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Tax Facts Vol. 8, No. 4

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

Department of Finance

Vol. 8, No. 4

October 1997

Food exemption helps consumers

The citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish continue to benefit from an exemption for "food sold for preparation and consumption in the home" which was included in the Sewer Improvement Sales Tax Ordinance in 1989 and the Street Improvement Sales Tax Ordinance in July 1990. The exemption applies to a wide variety of processed and unprocessed foods requiring further preparation by the purchaser prior to consumption. The ordinance provides that food sales by restaurants, drive-ins, snack bars, candy and nut counters, private clubs, and similar establishments are not covered by this exemption. The "food" exemption applies to the 1/2% Sewer Improvement and 1/2% Street Improvement sales/use tax but not to the 3% sales/use taxes levied by the other local taxing jurisdictions within East Baton Rouge Parish.

The sale of food items by other than restaurants, drive-ins, snack bars, candy and nut counters, private clubs and similar establishments will be eligible for exemption if the items are pre-packaged in larger than single serving size, or require or are generally intended for further preparation by the purchaser prior to consumption, such as by cooking, heating, cooling, washing, or mixing with other ingredients. Among the items sold by grocery stores, department stores, variety stores, drug stores, etc., which are covered by this exemption are meat, dairy products, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee, condiments, relishes, spreads, shortening, flavorings, bread, soft drinks by the carton or case, large pre-wrapped boxes of candy, cheese, or delicacies, and bakery products. Sales by any of these businesses of food items not prepared for immediate consumption on the premises where sold, but which are available in small quantities, are taxable. This latter category will include, for example, such items as boxes of popcorn, chilled single-serving bottles, cans, or cups of soft drinks, loose candy, candy bars, nuts, mints and chewing gum. Items of food sold by grocery stores, department stores, variety stores, drug stores, etc., in identical form and in identical eating conditions as items sold from the menus of restaurants, drive-ins, or other similar eating places are taxable.

All establishments, with or without eating facilities on their premises, that are engaged primarily in the sale of food intended for immediate consumption, and all establishments providing eating facilities on their premises, will be considered restaurants, drive-ins or snack bars. Sales by these establishments are not covered by the food exemption, even though some of the items sold might not be intended for immediate consumption, or for consumption on the premises of the establishments. For example, the Sewer and Street sales tax must be collected and remitted on the sale by a restaurant of a wedding cake or birthday cake, even though the cake is removed from the restaurant for consumption. Similarly, a doughnut shop providing facilities for on-premises consumption must collect the tax on all its sales, regardless of the quantity of pastries sold or whether consumed on or off the premises. Bakeries and doughnut shops with no eating facilities on their premises will exempt the Sewer and Street sales tax on sales of food items of larger than single serving quantity, or which require further preparation prior to consumption, as explained above.

Malt beverages and beer, other alcoholic beverages, distilled water, carbonated water, water in containers, vitamins, and ice are not considered food items and are taxable when sold.

 

Sales tax due dates

Following are the sales tax due dates for the fourth quarter of 1997:

For the

Tax Due

Delinquent

Month of

Date

Date

October

November 1  

November 21

November

December 1

December 23

December

January 1, 1998

January 21, 1998

 

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

Tax Facts 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.

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, Louisiana 70821-2590


ATTENTION:
Steve Thomas
Assistant Revenue Manager

Need help?

Taxpayers may call the Revenue Division to receive assistance at the following telephone numbers between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Sales/Use Tax

(225) 389-3084

Occupational License Tax

(225) 389-3278

Business License and Permit Office

(225) 389-3278

Fax Number  

(225) 389-5369