharmaceuticals. New York does not treat candy or soda as groceries, which means they are not subject to reduced grocery sales tax rates. Other items including gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes are subject to various New York excise taxes in addition to the sales tax.
In some states, items like alcohol and prepared food (including restaurant meals and some premade supermarket items) are charged at a higher sales tax rate. The NY sales tax applicable to the sale of cars, boats, and real estate sales may also vary by jurisdiction. New York's sales tax rates for commonly exempted items are as follows:
$100 Restaurant Dinner
$100 of groceries
$100 in clothes
$100 of consumer products
$4.00 sales tax
$0.00 sales tax
$4.00 sales tax
$4.00 sales tax
New York Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
Unlike a Value Added Tax (VAT), the New York sales tax only applies to end consumers of the product. Individuals and companies who are purchasing goods for resale, improvement, or as raw materials can use a New York Sales Tax Exemption Form to buy these goods tax-free.
Companies or individuals who wish to make a qualifying purchase tax-free must have a New York state sales tax exemption certificate, which can be obtained from the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. On making an exempt purchase, Exemption Certificate holders may submit a completed New York Sales Tax Exemption Form to the vendor instead of paying sales tax.
Sales tax exemption forms (as well as business sales tax id applications, sales tax returns, and the full New York sales tax code) can be downloaded from the New York Department of Taxation and Finance here .
New York Sales Tax Calculator
Whenever you make a purchase at a licensed New York retailer, your sales tax will be automatically calculated and added to your bill. To lookup the sales tax due on any purchase, use our New York sales tax calculator.
New York Use Tax
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If you buy goods and are not charged the New York Sales Tax by the retailer, such as with online and out-of-state purchases, you are supposed to pay the 4% sales tax (less any foreign sales tax paid) for these items yourself as the New York Use Tax.
Your are expected to voluntarily list your liable purchases on a New York Use Tax Return, which should be attached with payment to your New York Income Tax Return. Historically, compliance rates with with the New York Use Tax have been low.
New York Local Sales Taxes
New York allows counties and cities to collect a maximum local sales tax of 0.88% on all non-exempt purchases within their jurisdiction. The local sales tax is collected in addition to the New York sales tax of 4%, so the actual sales tax you pay on purchases in New York may vary between 4% and 4.875% depending on which county or city the sale is made in.
You can find local sales tax rates on our list of New York local sales taxes by county, city, and zip code, or you can lookup your local sales tax rates with our free New York sales tax lookup tool. If you need to download New York local sales tax rates, visit the New York sales tax database download page.
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