New York State's maximum corporate franchise (income) tax rate for most corporate taxpayers is 7.1 percent; for qualified New York manufacturers the corporate franchise tax is 6.5 percent (3.25% for "eligible qualified NYS manufacturers").
Corporations pay the highest tax computed on the following four alternative bases:
A tax of 7.1 percent (6.5 percent for qualified NYS manufacturers; 3.25% for "eligible qualified NYS manufacturers") on allocated entire net income;
A tax of 0.15 percent on allocated business and investment capital (maximum for qualified NYS manufacturers: $350,000; maximum for non-manufacturers: $1 million;
A separate minimum tax at fixed dollar amounts, ranging from $25 to $5,000, based on New York receipts.
An additional tax of 0.09 percent applies to a corporation's allocated subsidiary capital.
A surcharge rate of 17 percent also applies to a taxpayer's post-credit tax liability allocable to the 12-county Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD). This includes the City of New York, Long Island, and the mid-to-lower Hudson River Valley.
Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT): Tax imposed on certain employers (those with calendar quarter payroll in excess of $312,500) and self-employed individuals (those with annual earnings in excess of $50,000) engaging in business within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD), which includes New York City (the counties of New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, and Richmond (Staten Island)), and the counties of Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester. The MCTMT is imposed at rates from 0.11% to 0.34% of an employer's payroll expense for all covered employees for each calendar quarter. No exemptions or credits apply.
Sales and use taxes:
A 4 percent State sales tax (4.375 percent in New York City and the 12-county Metropolitan Commuter District) is levied on retail sales of tangible personal property and certain services, as well as on the use of such property and services upon which sales tax was not collected. The tax is based on receipts from retail sales. Furthermore, counties and cities may impose additional sales and use taxes up to an additional 4.75 percent.
Sales and use tax exemptions:
Exemptions from state and local sales and use taxes are provided for:
- Machinery and equipment used directly and predominantly in manufacturing, mining, and experimental research and development. Manufacturing machinery and equipment, and fuels and utilities used or consumed in the manufacturing process.
- Tools used directly in manufacturing, mining, and refining.
- Commercial aircraft, machinery and equipment installed in such aircraft, personal property used in aircraft repairs, and certain aircraft equipment, and fuel sold to airlines.
- Repair, installation, and maintenance of manufacturing machinery and equipment, including parts, tools, and supplies.
- Wrapping and packaging materials when used in packaging/packing tangible personal property for sale.
All real property within the state is taxed at the local level. Property is assessed where located at a portion of the actual value by local assessors. Personal property is tax-exempt.
Industrial or commercial construction or reconstruction in designated areas of New York City may be exempt from real property taxes. Exemption rates and terms vary with the area and type of business facility.
Commercial and industrial facilities constructed or reconstructed outside New York City at a cost of more than $10,000 may be eligible for a partial exemption from local real property taxes. The maximum exemption amounts to 50 percent of any increase in value in the first year following completion and declines by five percentage points in each of the succeeding nine years.
Industrial or commercial facilities financed by industrial development agencies are exempt from property taxation. Negotiated payments in lieu of taxes can be made to municipalities.
Pollution-control facilities are exempt from local real property taxes and ad valorem levies on any increase in value resulting from the construction of such facilities.
Investment tax credit (ITC):
A credit equal to 5 percent of investment (up to $350 million; 4 percent rate on amount over $350 million and for personal income taxpayers) in buildings and tangible personal property, acquired by purchase, with a useful life of four years or more and used in production (manufacturing, processing, assembling, agriculture), financial services, qualified film production facilities, or research and development. The ITC is available at an optional rate of 9 percent (seven percent for personal income taxpayers) of qualified investment in research and development property. The ITC can reduce corporate tax to the higher of the alternative minimum tax or fixed dollar minimum tax. The ITC is taken in the year investment made or property placed in service. New businesses may take a refund of unused credit, and other unused credits may be carried forward 15 years (10 years for personal income taxpayers).
