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Tax Facts Vol. 11, No. 4

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS NEWSLETTER

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

Department of Finance

Vol. 11,  No. 4

October 2000

NEW LAWS AFFECT SALES AND USE TAX

The Louisiana Legislature enacted several measures affecting sales and use taxes during its 2000 Regular and Special Sessions. These measures include:

  • Act 22 (HB 27) Second Extraordinary Session, 2000 - Amends R.S. 47:315.3(A), which provides for refunds of local sales and use taxes paid on the sale or rental of certain tangible personal property covered by Medicare.

  • Act 33 (HB 140) Regular Session - Repeals the exclusion for certain transactions occurring between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001, involving certain private and parochial elementary and secondary schools. The exclusion shall apply to transactions occurring between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002.

Finance Department Hosts Tax Seminar

The Finance Department hosted a sales and use tax seminar on Friday, August 18, 2000, at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.  More than 130 people attended the seminar which included in-depth discussions on use tax transactions, delivery and storage of property, the new school district tax, exemption for property purchased for lease or rental, taxability of rentals vs. services, credit for local taxes paid, and state and local perspectives on repairs of movable and immovable property. Representatives from our Revenue Division, the Louisiana Department of Revenue, and the parishes of Ascension and West Baton Rouge made presentations at the seminar. Local tax administrators from the parishes of Livingston, Assumption, and St. Mary were also in attendance. More than 60 questions were received on a variety of issues. The answers to the participants’ questions will be posted on the Finance Department web site in the near future. The seminar was also videotaped and will be broadcast numerous times on the City-Parish television channel, Metro 21, beginning September 8, 2000.   Following is a listing of the dates and times the seminar will be presented:

DATE

TIME

 

 

September 8, 2000

4:00 p.m.

 

10:00 p.m.

September 9, 2000

8:00 p.m.

September 10, 2000

9:00 p.m.

September 11, 2000

5:00 p.m.

 

11:00 p.m.

September 12, 2000

8:00 p.m.

September 14, 2000

3:00 p.m.

Refunds

Frequently, a dealer will determine that an overpayment to this office has occurred. LRS 47:1621 defines an "overpayment" as a payment of tax, penalty or interest when none is due, or the excess of the tax, penalty, or interest paid over the amount due.

Dealers are not allowed to deduct overpayments on their monthly sales and use tax report. They must request a refund in writing and also submit a sworn statement indicating the amount of tax paid, the actual amount due, the amount claimed as a credit or refund, and the circumstances surrounding the overpayment. The Revenue Division will examine the request and determine the amount of the overpayment. Once the overpayment is confirmed, a check will be issued to the dealer for the amount of the overpayment.

If, upon examination of such claim for credit or refund, the Revenue Division rejects a dealer’s claim, written notice will be forwarded to the dealer advising them of the rejection. A dealer may appeal a rejection, provided that said appeal is made within 30 days of the date of the rejection notice.

A dealer must file for a refund within three years from December 31 of the year in which the tax became due or within one year from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later.

Claims for refunds will be accepted when it can be determined that the overpayment resulted from:

  • An error in mathematical computation.

  • Recognition and writing off of bad debts.

  • Tax remitted in error.

  • Payment of tax to the wrong jurisdiction (see "Credit for Monies Paid," this issue).

Plans for New Imaging System

The City-Parish Revenue Division is in the process of installing and implementing a digital imaging system to store and retrieve tax returns. Once installed, ONLY ORIGINAL CITY-PARISH PROVIDED FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. We will no longer be able to accept the photocopies, fax copies, spreadsheets, and tax service prepared forms we currently accept. Our office anticipates processing approximately 300 accounts on a test basis for the months of January through March 2001. Full implementation is planned for April 2001. If you have any questions regarding this system or the changes it may bring to your account, please call Ronnie Pierce at (225) 389-3084, Ext. 724.

Credit for Monies Paid

The Revenue Division receives numerous calls from registered dealers who have been audited by other local taxing jurisdictions. Often, the dealer is advised that sales taxes due to the other jurisdiction were remitted to our office in error, and that the other local taxing jurisdiction is now assessing the dealer for the taxes paid in error, plus penalty and interest.

LRS 33:2718.2 E states clearly that no person shall be taxed on a particular event more than once, provided the person can produce documentary evidence of a good faith effort to recover taxes paid to the incorrect taxing jurisdiction. Documentary evidence consists of the following:

  • A formal documented refund request by certified mail to the taxing jurisdiction paid in error.

  • A second request by certified mail if no response was received within 60 days of the first refund request.

  • Either the response approving or denying the first or second request, or an affidavit from the person stating that no response was received within 60 days of the second request.

This statute further provides that no penalty or interest can be imposed on taxes erroneously paid to another jurisdiction unless bad faith or gross negligence can be proven. In addition, in instances where a legitimate disagreement exists as to which taxing authority is owed, the involved taxing authorities shall resolve the dispute among themselves without involving the dealer in the dispute.

If a taxpayer is assessed for sales taxes paid to the wrong local taxing jurisdiction, it is in the taxpayer’s best interest to obtain a refund from the taxing jurisdiction originally paid before remitting payment to the proper taxing jurisdiction. Absent bad faith, the taxpayer is liable only to pay the proper taxing jurisdiction the amount refunded by the taxing jurisdiction paid in error.

Sales Tax Due Dates
Following are the sales tax due dates for the fourth quarter of 2000:

For the
Month of

Tax Due
Date

Delinquent
Date

October 2000
November 2000
December 2000

November 1
December 1
 January 1, 2001

November 21
December 21
January 23, 2001

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

Taxpayer Topics

The Tax Facts Newsletter is issued quarterly by the Department of Finance/Revenue Division to provide information concerning developments and policies regarding the collection of local sales tax within East Baton Rouge Parish.

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

Need Assistance?

If you need assistance, help is just a phone call away.   Taxpayers may call the Revenue Division and speak with a member of our staff at the following telephone numbers between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Sales/Use Tax

(225) 389-3084

Sales/Use Tax Fax

(225) 389-5369

Occupational License Tax

(225) 389-3278

Occupational License Tax Fax

(225) 389-8704

Business License and Permit Office

(225) 389-3278

Proud Member of the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators External web link not maintained by City of Baton Rouge