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Tax Facts Vol. 14, No. 1

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS NEWSLETTER

East Baton Rouge Parish

Department of Finance

Vol. 14,  No. 1

January 2003

 

Electronic Imaging System

The Revenue Division has implemented its Electronic Imaging System to scan and electronically enter sales and use tax information. The system uses specialized software to read, recognize, and electronically enter tax information, typed or handwritten, directly into our computerized system. The system also uses a special drop-out color (green) to recognize the typed or handwritten information. It is very important for taxpayers to use the tax form printed and mailed by the Revenue Division. Many taxpayers are still using photo copies, fax copies, spread sheets, and computer-generated forms that are not recognized by the Electronic Imaging System. As a result, we must manually enter the tax information into our computer system, which is more costly and time consuming. For this reason, we are again requesting that you only use sales and use tax returns printed and mailed by the Revenue Division. We will no longer accept photo copies, fax copies, spread sheets, and computer-generated forms.

E-Government Coming Soon!

The Metro Council has given their approval for the City-Parish to move forward with its e-government initiative. One of the main processes included in the proposal is electronic filing and remittance of sales and use taxes. The Finance and Information Services Departments are working together to develop and implement this system by the summer of 2003. We are hopeful that some of our taxpayers will be willing to help test the electronic filing and payment system before it is fully implemented. Once the system has been tested, it will be available to all taxpayers who are interested in filing and paying electronically.
 

 

New Law Affects Sales and Use Tax

The Louisiana Legislature enacted the following Act affecting local sales and use tax during its 2002 regular session:

Act 72 (HB-225) Provides a state and local sales and use tax exclusion for any and all dental devices used exclusively by the patient or administered exclusively to the patient by a dentist or dental hygienist in connection with dental or health care treatment. Effective date June 25, 2002.

Calculating Your
Occupational License Tax

According to Section 27 (B) of the Occupational License Tax Ordinance, "The tax shall be computed on the basis of the schedules contained in this Ordinance according to the physical location of each place of business without regard to the location where the actual sale takes place or where a product or service is delivered or performed."

If your business is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and you deliver outside, as well as within this parish, you will calculate your Occupational License Tax based on the total of all sales made, regardless of the point of delivery. For example, a mail order business which delivers to customers locally, as well as to customers elsewhere in the state, must include local sales and sales delivered out-of-parish or state when calculating their Occupational License Tax.

This same provision also applies to service businesses that are physically located in East Baton Rouge Parish and perform services both locally and out-of-parish. For example, a repair business located in Baton Rouge, repairing tangible personal property at their own shop, as well as repairing property located at the customerís site outside of this parish, must compute the Occupational License Tax due based on total gross receipts generated by performing repairs both locally and out-of-parish.
 

Jet Fuel
Subject to Sales Tax

According to Kennedy v. United Airlines, Incorporated, 01-426 (La.App.5Cir. 10/17/01), 797 So.2d 186, writ denied, 2001-3241 (La. 3/8/02), 811 So.2d 882, jet fuel purchased in Louisiana, to be consumed during interstate commerce, is subject to state sales tax. The Court concluded this was a sales tax transaction since the jet fuel was sold in the state and was delivered to the aircraft in the state. Because the Court ruled that jet fuel was subject to sales tax, the interstate commerce exemption was not applicable.

Even though this decision only involved state sales taxes, it will have an impact on our local sales tax. After reviewing this decision, it is our position that the sale and delivery of jet fuel under similar circumstances to those addressed in this Court decision is taxable in this parish. As a result, effective February 1, 2003, the sale of jet fuel within this parish is subject to our local sales tax.

 

Occupational License Tax Renewals

Businesses are reminded that their 2003 license renewals were mailed in early December. Licenses renewed after February 28, 2003, will be deemed delinquent and subject to penalty and interest. Penalty at the rate of 5% per month or fractional part thereof, not to exceed 25%, and interest at the rate of 1.25% per month, or fractional part thereof, will be computed from the first day of March and will increase on the first day of each succeeding month.
 

 

Sales Tax Due Dates

Following are the sales tax due dates for the first quarter of 2003:

For the
Month of

Tax Due
Date

Delinquent
Date


January
February
March


February 1
March 1
 April 1


February 21
March 21
April 22
 

Need Help?

Taxpayers may contact the Revenue Division by phone or fax to receive assistance between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Taxpayer Assistance

(225) 389-3084

Taxpayer Assistance - FAX

(225) 389-5369

Finance Department - Revenue Division
222 St. Louis Street, Room 404
Baton Rouge, LA  70801

 

Taxpayer Topics

The Tax Facts Newsletter is issued quarterly by the Department of Finance/Revenue Division.  Our mission is to provide taxpayers with information concerning developments and policies regarding the collection of local sales tax within East Baton Rouge Parish.  The Revenue Division invites any suggestions, questions or comments that you would like addressed in future issues of Tax Facts.  Please address these items to:

City of Baton Rouge - Department of Finance
P. O. Box 2590
Baton Rouge, LA  70821-2590
ATTENTION:  Steve Thomas, Assistant Revenue Manager
or send e-mail to sthomas@brgov.com

 

Remember to mail your return early!  Returns bearing a U.S. postmark on or after the above delinquent dates will be assessed penalty, interest, and loss of vendor's compensation.

How Important Is a Postmark Date?

The Revenue Division computer system uses the U.S. Post Office postmark on the envelope in determining whether a return is current or delinquent. The due date for all registered filers is the 1st of the month in which the sales and use tax is due. A return is considered delinquent after the 20th of the same month (see Tax Facts, October 1995). If the 20th falls on a weekend or holiday, the return must be postmarked by the next work day. Any taxpayer whose return is postmarked after the delinquent date will receive a notice of additional tax (forfeiture of vendorís compensation) , penalty, and interest due. The return will be considered as a partial payment, and the taxpayer will receive delinquent notices until final remittance is made.

The U.S. Post Office postmark is used to enforce the assessment of penalty and interest and the loss of vendorís compensation. It is the responsibility of each dealer to ensure that sales and use taxes are transmitted in a timely manner. Additionally, dealers should be aware that giving their return to their route postal worker on the 20th could result in a delinquent return if the envelope is not postmarked until the next day. To avoid this situation, all taxpayers are urged to mail early to ensure that their returns are recognized as filed timely.
 

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