An additional credit for the same capital investment is available in each of the two years following the investment if employment in those years reaches specified levels. If employment is at least 101 percent of the base year level but less than 102 percent, the credit is 1.5 percent; at least 102 percent but less than 103 percent, two percent; and at least 103 percent, 2.5 percent. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to 15 years (10 years for personal income taxpayers).
Effective for property placed in service before October 1, 2015, the investment tax credit (ITC) is extended to tangible personal property principally used in the ordinary course of business: As a broker or dealer in connection with the purchase or sale (which shall include but not be limited to the issuance, entering into, assumption, offset, assignment, termination, or transfer) of stocks, bonds or other securities, or of commodities (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code
- Of providing investment advisory services for a regulated investment company (as defined in the IRC), or lending, loan arrangement, or loan origination services to customers in connection with the purchase or sale of securities
- As an exchange registered as a national securities exchange or a board of trade
Excelsior Jobs Program
The Excelsior Jobs Program, administered by Empire State Development (ESD), will provide job creation and investment incentives to firms in such targeted industries as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean-technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these strategic industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investment may be eligible to apply for up to four new refundable tax credits. Businesses claim the credits over a five year period.
- The Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: A credit equal to 6.85% of gross wages per new job to cover a portion of the associated payroll cost.
- The Excelsior Investment Tax Credit: Valued at two percent of qualified investments.
- The Excelsior Research and Development Tax Credit: A credit equal to 50 percent of the Federal Research and Development Credit, capped at 3% of R&D expenditures in NYS.
- The Excelsior Real Property Tax Credit: Available to firms locating in certain distressed areas and to firms in targeted industries that meet higher employment and investment thresholds (Regionally Significant Project).
Economic Transformation Program
The Economic Transformation Program, administered by Empire State Development, provides tax credits for projects that leverage investments to create jobs and support economic development initiatives in areas affected by the closure of certain correctional and juvenile justice facilities.
New businesses in targeted industries that create at least five net new jobs may qualify for up to five new, fully refundable tax benefits:
a jobs tax credit of 6.85% of the wages of each net new job;
an investment tax credit of 6% of capital investments with the credit increasing to 10% if it is at the site of a closed facility (credit capped at $4 million per firm for investments outside a facility and $8 million for all investments at the facility).
A 5-year real property tax credit: For firms outside a facility, the real property tax credit is 25% of eligible property taxes in the first year, phasing down to 5% in year 5; The credit is 50% of eligible property taxes for firms located at the facility phasing down to 10% in year 5;
A job training tax credit of 50% of training expenses, capped at $4,000 per eligible employee per year (Eligibility for this credit is limited to instances where former facility employees are hired by a new firm); and a sales tax refund on tangible personal property used for construction at an eligible site.
Empire State Jobs Retention Program
The Empire State Jobs Retention Program Credit is a refundable tax credit available to for-profit, non-service provider businesses damaged physically and economically by an emergency as declared by the Governor on or after January 1, 2011. The Program is administered by the Department of Economic Development.
In order to participate in the program, a business entity described above must:
be located in a county in which an emergency has been declared by the Governor on or after January 1, 2011; demonstrate substantial physical damage and economic harm resulting from the event leading to the emergency declaration by the Governor; and, have had at least 100 full-time equivalent jobs in the county in which an emergency has been declared by the Governor on the day immediately preceding the day on which the event leading to the emergency declaration by the Governor occurred, and must retain or exceed that number of jobs in New York State; and must apply to the Department of Economic Development within 180 days of the declaration of emergency (or 180 days from enactment of this provision, if later) and be approved as a participant.
A participant may claim tax benefits commencing in the first taxable year that the business enterprise receives a certificate of tax credit or the first taxable year listed on its preliminary schedule of benefits, whichever is later.
The credit is equal to 6.85% of the gross wages paid for the "impacted jobs," and is available for 10 consecutive years.
"Impacted jobs" are defined as jobs existing at a business enterprise at a location(s) within the county declared an emergency by the Governor on the day immediately preceding the day on which the event leading to the emergency declaration by the Governor occurred.
