The Louisiana sales and use tax is imposed on retail sales of tangible personal property and enumerated services. A use tax is imposed on the purchase and use within Louisiana of tangible personal property and enumerated services where sales tax was not charged by the retailer. The state sales and use taxes are imposed at the rate of 4%.
In addition to the state sales and use tax, most parishes also impose a sales and use tax on retail sales of tangible personal property and enumerated services.
The parishes administer their sales and use taxes - there is a separate registration and reporting requirement for each parish. The sales and use tax vary from parish to parish. The average parish rate is 5% and the highest parish rate is 7%. These rates are in addition to the state rate, resulting in a combined average sales tax rate of 9%.
A parish can contract with any public or private agency for the audit of a taxpayer’s books and records to enforce and collect its taxes. It is commonplace to receive a notification from an accounting firm auditing on behalf of a parish or multiple parishes at the same time.
It is possible to have nexus at the state level and in a single parish and not have nexus in another parish.
As a result, a retailer selling from a location outside of Louisiana may only have to charge state tax if the sale is into a parish where the retailer does not have nexus.
Be diligent in managing your nexus footprint in Louisiana as your sales and use tax filing responsibilities can grow significantly in this state if you aren’t careful.
Stay tuned for more of Jeff's EYE ON series as he blogs aboout sales and use tax State by State.