NY Sales Tax on Tuxedos
- May 30, 2016 | Laura McCamy
So your best buddy is a Wall Street tycoon and he’s holding his wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan. If you are part of the wedding party, you will need a tux. Unless you make your living as a magician, you will need to buy or rent that tux. Don’t budget for just the cost or the rental fee -- there is also a NY sales tax on tuxedos.
In New York, clothing and shoes that cost less than $110 are tax-exempt. The exemption applies to individual items of clothing; the whole purchase can add up to more than $110 and still be tax-free. The materials you would need to make clothes are tax-exempt as well: thread, zippers, fabric, and so on. This could come in handy if your tux needs to be altered.
The Manolo Blahnicks Carrie Bradshaw wore in Sex and the City? Definitely add NY sales tax to those. Your favorite Keds Chillax sneakers: tax-exempt. (Tip: don’t wear those to the wedding, even if they are black.)
New York treats rentals differently from purchases. The state specifically notes that sales tax does apply to “costumes or rented formal wear.” So even if you plan attend the wedding in a clown suit, just to make a statement, you still can’t escape NY sales tax.
Your choices are clear: Buy a tuxedo for under $110 and see if you can get past the doorman at the Ritz, or pay the NY sales tax, rent a nice tux, and enjoy the open bar. Just don’t try to figure out the logic behind all the byzantine rules governing NY sales taxes on clothing.