The credit is available for tax years beginning on/after January 1, 2012.
New York Youth Works Tax Credit Program
Administered by the NYS Department of Labor, the New York Youth Works Tax Credit Program provides tax incentives to employers for employing at-risk youths in part-time and full-time positions.
Qualified employers certified by the Labor Commissioner are entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to $500 per month for up to 6 months for each qualified employee the employer employs in a full-time job ($3,000 maximum), or $250 per month for up to 6 months for each qualified employee employed in a part-time job of at least 20 hours per week ($1,500 maximum); and, $1,000 for each qualified employee who is employed for at least an additional 6 months by the qualified employer, or $500 for each qualified employee who is employed for at least an additional 6 months by the qualified employer in a part-time job of at least 20 hours per week.
Qualified employee means an individual:
- Who is between the age of 16 and 24;
- Who resides in a city with a population of 55,000 or more, or a town with a population of 480,000 or more;
- Who is low-income or at-risk, as those terms are defined by the Commissioner; and
- Who will be working for the qualified employer in a full-time or part-time position that pays wages equivalent to the wages paid for similar jobs (with adjustments for experience and training) and for which no other employer has been terminated, or where the employer has not otherwise reduced its workforce by involuntary terminations with the intention of filling the vacancy by creating a new hire.
Programs: There are five separate programs with separate credit allocation caps:
Youth Works Program Total Credit Allocation Employee Hiring Dates • Program 1 $25 million 1/1/12 – 12/31/12 • Program 2 $6 million 1/1/14 – 12/31/14 • Program 3 $6 million 1/1/15 – 12/31/15 • Program 4 $6 million 1/1/16 – 12/31/16 • Program 5 $6 million 1/1/17 – 12/31/17
Employers are required to apply to the Department of Labor between January 1 and November 30 of the year pertaining to the particular program to receive credit.
Brownfield Redevelopment Credit:
Three refundable credits are available to taxpayers that have executed a "Brownfield Cleanup Agreement" with the Department of Environmental Conservation and have received a remediation certificate pursuant to such agreement by Dec. 31, 2015.
Brownfield Redevelopment Credit - consists of the sum of the site preparation costs, tangible property costs, and on-site groundwater remediation costs.
For qualified sites admitted to the Brownfield Cleanup Program on/after June 23, 2008, the tangible property credit component is capped at:
- $35 million, or three times the costs included in the calculation of the site preparation credit component and the on-site groundwater remediation credit component, whichever is less; or
- $45 million, or six times the costs included in the calculation of the site preparation credit component and the on-site groundwater remediation credit component, whichever is less, in the case of a qualified site to be used primarily for manufacturing activities.
The applicable percentages, up to a maximum of 50 percent, for purposes of calculating the site preparation credit component and the on-site groundwater remediation credit component are based on the level of cleanup achieved, as follows:
- Soil cleanup for unrestricted use, the protection of groundwater or the protection of ecological resources, the applicable percentage shall be 50 percent;
- Soil cleanup for residential use, the applicable percentage shall be 40 percent, except for Track 4 which shall be 25 percent;
- Soil cleanup for commercial use, the applicable percentage shall be 33 percent, except for Track 4 which shall be 25 percent;
- Soil cleanup for industrial use, the applicable percentage shall be 27 percent, except for Track 4 which shall be 22 percent.
- Remediated Brownfield Credit for Property Taxes - The amount of the credit against the taxpayer's income tax increases based upon the number of persons employed at the qualified site and is generally equal to 25 percent of the product of the "employment number factor" and the eligible property taxes paid. If the property is located in an Environmental Zone, the credit is not subject to the 25 percent limitation.
- Environmental Remediation Insurance Credit - For premiums paid for environmental remediation insurance, up to the lesser of $30,000 or 50 percent of the cost of premiums.
A credit is available for employers who employ individuals with disabilities. The credit equals 35 percent of the first $6,000 of first-year wages paid to the disabled employee (maximum of $2,100 per employee). However, if the first-year wages qualify for the federal work opportunity tax credit, the New York credit will apply to the second-year wages.
