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New York State FY 2018 Budget Bill: Sales Tax Highlights

On January 16, Governor Cuomo introduced the 2018 New York State Executive Budget Legislation. The bill proposes a number of changes to the New York State sales tax law. Below is a summary of the highlights.

Sales and Use Tax

  • “Marketplace Providers”

The governor’s bill proposes to impose sales tax registration and collection requirements, traditionally imposed on vendors, on “marketplace providers.” This provision is essentially an effort to obtain sales tax on sales to New York customers that make purchases over the internet from companies that have no physical presence in New York and do not collect sales tax in New York when those companies make sales through online marketplaces. In the governor’s Memorandum of Support of this bill, he affirmatively states that “the bill does not expand the rules concerning sales tax nexus”. Although, as noted below, this claim may not be true.

The bill effectively shifts the sales tax collection burden from the traditional vendor to the marketplace provider. The bill defines marketplace provider as “a person who, pursuant to an agreement with a marketplace seller, facilitates sales of tangible personal property by such marketplace seller or sellers.”

A person “facilitates a sale of tangible personal property” if the person meets both of the following conditions:

(i) such person  provides the  forum  by which the sale takes place, including a shop, store, or booth, an  internet  website,  a catalog,  or  a similar  forum;  and

(ii) such person or an affiliate of such person collects the receipts paid by a customer  to  a marketplace  seller  for  a  sale  of  tangible  personal  property.

The bill caveats that “a person who facilitates sales exclusively by means of the internet is not a marketplace provider for a sales tax quarter when such person can show that it has facilitated less than one hundred million dollars of sales annually for every calendar year after [2015].”

Unlike the definition of the term “vendor” in the current Tax Law, the definition of “marketplace provider” does not contain a doing business or physical presence component. Accordingly, despite the governor’s assertion that the bill does not expand the rules concerning sales tax nexus, this provision may expand the sales tax nexus rules by potentially imposing a sales tax collection obligation on marketplace providers that do not have a physical presence in New York.

In an effort to minimize the number of entities with a collection requirement, the bill provides that if a marketplace seller obtains a certificate of collection from the marketplace provider, it is not required to collect sales tax as a vendor.  The bill caveats that if the marketplace provider and the marketplace seller are affiliated parties, and the marketplace provider fails to collect the tax, the marketplace seller will remain liable for the sales tax.  For such purposes, parties are affiliated if they have as little as five percent of common ownership.

The proposed legislation would not permit marketplace sellers that sell to customers in New York through a [...]

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Inside the New York Budget Bill: Proposed Sales Tax Amendments

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2015-2016 New York State Executive Budget Bill (Budget Bill) contains several important revenue measures, including, but not limited to, technical corrections to the 2014 overhaul of New York State’s Corporate Franchise Tax, conformity of the New York City General Corporation Tax to the revised New York State Corporate Franchise Tax, and several significant changes to New York’s sales and use tax statutes.  This article will address the Budget Bill’s proposed sales and use tax changes.  Several of these changes, while touted by Governor Cuomo as “closing certain sales and use tax avoidance strategies” are much broader and, if enacted, will have a significant impact on the sales and use tax liabilities resulting from routine corporate and partnership formations and reorganizations.

Read the full article.




Inside the New York Budget Bill: Proposed Sales Tax Amendments

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2015–2016 New York State Executive Budget Bill proposes several significant changes to New York’s sales and use tax statutes. Several of these changes, while touted by the governor as “closing certain sales and use tax avoidance strategies,” are much broader and, if enacted, will have a significant impact on the sales and use tax liabilities resulting from routine corporate and partnership formations and reorganizations.

Read the full article.




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