New York extends sales tax deadline for restaurants suspending indoor dining

NEW YORK (XINHUA) – Restaurants which are required by the government to suspend indoor dining will have their sales tax payment deadline extended by three months, according to an executive order signed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Tax burdens for restaurants in communities where COVID-19 metrics necessitated additional restrictions would be eased with the deadline due today to be extended to March 2021, said a release by Cuomo’s office.

The move also provides some temporary relief to restaurants as the state government asks for fiscal relief for these small businesses from the federal government, according to the release.

As much as 54 per cent of New York restaurants said they would likely not survive the upcoming six months without federal relief, according to a recent survey of 238 restaurants in New York by the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

One out of every six restaurants in the United States (US) has already closed, including over 8,000 in New York State and more than 4,000 in New York City, according to the NRA’s estimate.

A group of people from the restaurant sector recently staged a protest in New York City’s Times Square calling for rent relief, a payroll protection programme, grants, governmental funding programmes, insurance relief and others, according to a statement by the New York State Latino Restaurant and Lounge Association.

New York City suspended indoor dining for at least two weeks starting today due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.

The restaurant sector in New York City had 23,650 establishments in 2019, employing 317,800 people and generating nearly USD27 billion of taxable sales, according to a report by the Office of the New York State Comptroller.

Restaurants in Chinatown and the Lower East Side of Manhattan account for 20.2 per cent of all businesses, the highest proportion among over 50 neighbourhoods across the city, according to the report.

Chairs are still placed atop tables and lined up to form a border in a restaurant in New York. PHOTO: AP