Louisiana Sales Tax Rates

Total Range for 2024

4.45%-11.45%

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Why do you need to collect sales tax in Louisiana?

If you’re selling goods and services in Louisiana then sales tax might apply! To determine your obligation, you need to understand “nexus,” which ties businesses to states for tax purposes.

Two types of nexus exist:

  1. Physical Nexus: Having a physical presence, like an office, warehouse, or employees in Louisiana, triggers this type. If you do, you likely need to collect sales tax.
  2. Economic Nexus: This kicks in when your sales within Louisiana exceed a certain economic threshold. Even without a physical presence, surpassing this threshold requires collecting sales tax.

Is what you’re selling taxable in Louisiana?

Now that you’ve grasped the basics of Louisiana’s sales tax and nexus thresholds, let’s delve into whether your specific products or services are taxable.

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How to register for sales tax in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Revenue’s Business Registration page offers a starting point. However, to register for a sales tax permit in Louisiana, you’ll need to go through the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s website, GeauxBiz.com (https://geauxbiz.sos.la.gov/).

Here’s a general process breakdown:

  1. Register Your Business: Since you’re likely setting up sales tax for the first time, you’ll need to register your business with the state if you haven’t already. GeauxBiz offers options for both new business registration and adding a Louisiana Department of Revenue business account to an existing business.
  2. Sales Tax Permit Application: Once your business is registered, you can proceed with the sales tax permit application. The website should guide you through the process.

How to collect sales tax in Louisiana

Here’s a breakdown of how to collect sales tax in Louisiana:

  1. Find Rate: It depends on the customer’s location (not yours). Use the LA Dept. of Revenue’s calculator or a reliable sales tax service.
  2. Charge the Tax: Add the rate to your prices. Show it separately on receipts.
  3. Keep Records: Track sales and collected tax for future tax filings.
  4. Next Steps: File & pay collected tax to the state (frequency depends on sales volume).
Example:

Let’s say you’re selling a $60 game to someone in Lafayette, LA.

  • Find Rate: Use a sales tax calculator (or similar service) to find Lafayette’s rate (let’s say 9.95%).
  • Calculate Tax: Multiply price by rate: $60 x 9.95% = $5.97 (round to nearest cent).
  • Total Price: $60 + $5.97 = $65.97

FAQs

Do you have a physical nexus in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, you generally have a physical nexus (meaning a connection strong enough to require collecting sales tax) if you have a physical presence in the state. Here’s a breakdown of what that means:

  • Physical Location: This includes having a brick-and-mortar store, warehouse, or any other physical space you use for business in Louisiana.
  • Inventory: Storing inventory within Louisiana, even if through a fulfillment service like Amazon FBA, can establish nexus.
  • Employees/Representatives: Having employees or salespeople who regularly travel to and solicit business in Louisiana can create nexus.
Do you have an economic nexus in Louisiana?

Louisiana has economic nexus laws, meaning you might need to collect and remit sales tax even without a physical presence in the state. Here’s how to determine if you have economic nexus in Louisiana:

  • Sales Threshold: Louisiana’s economic nexus threshold is based on your gross revenue from retail sales delivered into the state during the previous or current calendar year. If your sales of tangible personal property, electronically delivered products, or services exceed $100,000, you likely have economic nexus.
What is use tax in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, use tax applies to tangible personal property you purchase for use, consumption, or storage in the state, but don’t pay sales tax on at the time of purchase.  This typically happens when you buy from:

  • Out-of-state retailers: This includes online sellers, mail-order catalogs, or phone purchases where the seller doesn’t have a physical presence in Louisiana and doesn’t collect the state’s sales tax.
  • Private individuals: If you buy something used from someone privately (like a garage sale), you might be responsible for use tax.
Do you need a seller/reseller permit?

In Louisiana, the terms “seller’s permit” and “reseller certificate” are often used interchangeably, but they serve different purposes:

  • Resale Certificate:  This is a document that allows you to purchase goods tax-free from wholesalers or suppliers if you intend to resell those items at retail. It’s essentially an exemption certificate that proves you’re not the final consumer and will collect sales tax when you sell the item.
    • Most businesses that buy and resell goods in Louisiana need a resale certificate.
  • Seller’s Permit (Sales and Use Tax Permit): This permit allows you to collect and remit sales tax on taxable sales you make to customers in Louisiana.
    • You generally need a seller’s permit if you have a physical nexus in Louisiana, meaning you have a physical presence in the state like a store or warehouse, or if your sales exceed the economic nexus threshold
How to get a sales tax permit/license in Louisiana?

To obtain a sales tax permit (also known as a seller’s permit or sales and use tax permit) in Louisiana, you’ll need to register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue through their website. Here’s a simplified process:

  1. Register Your Business: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register your business with the state on GeauxBiz. It offers options for both new business registration and adding a Louisiana Department of Revenue business account.
  2. Sales Tax Permit Application: Once your business is registered, proceed with the sales tax permit application within GeauxBiz. The website should guide you through the steps.
When are Louisiana's Returns Due?

Louisiana sales tax returns are due on the 20th of the month following the reporting period. This applies regardless of whether you file monthly or quarterly.

Here’s a breakdown for clarity:

  • Monthly Filers: If you file monthly, your sales tax return and payment are due on the 20th of the next month. (e.g., Sales from January are due on February 20th)
  • Quarterly Filers: If you file quarterly, your sales tax return and payment are due on the 20th of the month following the end of the quarter. (e.g., Sales from Q1 (Jan-Mar) are due on April 20th)
How to file sales tax in Louisiana

While the specific steps might differ slightly depending on your situation, here’s a general breakdown of the filing process:

  • Log in to LaTAP using your username and password (created during your sales tax permit registration).
  • Enter your sales and tax information: This includes your total sales for the period, taxable sales, and the amount of sales tax collected.
  • Review and submit your return.
  • Pay any tax due: You can make the payment electronically through LaTAP or by other methods like check or money order.
Is anyone exempt from sales tax in Louisiana?

While Louisiana doesn’t have a blanket exemption from sales tax for any single group, there are exemptions for certain purchases and situations. Here’s a quick rundown:

Exempt Items:

  • Food for home consumption ( groceries)
  • Prescription drugs and medical devices
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water)
  • Certain educational materials

Exempt Organizations:

  • Qualifying non-profit organizations may be exempt for purchases used for their charitable purposes.
  • Government entities are generally exempt from sales tax.

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