Avalara Taxrates > Blog > Sales Tax News > New York Updates Tax Policies Regarding Hurricane Sandy - Avalara

New York Updates Tax Policies Regarding Hurricane Sandy


The New York Department of Taxation and Finance has updated its policies regarding individuals and businesses temporarily in New York because of Hurricane Sandy. An audit/compliance policy is now in effect. 

Sales Tax Requirements

Under the audit/compliance policy:

"Any business that sells taxable personal property or provides taxable services in New York State must register as a sales tax vendor and collect and remit sales tax." 

This policy applies no matter how long a company does business in the state of New York.

All vendors must register with the Tax Department and obtain a Certificate of Authority, which allows vendors to "collect tax on … taxable sales and to issue and accept most New York State sales tax exemption certificates."

Vendors who are unable to register online should contact the Sales Tax Information Center at the Department of Taxation, at 518-485-2889.

Products Subject to Sales Tax

New York State sales tax applies to tangible personal property, defined as "any kind of physical personal property that has a material existence … (something you can see and touch)" that is sold by businesses. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Furniture, appliances, and light fixtures;
  • Computers;
  • Motor vehicles;
  • Candy and confections;
  • Bottled water;
  • Cosmetics and toiletries;
  • Animals (for example, dogs, cats, or pet birds);
  • Trees, shrubs, and seeds;
  • Building materials.

Services Subject to Sales Tax

Many services are also subject to New York State sales tax. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trash/debris removal;
  • Tree removal;
  • Repairing damaged windows, roofing, siding, drywall, electrical wiring; and
  • Appliance repair.

Out-of-state contractors and repair people should follow the sales tax guidance for capital improvements and taxable repair/maintenance services.

Sales Tax Returns

Sales tax returns must be filed with the Department of Taxation and Finance. This may be done through the department's Online Services, which is both quick and free. A final sales tax return must be filed once an "out-of-state company is no longer conducting business in New York State."

Disaster Related Assistance for Sales Tax 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross are providing vouchers that allow "individuals to obtain specifically identifiable goods and services (e.g. hotel accommodations)." Items purchased with these vouchers are not subject to sales tax. Any purchased taxable products and services not covered by the voucher are subject to sales tax.

Other Tax Policies

Under this policy, and in specific situations (listed on the website) the Department of Taxation and Finance will NOT assess:

  • Corporate franchise taxes;
  • Withholding taxes;
  • Personal income taxes;
  • Any penalty or interest related to the above taxes.

Get Free Tax Rate Tables


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.