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Tax Department Provides New Sales Tax Guidance To Restaurants, Taverns And Food And Beverage Retailers

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox today announced the publication of 11 sales tax bulletins designed to provide additional guidance to sellers of food and beverage products and operators of restaurants and taverns.

A Tax Bulletin is an informational document designed to provide tax guidance in simplified language. The new Tax Bulletins generally address the application of sales tax to a particular product or service or provide guidance to a selected industry.

Prior to the publication of the sales tax bulletins, the Department solicited input from food and restaurant industry representatives to help identify areas where clearer guidance could help the industry meet its sales tax obligations.

"We hope our new publications will enhance the level of cooperation between the Department and our sales tax vendors and assist businesses in their efforts to comply with sales tax law," Commissioner Mattox said.     

This is the first time the Department has published a comprehensive series of bulletins on the application of the sales tax to food and beverage products. The bulletins are part of the Department's effort to modernize the way it communicates and works with taxpayers. Over the last year the web site ( has been overhauled and new features have been added, including applications and functionality designed to provide more online options for communication, account management and filing of sales tax returns.

Since the beginning of 2011, more than 100,000 new online accounts have been opened by individuals and businesses.

"We are working closely with key stakeholders in the business community to ensure tax guidance is clear and easily available," Commissioner Mattox said. "This effort provides clarification to help address longstanding challenges related to sales tax compliance."    

"The early feedback from our member companies has been extremely positive," said Jim Rogers, President and CEO of the Food Industry Alliance.  "The new bulletins will go a long way to answer questions, eliminate doubt and improve compliance," Rogers said.  "This is a complex law. At the end of the day, we just want to get it right."

Of particular interest are the following bulletins:

The bulletins and publications relating to sales tax can be found at /pubs_and_bulls/publications/sales_pubs.htm