Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns

Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns


Every person or business who sells taxable tangible personal property or taxable services (even if you make sales from your home) must register with the Tax Department before beginning business in New York.

Sales tax applies to retail sales of certain tangible personal property and services. Use tax applies if you buy tangible personal property and services outside the state and use it within New York State.

Once you are registered for sales and use tax purposes, you must file Sales and Use Tax Returns. Let’s discuss the varying sales tax filing requirements.

Your sales and use tax return

Your Sales and Use Tax Return is a financial summary of your business activity. The following is a list of information you will be required to have handy In order to complete the form:

  • Gross sales
  • Nontaxable and exempt sales
  • Sales subject to tax (taxable sales)
  • Purchases or uses on which you are required to pay use tax
  • Credits you are claiming on the return

The form will help you calculate the amount of sales and use tax you should have collected and are required to pay.

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. 

Annual Returns

If your businesses will owe $3,000 or less in tax during an annual filing period, you can file on an annual basis. If you prefer to pay quarterly, however, you also have that option. Some small businesses prefer to make quarterly payments, as they find it easier to budget.

Annual Filing period: March 1 through February 28 (29 in a leap year).

Quarterly Returns

If you have not been notified that you are an annual filer, and your taxable receipts, purchases subject to use tax, rents, and amusement charges are less than $300,000 during the previous quarter, you should file quarterly returns.

Most businesses file quarterly when they first register to collect sales tax, since their typical annual sales and use tax payable has not yet been established.

Quarterly Filing periods: March 1 through May 31; June 1 through August 31; September 1 through November 30; and December 1 through February 28 (29 in a leap year).

Part-Quarterly Returns (monthly)

File a monthly return if the following totals $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):

  • taxable receipts
  • purchases subject to tax
  • rents
  • amusement charges
  • $300,000 or more in a quarter

When you make this switch, you should begin with the first month of the next sales tax period.

Prompt Tax

Generally, you will need to pay Prompt Tax if your annual sales and use tax liabilities are greater than $500,000. The tax due date is always three business days following the period end date for which you are reporting. The period end date is always day 22 of the current month.

E-file mandate

This Tax Department Mandate requires tax filers who have broadband internet access, can use a computer to prepare returns, and who don’t use a tax preparer, to:

  • File their sales tax returns via the web, and
  • Make the payments associated with those returns by electronic withdrawal from their bank accounts.

Please reach out to us if you need assistance with registering for Sales & Use Tax, or filing. We also have Quickbooks specialists who can assist you in inputting information properly and calculating your taxes each period.