109 Bedford Avenue
Bellmore, New York 11710
516-409-1120
sjohnson@sgjcpa.com

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NYS Sales Tax - Caterers and Catering Services

Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly blog “What are the rules for NYS Sales tax for my profession?”  

Every month we are highlighting another industry with a few of the broad guidelines to follow!  Our hope is not only to provide helpful information for the business owners but the consumers as well!
This month’s industry is 

Caterers and Catering Services

To start it is important to know exactly who is a caterer.  A caterer provides prepared food, beverages, and various other services for events.  These events can take place at a banquet facility, hotel or restaurant or a customer’s home or other location.  Party planners and those who coordinate events also qualify as caterers if they make sales of food and beverages.

Generally all charges by a caterer related to the event are taxable.  This includes:
  1. All food and beverages that have been prepared or served. This includes food found in the deli department – for example, cold cuts, fruit salads, cheese platters, etc.  
  2. Hotel and banquet facilities charges for the rental of a room that is part of the charge for the event is taxable.   It is important to note that if a customer rents a room for the event and hires a separate caterer then the room rental is not taxable.
  3. Tips that a customer leaves voluntarily are not taxable. Mandatory gratuities that are automatically added to the bill are not taxable if all of the following apply: 
  • The charge is shown separately on the bill 
  • The charge is identified as a tip 
  • All the money collected is given to the employees 
  • Service charges are subject to sales tax.

This is just a brief overview of the sales tax laws regarding Catering and Catering Services.   

For more information, call 516-409-1120.  

By Christine A. Murphy


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Do You Owe the IRS? What Now?



What To Do If You Owe the IRS

So you receive a letter from the IRS in the mail and they have figured out that you have been less than truthful when filing your tax returns.  They have recalculated your tax and now you have a bill.  Or maybe, you filed your return on time, but did not have the funds to pay the amount due to the IRS.  If you are like many of the people with IRS tax issues, you likely want to run and hide – hoping the problem will go away.

We see this very often and I am telling you that your problem will not go away on its own.  You need to face it and take steps to resolve your IRS debt. 

The first step is making sure your tax returns were filed correctly, and you need to know how much you owe the IRS for all years that are unpaid.
  
The IRS offers installment payment plans depending on the amount you owe.  This option allows you to pay your overdue tax bill monthly until it is paid off.

If you have a large balance due and you cannot afford to pay it back, you may consider an Offer in Compromise.  This is an option for people who truly cannot and will not be able to pay off their debt in the near future.  If the IRS accepts you into this program, you will agree to pay a smaller amount of tax to settle the debt.  This sum is usually paid in one lump sum, but may be spread over a few payments.

Honorine M. Campisi, CPA

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

NYS Sales Tax - Florists and the Sales of Flowers

Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly blog “What are the rules for NYS Sales tax for my profession?”  

Every month we are highlighting another industry with a few of the broad guidelines to follow!  Our hope is not only to provide helpful information for the business owners but the consumers as well!
This month’s industry is:

 Florists and the Sales of Flowers
Direct sales and sales using a florist’s wire service are the two ways flowers are usually purchased.  There are different rules that apply depending on how the flowers are purchased. 

  •       Direct Sales:  These are sales that don’t involve wire service.  They can include direct sales or the deliveries of flowers.   Sales tax must be charged in the jurisdiction where the flowers are delivered to the customer or at the rate where the customer directs the flowers to be delivered.  The taxable amount includes shipping and/or delivery.

It is important to note that if you call a toll-free number or visit a website to order the flowers these are considered direct sales if they are not completed using a florist’s wire service.  The seller contacts a local florist near the delivery point to complete the order.  If the toll-free number or website is a registered New York State vendor they must collect sales tax on all sales where the delivery of the flowers is within New York State.  Tax is charged on the whole price charged – flowers plus delivery, fees and shipping.  The local florist that is fulfilling the order does not charge sales tax. 

  •       Florist’s Wire Service:  Sales of flowers using a wire service are taxed in the jurisdiction where the order is first received from the customer.  It does not matter where the flowers are being delivered to.  

  •         Sales of Flowers to Caterers:  If a florist sells flowers to a caterer, he or she does not have to collect sales tax as long as the florist receives a properly completed Resale Certificate.

This is just a brief overview of the sales tax laws regarding the sale of flowers.  Feel free to give our office a call for more information. 

By Christine A. Murphy