Dolgetta Law

New York City Unincorporated Business Tax: A Trap for the Unwary Independent Contractor

Recently the Board of Directors of the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service, Inc. elected to require that Participants of the Multiple Listing Service who take listings in the Borough of the Bronx submit to the MLS all of their listings and not only the listings they select. The reason the Board of Directors made this decision was based upon the fact that WPMLS had approximately 1,100 listings of properties in the Bronx and real estate agents typically now regularly cross the magical line to market properties in Westchester and the Bronx.

New York City Unincorporated Business Tax

Many real estate licensees are unaware that the City of New York imposes a New York City Unincorporated Business Tax on any independent contractor or unincorporated business entity which carries on a trade or profession wholly or partly within New York City. There are exemptions when total gross income is less than $75,000 and the unincorporated business taxable income is less than $35,000. Brokers were frequently audited during the early 1990s and many independent contractor salespersons were shocked to learn that their net income was subject to a 4% UBT (“Unincorporated Business Tax”) because they were selling properties within the City of New York.

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