Sales Tax in New York State

When I was running my first business, I always forgot about the sales tax deadlines.  First of all, I was really busy working non-stop in my business, I didn’t have any office staff, and the quarterly deadlines didn’t even start at the beginning of the calendar year (making it hard to forget).

Sales tax was the furthest thing from my mind and I paid countless late fees ($50 bucks a quarter, plus I lost my vendor credit)!

So to help other business owners avoid this same pitfall, I thought I’d list some general information to keep things straight.

1.  How do I know when to file? 

Generally, you are a Quarterly filer if:

  • You have not been notified that you are an annual filer

  • your taxable receipts, purchases subject to use tax, rents, and amusement charges are less than $300,000 during the previous quarter.

  • (Most vendors file quarterly when they first register to collect sales tax.)

You file Annually if:

  • You owe $3,000 or less in tax during an annual filing period

You file part-quarterly (Monthly) if:

  • you file an annual or quarterly sales tax return and:

    • your combined total of taxable receipts, purchases subject to tax, rents, and amusement charges is $300,000 or more in a quarter, or

    • you are a distributor as defined under Article 12-A of the Tax Law and you have sold a total of 100,000 gallons or more of petroleum products (taxable or nontaxable).

I’m sure that most of you reading this land in the Quarterly Filer category.  For more information on this, don’t hesitate to contact us!

2.  What are the filing deadlines?

For Quarterly filers:

  • Q1: March 1 through May 31 DUE June 20

  • Q2: June 1 through August 31 DUE September 20

  • Q3: September 1 through November 30 DUE December 20

  • Q4: December 1 through February 28/29 DUE March 20

For Annual filers:

  • March 1 through February 28/29 DUE March 20

3.  How do I file?

When I was in business, everyone was still paper filing.  Since then, times have changed.  Filers are now required to file electronically if they meet these conditions:

  1. Prepare tax documents themselves, without the assistance of a tax professional;

  2. Use a computer to prepare, document, or calculate the required filings, or are subject to the corporation tax e-file mandate; and

  3. Have broadband internet access.

This is just a quick reference guide, but for more information, or to have Buffalo Tax Strategies prepare your NYS sales tax filing for you, contact us!

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