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Tax Facts Vol. 13, No. 1

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS NEWSLETTER

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

Department of Finance

Vol. 13,  No. 1

January 2002

TRANSPORTATION CHARGES

According to Rule 15 of the Sales and Use Tax Rules and Regulations, separately stated transportation charges for the delivery of purchased goods to the buyerís designated location are not taxable. For example, a store that sells goods from its floor stock and adds a $20 freight charge to the sales invoice for delivery to the customerís location should not collect sales tax on the $20 freight charge.

An exception would be the sale of a product contingent on the satisfactory condition of the product upon delivery. Concrete vendors, for example, must deliver their product to the job site in specialized vehicles that turn the ready-mixed concrete while in transit to ensure that the product reaches the job site in acceptable condition, and the conditions of the sale are not met until delivery is completed. The transportation charge under these circumstances is taxable.

Transportation charges by a manufacturer or wholesaler for delivering property to the retail dealerís location are subject to tax when the product is sold and these costs are passed on to the customer.

Cleaning Services

"Sales of Services" as defined by the Sales and Use Tax Ordinance, Section 1 p. (5) includes:

The furnishing of laundry, cleaning, pressing and dyeing services, including by way of illustration and not of limitation, the cleaning and renovation or clothing, furs, furniture, carpets and rugs.

Dealers performing cleaning services on such items must collect and remit sales tax on these transactions.

The cleaning of pipe, tanks, barges or automobiles is not subject to sales tax. Dealers performing cleaning or washing services on such property should not collect sales tax on these transactions.

Cleaning services performed as a part of a repair of tangible personal property will be taxable as a repair of tangible personal property.

Occupational License Renewals

Businesses are reminded that their 2002 license renewals will be mailed by early December. Licenses renewed after February 28, 2002, 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.

Filing Zero Returns

When completing the new Sales and Use Tax Report, please write only numbers in the appropriate boxes. If you have no sales for a given month or quarter, write a single "0" (zero) on line 1 in the appropriate column(s) and on line 26. Do not write -0-, or the word "No Sales" or "Zero." As our scanner attempts to read your return, it is looking for specific, identifiable numbers, not words or common derivations used to write zero.

New Sales and Use Tax Forms

As published in the July 2001 and October 2001 issues of the "Tax Facts," the Revenue Division has implemented its digital imaging system. As a result, we will no longer be able to accept photo copies, fax copies, spreadsheets, and tax service prepared forms. In addition, when preparing your return, you must round all amounts to the nearest dollar and record all deductions on page 2 of the sales and use tax return. We are enclosing a worksheet which should be used in preparing your return.

Finance Department Sponsors Tax Seminar

The Finance Department sponsored its 5th Annual Sales and Use Tax Seminar on Friday, November 16, 2001, at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Approximately 67 people attended the seminar which included in-depth discussions on recent tax legislation, resale exemption certificates, the new tax return, the exemption for property purchased for lease or rental, Baker tax increase, contractorsí tax liability, state exemption certificates, streamlined sales tax project, use tax transactions, and moveable vs. immovable property. Representatives from the City-Parish, 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 Lafourche were also in attendance.

Sales Tax Due Dates
Following are the sales tax due dates for the first quarter of 2002:

For the
Month of
Tax Due
Date

Delinquent
Date

January
February
March

February 1
March 1
 April 1
February 21
March 21
April 23

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.

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 send 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

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