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Sales tax exempt organizations

Who needs to apply for New York State sales tax exempt status

If you believe you qualify for sales tax exempt status, you may be required to apply for an exempt organization certificate with the New York State Tax Department. To qualify, an organization must be formally organized and prove that they're organized and operated exclusively for one or more exempt purposes (for example, religious or charitable purposes).

Who needs to apply for New York State sales tax exempt status
Organizations that must apply Organizations that don't need to apply
  • Not-for-profit religious, charitable, educational, or other organizations (often called section 501(c)(3)) organizations)
  • United Nations and other international organizations
  • United States armed forces posts and organizations
  • New York State and United States governmental entities (because they are already exempt)
  • Other states and political subdivisions (because they don't qualify)
  • Organizations that are organized and/or operated under some other New York State or federal statute that exempts them from state and/or local sales taxes

How to apply

  • File Form ST-119.2, Application for an Exempt Organization Certificate
  • Submit the required documentation described in the Instructions for Form ST-119.2 
  • Provide a copy of your 501(c)(3) determination letter when applying (if your organization applied for and received federal income tax exemption from the IRS)

If you're granted sales tax exempt status

We'll issue Form ST-119, Exempt Organization Certificate, to you. It will contain your six-digit New York State sales tax exemption number. (Note that the nine-digit federal employer identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service is not a sales tax exemption number.) You'll also receive Form ST-119.1, Exempt Purchase Certificate.

To make tax exempt purchases:

  • Complete Form ST-119.1 (This form is mailed with your exemption certificate, and is not available on our Web site. To get additional copies of this form, contact our sales tax information center.)
  • Present the completed form to the store at the time of purchase.
  • New York State and United States governmental entities that are already exempt should make exempt purchases by presenting governmental purchase orders or an appropriate exemption document (not Form ST-119.1). See Tax Bulletin, Purchases and Sales by Governmental Entities (TB-ST-700). 

How to use the exemption certificate

You may only use the certificate to make exempt purchases on behalf of the organization.

  • You may not use the certificate to make personal purchases.
  • Only the organization that was issued the certificate may use it.
  • You may not use your personal funds to make purchases on behalf of the organization, even if you will be reimbursed. These purchases are taxable.
  • Misuse of your exempt organization certificate is punishable by imprisonment and a fine of up to $20,000.

To update your exempt organization certificate, contact the sales tax information center.

Verifying an organization's exempt status

Contact the sales tax information center to verify an organization's exempt status.

Additional information (including exempt organization sales that are subject to sales tax)


Publications and guidance

  • Publication 843A Guide to Sales Tax in New York State for Exempt Organizations
  • TSB-M-08(5)STax Law Amendments Related to Sales Made by Certain Sales Tax Exempt Organizations Effective September 1, 2008
  • Pub 765Sales and Fuel Excise Tax Information for Properly Appointed Agents of New York Governmental Entities

Contact information

NYS Sales Tax Exempt Organizations

NYS Sales Tax Exempt Organizations

NYS Sales Tax Exemption Certificates

NYS Sales Tax Exemption Certificates