Tax Policy

College Students in New York: Stop Paying Sales Tax on Your Textbook!

This tax hack could save college students money on their textbooks.

College textbooks can be expensive, like, really expensive. But you don’t need a textbook to tell you that. Well, you don’t need a textbook, at least, to tell you how to save some serious cash on your textbooks by using this simple tax hack.

College Textbook Tax

College textbooks are subject to tax in several states around the United States. To see if your textbooks are subject to sales tax, click here. In New York State, textbooks are subject to sales tax but are exempt to college students.

How to Claim the Exemption?

For your college textbook to be exempt from sales tax, the following must apply:

  • You need to be a full- or part-time student in college.
  • The textbook needs to be required for the course (why else would you buy it?).
  • You need a valid student ID.
  • You will have to fill out form ST-121.4.

What if you Already Purchased Your Textbooks?

So you already purchased your textbooks and they charged you sales tax, now what? You want to get your money back? Well, if you do, then you can apply for a refund of the sales tax by filling out this form AU-11.

Fill it out and mail it in with a copy of your receipt, your college ID, and your class syllabus. This might seem like a lot of work for a few bucks, but let’s be honest – you’re a college student and every penny helps.

How to Spend The Money

Now that you saved some serious cash you can spend it on the important stuff. You know, pens, pencils, cover for house parties…the essentials.

Jeremias Ramos is a CPA working at a nationally recognized full-service accounting, tax, and consulting firm with offices conveniently located throughout the Northeast. Jeremias specializes in tax and business consulting with focus areas in real estate, professional service providers, medical practitioners, and eCommerce businesses.

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