Research/Emerging Technologies Credits:
Research and development credit: A credit of 9 percent against the corporation franchise tax (or 7 percent against the personal income tax) is available for investment in property used for research and development in the experimental or laboratory sense.
Qualified Emerging Technology Employment Credit: A refundable credit of $1,000 per new full-time employee (employees in excess of 100 percent of base year employment level) is available for one three-year period (the year the credit is first claimed and in each of the next two years provided minimum employment levels are maintained).
Qualified Emerging Technology Company Capital Tax Credit:
An investors may be allowed a credit equal to a percentage of each qualified investment in a qualified emerging technology company certified by the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance as follows:
- 10 percent of qualified investments, provided the taxpayer certifies that it will not be sold, transferred, traded, or disposed of during the four years following the year in which the credit is first claimed; or
- 20 percent of qualified investments, provided the taxpayer certifies that it will not be sold, transferred, traded or disposed of during the nine years following the year in which the credit is first claimed.
Investments made by or on behalf of an owner of the business, including but not limited to a stockholder, partner or sole proprietor, or any related person, are not eligible for this credit. The total amount of the credit allowable to a taxpayer for all years, taken in the aggregate, cannot exceed $150,000 (at the 10 percent rate) and $300,000 (at the 20 percent rate). The use of the credit is limited to 50 percent of the tax otherwise due; unused credits can be carried forward indefinitely (no refund provision). The program provides for the recapture of a pro rata share of the credit in the event the qualified investment is not held for the requisite period.
Biofuel Production Credit
A credit is available for biofuel produced at a biofuel plant in New York State on or after January 1, 2006. The credit is equal to 15-cents-per gallon after the production of the first 40,000 gallons per year presented to market. The credit is capped at $2.5 million per entity, per taxable year, for up to no more than four consecutive taxable years per biofuel plant. The credit is available for tax years beginning before Jan. 1, 2020.
Alternative Fuels and Electric Vehicle Recharging Property Tax Credit
A nonrefundable credit is equal to the lesser of $5,000 or 50 percent of the cost of alternative fuel vehicle refueling property or electric vehicle recharging property located in New York for which none of the costs have been paid from the proceeds of grants.
Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property is defined as equipment needed to dispense any fuel at least eighty-five percent of the volume of which consists of one or more of the following: natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum, or hydrogen.
Electric vehicle recharging property is defined as all equipment needed to convey electric power from the electric grid or another power source to an onboard vehicle energy storage system.
The credit is available under Articles 9, 9-A, and 22 for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2013 and before Jan. 1, 2018. (Note: this credit replaces the alternative fuels credit that expired in 2010.)
The Film Tax Credit Program provides incentives to qualified production companies that produce feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots and television movies, and/or incur post-production costs associated with the original creation of these films. “Qualified Film” excludes documentary films, news or current events programs, interview or talk programs, game shows, award ceremonies, sports programming, soap operas, commercials, music videos, or “reality” programs.
There are two separate components: the Film Production Credit and the Post-Production Credit.
The Film Production Credit is available to companies that film a substantial portion of their project in NYS. The Post-Production Credit is available where the project was filmed predominantly outside of the state and the film production company contracts their post-production work to a post-production facility in NYS.
Program credits of $420 million a year are allocated. Up to $7 million of the $420 million may be dedicated to supporting and growing the post-production industry in NYS, increasing to $25 million for years 2015-2019 inclusive.
Credits are paid as follows:
- Credits between $1 million and less than $5 million must be claimed over a 2-year period and will be paid out 50% in each of such years;
- Credits equal to at least $5 million must be claimed over a 3-year period and will be paid out in one-third increments in each such years.
Credits are available for tax years ending on/before December 31, 2019.
Credits are refundable against corporate franchise (income) tax and personal income tax for qualified film production companies, or sole proprietors of qualified film production companies.
