Is there really a New York "Capital Tax"?


Henry Blodget wrote this inchoate rant in which he claims that his startup had to pay $10,000 in extra tax in New York for having too much unused capital in the bank.

What's he talking about? How much is the tax?

Tax New York

asked Mar 10 '11 at 07:23
Joel Spolsky
13,482 points
  • THAT IS RETARDED! – Frank 13 years ago

1 Answer


From here:

Tax Rates

General Corporation Tax is
computed by four different methods and
is imposed at whichever method
produces the largest amount of tax.

Entire net income base = 8.85% of “net
income allocated to New York City”; OR

Total Capital base = .15% of business
and investment capital allocated to
New York City (for cooperative housing
corporations that rate is .04%), not
to exceed $350,000 for tax years in or
before 2008, or, $1,000,000 for tax
years beginning in or after 2009; OR

Alternative tax base (as of January 1,
2010) = 8.85% of 15% of net income
plus the amount of salaries or other
compensation paid to any person,
including an officer, who at any time
during the taxable year owned more
than five percent of the taxpayer’s
issued capital stock. OR

For tax years
beginning in or before 2008 a minimum
tax of $300. If a return is filed for
a period of less than one year, the
tax is still $300. It cannot be
prorated. For tax years beginning in
or after 2009, the minimum tax is
based on a corporation’s New York City
receipts computed as follows:

(Table elided)

In addition to the tax calculated under the highest of the four methods, a tax on subsidiary capital is also payable. The subsidiary tax is at the rate of .075 percent of subsidiary capital allocated to New York City

So it looks to me like you get hit only if you have lots of capital but no other taxable activity to speak of. If you have significant turnover, then one of the other methods of calculation will produce a higher figure.

In Blodget's case, his $3 million in capital would come to $4,500 in tax, but only if his net income is less than about $50,000 (assuming no subsidiaries).

answered Mar 10 '11 at 08:22
Mike Scott
691 points

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Tax New York