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It’s hard to keep up with all the gross receipts laws

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By Holly Bradshaw Eakes

New Mexico’s gross receipts tax is admittedly confusing, but the state still expects businesses to follow the law and pay what they owe from the sale of property or services.
In a nutshell, GRT is a substitute for the traditional sales tax that shoppers in other states pay when they make a purchase. In New Mexico, the seller pays the tax on the sales price of a product or service even if the seller doesn’t collect it from the buyer — and even if the buyer lives out of state.
GRT was intended to widen the tax base by taxing more items at a lower rate than would be typical in states with a sales tax. Over the years, however, cities and counties have responded to reductions in local revenues caused by state-allowed exemptions and deductions by loading on their own assessments.
The combined tax rate in some towns is now — or is about to go over — 9 percent. Until lawmakers agree on an alternative system, businesses should know how to comply with the status quo.
GRT applies to the gross receipts of businesses or people who sell property, perform services, lease or license a property or franchise in New Mexico, and sell certain services delivered outside New Mexico when the resulting product is initially used here.


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