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Any person or business that sells goods or services in the state subject to sales tax must register with the Tax Department and obtain a Certificate of Authority. The Certificate of Authority authorizes the business to collect sales tax on behalf of the state. There are many responsibilities that go along with being a business authorized to collect sales tax. This bulletin discusses two of those responsibilities:
When to amend a Certificate of Authority
You must amend your Certificate of Authority within 20 days whenever your business changes any of the following:
You do not need a new Certificate of Authority to make these changes, but you must amend your current certificate. If, however, you have changed your form of business (for example, from owning the business in your own name to creating a corporation that owns it) you must turn in your current Certificate of Authority and obtain a new one. See When to surrender a Certificate of Authority below.
How to amend a Certificate of Authority
If you are changing only your business address (physical location), mailing address, or both, you can use Form DTF-96, Report of Address Change for Business Tax Accounts.
If you are adding a business location and you file one sales tax return for all locations, you can complete Form DTF-17-ATT, Schedule of Business Locations for a Consolidated Filer, or call the Sales Tax Information Center.
You can change or correct any information that we have on file for you by using Form DTF-95, Business Tax Account Update.
After you have given the new information to the Tax Department, we will update your information. If you changed any information that appears on your Certificate of Authority (business name, address, or vendor identification number), we will send you an updated Certificate of Authority with those changes. There is no need to keep the old Certificate of Authority once you have received your new copy; you may destroy the old certificate.
The Tax Department will not send you a new Certificate of Authority if you have changed information that does not actually appear on the certificate (business telephone number; owner, officer, or responsible person; business activity). In this case, you may continue to use your current Certificate of Authority.
You must turn in your Certificate of Authority if you:
It is very important to continue to file your sales tax returns on time until you turn in your Certificate of Authority. This is true even if you have no taxable sales or owe no tax. Failure to file the returns on time can result in penalties and lead to collection activities.
When you stop doing business
If you go out of business and do not sell or transfer any of the business’s assets, you need to surrender your Certificate of Authority when you file your final sales tax return. See How to surrender a Certificate of Authority below. No other steps are required.
When you sell your business or its assets
If you intend to sell your business or its assets and discontinue operations, you must turn in your Certificate of Authority and file a final sales tax return. In addition, you must give the purchaser a copy of Form TP-153, Notice to Prospective Purchasers of a Business or Business Assets, and collect any sales tax due on the sale of any of your business assets. See Publication 750, A Guide to Sales Tax in New York State, for more details.
When you change the form of your business
When you change the form of your business (for example, from a sole proprietorship to a corporation), you must turn in your Certificate of Authority and file a final sales tax return as if you were selling or transferring your business. In addition, you must apply for a new Certificate of Authority at least 20 days before the change in business form takes place, and file Form AU-196.10, Notification of Sale, Transfer, or Assignment in Bulk, with the Tax Department at least 10 days before the change takes place. See Publication 750 for more details.
To surrender a Certificate of Authority, answer the questions on the back of the certificate. If you file a paper final return, mail the certificate with your final sales tax return to the address shown on the return. If you Web File your final return, after completing the Web Filing you’ll be given an address to mail your certificate to. The final sales tax return covers the last sales tax period in which your business was operating. See Tax Bulletin Filing a Final Sales Tax Return (TB-ST-265) for instructions on how to file your final sales tax return.
References and other useful information
Tax Law: Sections 1101(b)(8) and 1134
Regulations: Sections 526.10; 533.1; and Part 539