Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New York Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns

Every person who sells taxable tangible personal property or taxable services (even if you make sales from your home) must register with the NYS Tax Department before beginning business. If you aren't sure whether you need to register for sales tax purposes, see Tax Bulletins Do I Need to Register for Sales Tax? (TB-ST-175) and Sales from Your Home (TB-ST-807)

If you are registered for sales and use tax purposes in New York State, you must file sales and use tax returns. We’ll explain the sales tax filing requirements for quarterly, part-quarterly (monthly), and annual filers, including the E-file mandate.

E-file mandate

Sales tax vendors must Web file their sales tax returns if they meet all three of the following conditions:
  • prepare tax documents themselves, without the assistance of a tax professional;
  • use a computer to prepare, document or calculate the required filings, or are subject to the corporation tax e-file mandate; and
  • have broadband internet access.

You can Web File all sales tax returns and schedules, including:

  • Monthly, quarterly, and annual sales tax return
  • Promp-Tax filers submitting Form ST-810
  • no-tax-due, amended, and final returns
  • Form ST-330, Sales Tax Record of Advance Payment
  • Form AU-11, Application for Credit or Refund of Sales or Use Tax

You will need to complete a one-time registration process before you can Web File. See Sales Tax Web File for more information.

Your sales and use tax return

Your sales and use tax return is a summary of your business activity, including:
  gross sales;
  nontaxable and exempt sales;
  taxable sales;
  purchases or uses subject to tax;
  credits you are claiming on the return;
  sales tax, use tax, and any special taxes you collected or were required to collect; and
  current information regarding your business.

How frequently you must file sales tax returns depends on the amount of your taxable sales (and purchases subject to use tax), or the amount of tax due. Even if your business did not make any taxable sales or purchases during the reporting period, you must file your sales and use tax return by the due date.

The chart below summarizes which sales tax form to file. The forms and schedules are further explained on the following pages of this bulletin and in the links provided.

Quarterly Filers
You will fileForm and schedulesFiling period
quarterly return if:
  • you have not been notified that you are an annual filer (see Your filing frequency may be changed below), and
  • 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.)
ST-100, New York State and Local Quarterly Sales and Use Tax Return

Quarterly sales tax schedules
March 1 through May 31;
June 1 through August 31;
September 1 through November 30; and
December 1 through February 28/29.

Annual Filers
You will file:Form and schedulesFiling period
An annual return if you owe $3,000 or less in tax during an annual filing period.ST-101, New York State and Local Annual Sales and Use Tax Return

Annual sales tax schedules
March 1 through February 28/29.

Part-Quarterly Filers (monthly)
You will file:Form and schedulesFiling period
part-quarterly (monthly) return beginning with the first month of the next sales tax quarter 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).
ST-809, New York State and Local Sales and Use Tax Return for Part-Quarterly Filers

ST-810, New York State and Local Quarterly Sales and Use Tax Return for Part-Quarterly Filers

Part-quarterly (monthly) sales tax schedules

How your filing frequency is initially determined

Annual filing
You will automatically be classified as an annual filer when you register for sales tax if you:
  • indicate that you do not expect to pay or collect any sales or use tax (for example, you are registering to accept exemption certificates), and
  • describe your primary business activity as manufacturer or wholesaler.
The annual return, Form ST-101New York State and Local Annual Sales and Use Tax Return, covers the period March 1 through February 28/29. Since sales tax returns are generally due within 20 days after the end of the reporting period, annual returns are due by March 20 each year.

Quarterly filing

If you do not qualify to file annually, you will be classified as a quarterly filer when you first register for sales tax purposes.
  • The reporting periods covered by quarterly returns are March 1 through May 31, June 1 through August 31, September 1 through November 30, and December 1 through February 28/29.
  • Quarterly returns are due no later than 20 days after the end of the quarter to which they relate.

Your filing frequency may change

Your filing frequency may change over time, depending on the amount of your taxable sales or tax due. When your filing frequency changes, the correct return will automatically be available when you Web File.

This only touches on the NYS Sales and use tax requirements; as you can see it can be more complicated than you may have originally thought and mistakes can be costly. 

Please contact us for an appointment to discuss your sales and use tax needs. info@laebusiness.com