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Tax Facts Vol. 16, No. 2

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS NEWSLETTER

East Baton Rouge Parish

Department of Finance

Vol. 16,  No. 2

April 2005

SALES TAX REDUCTION FOR FOOD FOR PREPARATION AND CONSUMPTION IN THE HOME

The Revenue Division has amended its policy regarding “Food for Preparation and Consumption in the Home.” This change is effective April 1, 2005, and applies to those food products which are not classified for preparation and consumption in the home and includes, products identified as “single serving” size, such as foods, snacks and beverages. This change now provides a 2% reduction in the local sales tax rate on virtually all of the prepackaged, manufactured single-serving foods that were previously deemed taxable at the full 5% local rate. This list includes, but is not limited to, candy bars, chips, cookies, pies, milk, juices, individual bakery products, and bottled and canned soft drinks.

In order for the above listed single-serving items to qualify, they must not be sold by restaurants, drive-ins, snack bars, candy and nut counters, private clubs, or other establishments that provide facilities for the on- premises consumption of food. Sales of these types of food items by these establishments are subject to the 5% local sales tax rate, even though some of the products sold might not be consumed immediately or on the seller’s premises. For example, restaurants must collect 5% local sales tax on the sale of wedding or birthday cakes, even though the cakes are removed from the restaurants for consumption. Facilities for the consumption of the food on the premises include both inside facilities and outside facilities, including drive-in facilities. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and other businesses that sell soft drinks with cups, glasses, or straws will be considered “snack bars” with respect to those types of sales. Food products dispensed through vending machines will likewise be taxable at the full 5% sales tax.

Alcoholic beverages, malt beverages and beer, tobacco products, distilled water, carbonated water, ice, dry ice, water sold in containers, over-the-counter (non-prescription) medicines, and dietary supplements are not considered to be food and continue to be subject to the full 5% local rate.

All sales of food that is prepared by the seller of the food is taxable at the 5% local rate, regardless of the establishment from which the sales are made. Prepared foods include items that are sold in a heated state, are heated by the seller, are combinations of ingredients mixed or combined by the seller for a sale as a single item, or sold with eating or drinking utensils supplied by the seller. Items taxable at the 5% rate include but are not limited to, seller-prepared sandwiches, iced drinks, cups of hot coffee or cocoa, beverages poured from fountains within the seller’s facilities, lunch or dinner plates, servings of vegetables, whole or sliced hot pizza, crawfish boiled by the seller, meats or seafood cooked by the seller regardless of the size or quantity sold, and foods that are sold for heating in seller-provided cooking or heating equipment.

All sales of non-prepared food for home consumption by grocery stores, delicatessens, meat and seafood markets, convenience stores, variety stores, department stores, and other retailers are exempt from 2% of the local tax. Food products that do not constitute prepared food as described above, are eligible for the 2% exemption and include those items as listed in paragraph one. Prepared foods sold by grocery stores, department stores, variety stores, drug stores, delicatessens, convenience stores, meat markets, seafood markets, and similar businesses are taxable at the full 5% local rate.

NOTICE TO ELECTRONIC SALES TAX FILERS

When registering to remit sales taxes online, the name and e-mail address of a contact person was provided to our office. This person receives an e-mail confirmation each month, and they are called in the event of a problem with your return. If a contact person changes, please notify our office of the name and e-mail address of the new contact. You may phone or e-mail Ronnie Pierce with this information at 225-389-3080, ext. 724, or rpiece@brgov.com.

Sales Tax Due Dates

Following are the sales tax due dates for the second quarter of 2005:

For the Month of Tax Due Date Delinquent
Date
April May 1 May 23
May June 1 June 21
June July 1 July 21

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
Fax Number: (225) 389-5369

 

Taxpayer Topics

The Tax Facts Newsletter is issued quarterly by the Finance Department/Revenue Division.  Our mission is to provide taxpayers with information concerning developments and policies regarding the collection of local sales and use taxes 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 send these items to:

City of Baton Rouge -
 Department of Finance
P. O. Box 2590
Baton Rouge, LA  70821-2590
Attention:  Steve Thomas,
 Asst. Revenue Manager
or send us an e-mail
 

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.

Department of Finance - Revenue Division
222 St. Louis Street, Room 404
Baton Rouge, LA  70802

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