New York Issues Guidance on College Textbook Exemption

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

A college textbook.
New York

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance recently issued a bulletin on exempt sales of college textbooks.

New York exempts sales of college textbooks from sales and use tax. There are three requirements for the exemption. First, the buyer must be a full- or part-time student of an institution of higher education and must buy the textbook for use in a course. Second, either the instructor or the institution must require or recommend the textbook for the course. Third, when the student buys the textbook, the student must provide valid student identification or other evidence of enrollment.

If the vendor does not have a list of required or recommended textbooks for a student's courses and the student cannot provide the vendor with such a list, the student must provide an exemption certificate (Form ST-121.4). Vendors must verify that a student is enrolled in an institution of higher education, generally by checking student ID. To prove that its sales were exempt, a vendor must keep records such as copies of the list of required or recommended textbooks, copies of instructors' or institutions' lists, or properly completed exemption certificates.

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TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

TTR likes to keep things simple and fun, which is why it has great people who provide help to clients on any support questions they have about transaction tax issues.

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