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NYS Division of Veterans’ Affairs and NYS Tax Department Remind New Yorkers that Patriotic Items are Always Sales-Tax Free New Yorkers are encouraged to take advantage of this exemption and proudly display our nation’s flag to honor those who died while serving in our nation’s Armed Forces

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

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The NYS Division of Veterans’ Affairs joins with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to remind all New Yorkers that flags of the United States, New York State, military service and prisoners of war are exempt from sales tax. 

United States flags are fully exempt from NYS and local sales tax year-round no matter who buys them or where they are purchased. The same is true for Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Prisoner of War (POW)/Missing in Action (MIA) flags.

"I encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of this tax exemption and proudly display our nation's flag as we remember and honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country," said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone.
“The NYS Division of Veterans’ Affairs joins with the Tax Department in encouraging citizens to pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans and their families,” said Division Director Eric Hesse. “We also encourage veterans and their loved ones to visit our website at for information about veterans’ benefits and support services.”

Military service flags are those that have been approved by the United States Secretary of Defense. These flags include the Blue Star and Gold Star banners put on display by family members of service members. A gold star represents a family member who died while serving in the Armed Forces; a blue star represents a family member who is serving now.

In addition to the flags, certain military decorations, including ribbons, medals, and lapel pins are exempt from sales tax when sold to an active military member or veteran. Accessories sold together with the flag to put it on display are free from sales tax as well.

The exemption for POW/MIA and military flags was authorized by legislation in 2012. The United States flag and New York State flag have been exempt since the sales tax was first enacted in 1965.

Veterans and those serving in the military should also visit the Tax Department’s Veterans’ property tax exemption webpage and Information for military personnel & veterans webpage.