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Department of Taxation and Finance

NYS Offers Tax Break for Many Odd Jobs and Household Projects

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded New Yorkers that they aren’t required to pay sales tax for odd jobs and projects done on their property when the work is done by someone who’s not operating in a regular trade or business.

If a student mows a neighbor’s lawn for a fee, for example, that service isn’t taxed. The tax break applies to other kinds of repair and maintenance services as well, such as car washing or bike repair.

“This summer, many teenagers and young adults will be helping their neighbors while earning cash for school and other expenses,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “Homeowners and renters who hire someone to help them with a piece of work can relax knowing that sales tax isn’t owed, as long as that individual isn’t performing the services as part of a regular business.”

If services are provided by someone who regularly performs the services as part of a business, they are subject to sales tax. For example, sales tax is required to be collected on lawn mowing services provided by a lawn care company or other registered business. 

Examples of taxable and tax exempt services

Tax exempt: A homeowner pays a college student to clean and wax his car.

Tax exempt: A student paints a neighbor’s fence and washes her windows.

Taxable: A business charges for car washing and waxing services.

Taxable: A person advertises in the newspaper that they’re available for home repairs on  weekends and during evening hours.

For more information:

• Do I need to register to collect sales tax?
• New York State sales tax guide
• Sales tax rates by jurisdiction