Tax-Free Shopping in New York City

Save on Taxes When Shopping Smart in NYC

 Kelsea Watkins / © TripSavvy

Every day offers terrific tax-free shopping opportunities in New York City. In the past, New Yorkers had to wait for special tax-free shopping weeks to avoid paying city or state sales tax on clothing and footwear items under $110. For over a decade now, New York City has permanently eliminated the city sales tax of 4.5 percent on clothing and footwear purchases under $110; the state of New York followed suit and repealed its portion of the sales tax (4 percent) on these same items.

The result is that shoppers within the five boroughs of New York City are exempt from almost 9 percent in taxes when making a purchase that falls within this range. Which means that you'll have that much more purchasing power when you set out on your next shopping spree. Here is everything you need to know about tax-free shopping in New York City:

Standard New York City and New York State Sales Tax Rates

The New York City sales tax rate is 4.5 percent. The New York State sales and use tax is 4 percent and the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) surcharge is 0.375 percent. That makes the total sales and use tax 8.875 percent for qualified purchases in Manhattan (and the rest of NYC).

Which Items under $110 Are Exempt from Sales Tax in NYC?

All clothing and footwear, clothing material (like fabric, thread, and notions), hats and neckwear (ties and scarves), formal wear, and more. Families with infants will be happy to know that diapers (including disposable diapers) are also included here. Just note that this is a human-only offer, meaning clothes and shoes for pets are excluded.

Apart from the clothing, diapers, and accessories cited above note that the sales tax exemption also applies to the following items:

  • Unprepared and packaged food products
  • Drugs and medicines
  • Medical equipment/supplies (for home use)
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Prosthetic aids and devices, hearing aids, and eyeglasses
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Shoe repair services
  • Veterinary medical services

Which Items under $110 Are Not Exempt from Sales Tax in NYC?

Jewelry and watches, hair accessories, handbags, non-prescription sunglasses, umbrellas, rented formal wear, sports equipment (pads, helmets, ice skates, etc.), wallets, sewing accessories, pet or doll clothes, and more.

Where Are Some Good Places to Shop Tax-free in NYC?

Check out some of these popular New York stores for bargains under $110:

  • Macy's Herald Square: The world's largest department store, Macy’s has 10 floors and countless items for sale. You’re sure to find something that looks fabulous on you.
  • Bloomingdale's: Bloomie’s is another shopping hot spot in NYC, with designer clothes aplenty and a fully stocked shoe salon. There’s always a sale going on somewhere.
  • Lord & Taylor: This famous department store has seasonal sales that can save you a bundle.
  • Century 21: With deep discounts of 40 to 65 percent, you can find major steals on designer names like Diane Von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, and more.
  • Loehmann's: Loehmann’s always has bargains on designer apparel. New York magazine calls it ‘the mecca of off-price shopping.’
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