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Department of Taxation and Finance

Helpful Reminders for Sales Tax Vendors

Congratulations on starting your New York State business.  Here are a few helpful reminders about your sales tax obligations.

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File returns and pay the tax by the due date

Sales tax returns are due on these dates: 

March 20       June 20 September 20 December 20

You must file returns, even if you do not start your business as originally planned.  If you don't file a return, file late, or don't pay the tax due, you'll be subject to automatic penalty and interest.  Penalties can be substantial—up to 30% of the tax due.


No tax due?

You must file a sales tax return even if you have had no taxable sales, no taxable purchases, or no credits to report.  You will be subject to penalties if you don't file a return.


Create an Online Services Account

The easiest and fastest way to file your returns is through the Tax Department's Sales Tax Web File service.  In fact, most businesses are required to Web File their returns.

Web file is free, but you'll need to create an Online Services Account if you haven't already done so.  You may have received a letter from us with instructions for creating an Online Services Account.  If so, simply follow those instructions in time to file your return by the due date.  If not, contact us.


Keep books and records

What books and records should you keep?  You should refer to Tax Bulletin Recordkeeping Requirements for Sales Tax Vendors (TB-ST-770) on our Web site for a full accounting of what books and records you should keep.  When you file a sales tax return, it must show:

  • total sales,
  • taxable sales,
  • purchases by the business subject to tax on which no tax was paid to the seller,
  • credits (if any),
  • sales and use taxes due for each locality, and
  • other special taxes due.

All of your records must be dated and kept in good order.  Your records must provide sufficient detail to independently determine the taxable status of each sale and the amount of tax due and collected.  You must keep all of your records for a minimum of three years from the due date of the return to which those records relate, or the date the return is filed, if later.


Maintain a separate bank account for sales tax

We encourage all sales tax vendors to voluntarily establish a separate bank account for sales taxes that they collect on behalf of New York State to make it easier to comply with the tax law.


We're here to help

It's important that you create good sales tax habits at the beginning of your business.  Call us at (518) 485-2889 if you are having trouble filing returns or paying tax.  We'll work with you to make sure you're meeting your obligations.

 

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