ALBANY New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Robert L. Megna today announced a new Department online service to help consumers and businesses quickly and accurately determine whether the proper local sales tax is being charged on purchases of utility or telecommunication services. To verify that a local sales tax rate and jurisdiction - such as a school district or city - are correct for their utility and telecommunications bill, a sales tax vendor or customer can now simply go to the Tax Departments website at www.nystax.gov and enter a street address and zip code. Commissioner Megna said, This new service helps consumers and businesses avoid confusion over local sales taxes charged on their monthly service bills. By providing this seamless online function, local sales taxes will be more accurately collected and compliance will improve. Sales and purchases covered by this new service include natural gas and electricity, telephone services, heating oil, propane, and firewood. It builds on an online service launched in 2006 that helps businesses determine the correct tax jurisdiction for filing New York State sales tax returns. That service, the Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup, was developed in a collaborative effort between the Department and the New York State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination (CSCIC). Were pleased to partner with the Department in providing them with quality data that assists consumers and businesses across New York State, said William F. Pelgrin, CSCIC director. The Departments newest online tool is called the Sales Tax on Utilities Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup. It uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology that references street address data from CSCIC, and school district boundary information from the Office of Real Property Services. Simply by entering a street address and zip code, a vendor or a customer is able to confirm the local sales tax jurisdiction, current jurisdiction code and tax rate. This service has undergone thorough testing and results have proven extremely accurate. It can be found online at www.nystax.gov.