Purchase Textbooks Tax Free For Upcoming Semester

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textbooks tax breakThe New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reminds students that they get a tax break when they buy required or recommended college textbooks for their courses. The textbooks can be purchased from any bookstore, including college or university bookstores, retail bookstores, by mail order or online.

For a purchase to be exempt from sales tax:

• The textbook must be purchased by a full- or part-time student who is enrolled at an institution of higher education and be for use in his or her course;
• The textbook must be required or recommended for the student’s course, either by the instructor or by the institution;
• The student must provide a valid student identification card or other evidence of enrollment at the time of purchase; and
• The vendor must have a list of eligible textbooks or receive a properly completed Form ST-121.4, Textbook Exemption Certificate, from the student.

“Many students buy the textbooks they need over the Internet,” said New York State Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “If you’re charged sales tax, the seller may have a procedure in place to claim a refund directly from them; if not, we can issue the refund if you send us the proper documentation.”

If you’re incorrectly charged sales tax on your textbook purchase:

• Submit Form AU-11, “Application for Credit or Refund of Sales or Use Tax,” and supporting documentation such as a sales receipt, to the NYS Tax Department; and
• Include your student ID and class syllabus or applicable tax exemption documentation.

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