Film Production Credit – The credit is the product of 30 percent and the qualified production costs paid or incurred in the production of a qualified film, provided that at least 75 percent of the production costs (“stagework”) are spent in New York State.
Allows a “relocated television production” to qualify as a qualified film. A relocated television production is defined as a talk or variety television production that filmed at least five season prior to its first relocated season in New York, has a studio audience of 200 or more people, and either incurs at least $30 million in annual production costs in the State or incurs at least $10 million in qualified capital expenditures at a qualified facility.
Post Production Credit –Credit is equal to 30 percent of qualified post production costs. A film production company can qualify if it meets one or both of the following thresholds:
- At least 20 percent or $3 million of the total VFX/Animation total costs paid or incurred for VFX/Animation for the qualified film are incurred at a qualified post-production facility in NYS.
- At least 75 percent of the qualified post-production costs, excluding the costs for VFX/Animation, are incurred at a qualified post-production facility in NYS.
NOTE: A film production company cannot claim the film production credit and the post-production credit for the same qualified post production costs.
Upstate credit enhancement: From 2015 through 2019, film and post production projects are eligible for an additional credit equal to 10% of the wages or salaries of individuals employed by a qualified film or independent film production company for services performed in the following counties: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.
Individuals employed as writers, directors, music directors, producers, and performers are not eligible for the credit. Also, qualified films must have a minimum budget of $500,000. For post production work to be eligible, the post production facility must be located in one of the above counties.
There is a maximum of $5 million per year (from the $420 million total allocation) that can be allocated for the additional 10% credit on qualified labor expenses.
Empire State Commercial Production Tax Credit -- This credit is provided to a taxpayer that is a qualified commercial production company, or a partner of a partnership (including a member of a limited liability company that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes) that is a qualified commercial production company. (A New York S corporation may not use this credit against its own tax; instead, the credit is provided to its shareholders who are subject to tax under Article 22 of the Tax Law.)
To be eligible for this credit, at least 75 percent of the production costs (excluding post production costs) paid or incurred directly and predominately in the actual filming or recording of a qualified commercial must be incurred in New York State.
New York will provide $7 million of credit annually to be disbursed to all eligible production companies as follows:
- Growth Credit ($1 million) – a refundable credit equal to 20% of the qualified production costs attributable to the use of tangible property or the performance of services in New York in the production of a qualified commercial. Total qualified production costs must be greater in the current year than the average of the three previous years for which the credit was applied. However, until a qualified production company has established a three-year history for the credit, the benchmark for the credit will be the greater of the previous year’s or the average of the two previous years’ qualified production costs. If the qualified production company has never applied for the credit, the previous year’s data will be used to create a benchmark. The credit is applied only to the excess of the current calendar year’s costs over the previous calendar year’s cost. The annual $1 million cap will be disbursed on a pro rata basis to all eligible commercial production companies. No qualified production company will be allocated more than $300,000 of credit annually. The credit is allowed for the tax year in which the production of the qualified commercial is completed.
- Downstate Credit ($3 million) – a refundable credit equal to 5% of the qualified production costs attributable to the use of tangible property or the performance of services in New York in the production of the qualified commercial within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD, which includes New York City and the counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester). Total qualified production costs in the current calendar year must be greater than $500,000 and the credit applies only to such costs exceeding $500,000. The annual $3 million cap will be disbursed on a pro rata basis.
- Upstate Credit ($3 million) – a refundable credit equal to 5% of the qualified production costs attributable to the use of tangible property or the performance of services in New York in the production of the qualified commercial outside the MCTD. Total qualified production costs in the current calendar year must be greater than $200,000, and the credit applies only to such costs exceeding $200,000. The annual $3 million cap will be disbursed on a pro rata basis; any remaining unallocated cap may be allocated to throughout the State.
The credit may not reduce the tax due to less than the fixed dollar minimum tax.
