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New York Explains NAICS For Sales Tax


A recent bulletin issued by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance instructs businesses intending to register for sales tax purposes, how to determine their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

According to the bulletin, “Businesses that plan to sell taxable goods or services in New York State must register with the Tax Department for sales tax purposes and receive a sales tax Certificate of Authority.” When applying for the Certificate, a business must “…select a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that best describes your business.”

Registration for a Certificate of Authority is an online process with the state of New York. Within the interface, you will be given a selection of choices with drop-down boxes to help you select the correct code. When doing so, you should identify the NAICS code for your principal business.

There are nuances and challenges…

“[For] example: A dentist also sells toothbrushes and other dental hygiene products to his patients. The dentist must register because he sells taxable items, but should choose his NAICS code based on his principal business activity of being a dentist.”

In another example: “A hospital that qualifies as an exempt organization also sells taxable parking at a parking garage it operates on its premises. The hospital must register for sales tax purposes because it sells taxable parking, but should choose its NAICS code based on its principal business activity of being a hospital. It should also choose a secondary NAICS code for parking lots and garages.”

To learn more, read New York State Tax Bulletin ST-640 (TB-ST-640).

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”