Questions & Answers

What is sales or use tax?

You owe sales or compensating use tax if you:

  • purchased an item or service subject to tax that is delivered to you in New York State without payment of New York State and local tax to the seller; or
  • purchased an item or service outside New York State that is subject to tax in New York State (and you were a resident of New York State at the time of purchase) with subsequent use in New York State.
    Note: You may be entitled to a credit for sales tax paid to another state. See the exact calculation method in the instructions for Form ST-140, Individual Purchaser's Annual Report of Sales and Use Tax.
For sales and use tax purposes, a resident includes persons who have a permanent place of abode in the state. Accordingly, you may be a resident for sales tax purposes even though you may not be a resident for income tax purposes. See the instructions for Form ST-140 for more information.

You may not use this line to report:
  • any sales and use tax on business purchases if the business is registered for sales and use tax purposes. You must report this tax on the business's sales tax return.
  • any unpaid sales and use tax on motor vehicles, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, vessels, or snowmobiles. This tax is paid directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you will not be registering or titling it at the DMV, you should remit the tax directly to the Tax Department using Form ST-130, Business Purchaser's Report of Sales and Use Tax, or Form ST-140.

An unpaid sales or use tax liability commonly arises if you made purchases through the Internet, by catalog, from television shopping channels, or on an Indian reservation, or if you purchased items or services subject to tax in another state and brought them back to New York for use here.

Example 1: You purchased a computer over the Internet that was delivered to your house in Monroe County, New York, from an out-of-state company and did not pay sales tax to that company.

Example 2: You purchased a book on a trip to New Hampshire that you brought back to your residence in Nassau County, New York, for use there.

You may also owe an additional local tax if you use property or services in another locality in New York State, other than the locality to which you paid tax. You owe use tax to the second locality if you were a resident of that locality at the time of the purchase, and its rate of tax is higher than the rate of tax originally paid.

Failure to pay sales or use tax may result in the imposition of penalty and interest. The Tax Department conducts routine audits based on information received from third parties, including the U.S. Customs Service and other states.

Using the sales and use tax chart below is an easy way to compute your liability for all your purchases of items or services costing less than $1,000 each (excluding shipping and handling) that are not related to a business, rental real estate, or royalty activities.

If your federal adjusted gross incomeEnter
Up to $15,000$12
$15,001 - $30,000$23
$30,001 - $50,000$39
$50,001 - $75,000$59
$75,001 - $100,000$78
$100,001 - $150,000$102
$150,001 - $200,000$119
$200,001 and greater.060% (.00060) of income, or $250, whichever amount is smaller

You may use this chart for purchases of items or services costing less than $1,000 each (excluding shipping and handling). You may not use this chart for purchases related to a business, rental real estate, or royalty activities, regardless of the amount.

If you maintained a permanent place of abode in New York State for sales and use tax purposes for only part of the year, multiply the tax amount from the chart by the number of months you maintained the permanent place of abode in New York State and divide the result by 12. (Count any period you maintained the abode for more than one-half month as one month.)

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