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New York Sales Tax for Hotel and Motel Operators

  • Feb 16, 2015 | Gail Cole

 When does--and doesn't--sales tax apply?

New York Department of Taxation and Finance has recently updated its Guide to Sales Tax for Hotel and Motel Operators.

Subject to sales tax

Sales tax applies to the following:

  • The rent for every occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel in New York State
  • Charges for additional services, facilities, amenities, and items that are incidental to the occupancy of the room or rooms, whether combined or separately stated

Not subject to sales tax

  • Charges for a permanent resident of a hotel
  • Charges when the rent is not more than $2 per day
  • The rent of a room meeting the definition of “place of assembly”
  • Rent for “any occupancy that is excluded or exempted from tax under the Tax Law or any provision of law”
  • “Reasonable and separately stated charges for any service or other charge or amount not required to be paid as a condition for occupancy” of a room or rooms. For example, separately stated charges for food and drink, entertainment, and various other services.

New York City unit fee

In addition to the state sales tax, a hotel unit fee of $1.50 per unit per day is imposed on hotel occupancy in New York City, which encompasses the following counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond. The same exclusions from sales tax apply to the New York City fee.

Local occupancy taxes

Locally imposed occupancy taxes are not within the purview of the New York Department of Taxation and Revenue. As a result, they are only minimally referenced in the guide. Local occupancy taxes should not be included when calculating New York State sales tax. Questions about these taxes should be addressed to the local taxing jurisdiction.

The guide is quite extensive, spanning 47 pages and covering everything from how to address a sales tax rate change to how to address frequent stay / points reward programs. Please refer to the Guide to Sales Tax for Hotel and Motel Operators for additional information.

Simplify sales tax management and increase compliance in New York and other states. Learn more.

photo credit: New York Hotel via photopin (license)


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.