The amount of credit not applied to the tax in the current tax year, (i.e. the excess credit), may be refunded or credited as an overpayment to next year’s tax. The refund is limited to 50% of the excess credit in the current year; the balance may be carried forward to the following year and may be deducted from the tax in that year. The amount of the excess credit not applied to the tax in the next succeeding tax year will be credited or refunded (without interest). Production costs used as the basis for allowance of this credit or used in the calculation of this credit cannot be used to claim any other credit.
This program expires December 31, 2014. The Film and Commercial Tax Credits are administered by Empire State Development.
Credit for Rehabilitation of Historic Properties - A credit is allowed for the rehabilitation of depreciable historic properties located in New York State. Note: to be eligible for the credit, the rehabilitation project must be in a distressed area.
- The amount of the credit is equal to 100 percent (30 percent, effective 1/1/2020) of the federal credit under IRC section 47(c)(3).
- A certified historic structure is defined as a building and its structural components which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places or located in a registered historic district and certified to be of historic significance to the district.
- Credit is capped at $5 million ($100,000, effective 1/1/2020); any State credit must be recaptured if the federal credit upon which it is based is subject to recapture.
- Unused credits can be carried forward indefinitely.
- In the case of partnerships or S-corporations, the maximum credit is determined at the entity (rather than taxpayer) level. The credit may be used to reduce tax to the higher of the alternative minimum income tax or fixed dollar minimum tax; unused credits can be carried forward.
- Credit is refundable for qualified rehabilitations placed in service on/after Jan. 1, 2015.
- In the case of partnerships as S corporations, the maximum credit is determined at the entity level.
Long-Term Care Insurance Credit
A credit is allowed for long-term care insurance premiums paid during the taxable year equal to 20 percent of the premium paid for long-term care insurance. The credit may not reduce the tax below the AMT or fixed dollar minimum. Unused credits can be carried forward indefinitely.
Automated external defibrillator credit
A credit may be taken for the purchase of automated external defibrillators, such as those used for first-aid treatment of heart attacks. The credit is equal to the cost of each defibrillator purchased, but may not exceed $500 per unit. Credit cannot reduce tax below the AMT or fixed dollar minimum. Unused credits cannot be carried forward.
Security Training Tax Credit
This is a refundable tax credit, administered by the State Office of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Tax Department, for qualified building owners. Taxpayers must apply to the State Office of Homeland Security for an allocation of credit and credit certification in order to claim this credit. The credit is equal to the sum of the number of qualified security officers providing protection to a building(s) owned by the taxpayer multiplied by $3,000.
Minimum Wage Reimbursement Credit
For tax years beginning on/after Jan. 1, 2014 and before Jan. 1, 2019, a refundable credit may be claimed by eligible employers subject to tax under articles 9, 9A, 22, 32 or 33 for wages paid to eligible employees.
Eligible employers are C-corporations, S-corporations, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and partnerships. Eligible employees must be:
- Employed by an eligible employer in New York;
- Paid at minimum wage rate;
- Between the ages of 16 and 19; and
- A student
Eligible employers will receive a refundable credit equal to the number of hours worked by eligible employees multiplied by the credit rate. The credit rate increases according to the following schedule:
- Tax years beginning on/after January 1, 2014 and before January 1, 2015: $0.75
- Tax years beginning on/after January 1, 2015 and before January 1, 2016: $1.31
- Tax years beginning on/after January 1, 2016 and before January 1, 2019: $1.35
In the event that the federal minimum wage is increased to more than 85 percent of New York’s minimum wage, the credit rates will be reduced to the difference between New York’s minimum wage and the federal minimum wage. The reduction will be effective on the first day that the eligible employer is required to pay the increased federal minimum wage, if such an increase takes place.
Employers may not discharge an employee and replace that employee for the exclusive purpose of qualifying for the minimum wage reimbursement credit. Eligible employees may not be used as the basis for this credit while being used as the basis for any other credit under the tax law.
New York State Contact:
Vice President of Strategic Business Development
Empire State Development
518-292-5200 Incentive and tax information is provided to Area Development by each state's economic development or commerce agency for information purposes only and is subject to revision at any time by the state government. Please contact the state agency directly for full requirements and offerings. This information was last updated November 2014.