Louisiana Parish May Embrace Sales Tax Holidays
- Jun 13, 2014 | Gail Cole
Louisiana provides an annual state sales tax holiday for hurricane-preparedness items and supplies each May. In the past, it has provided a general tax-free period in August and one for firearms and hunting supplies in September. During sales tax holidays, retailers throughout the state are required to exempt qualifying items from Louisiana state sales tax.
However, “the governing authority of any parish, school board, municipality, or other local taxing authority may, by ordinance or resolution grant the exemption” created by a sales tax holiday. Local sales tax holidays must be held at the same time and exempt the same items as the corresponding state sales tax holidays.
Effective June 9, 2014, “the governing authority of St. John the Baptist Parish and of any of the political subdivision within the parish may establish, by ordinance or resolution, annual sales tax holidays….”
Impact on businesses
Sales tax holidays impact businesses. Retailers must reprogram point-of-sale systems in order to account for the lack of state sales tax, keeping local taxes or not according to local tax law. Extra help may have to be hired. In short, sales tax holidays can cost businesses.
To (sort of) account for this, the state permits dealers and merchants “who shall incur a cost to reprogram cash registers, including computer programming, as a result of a change in the state sales and use tax rate or base … [to take] a deduction against the tax due and accounted for and remitted to the secretary.” The deduction for any such costs may not exceed $25 “per each cash register reprogrammed, and such costs must be invoiced and filed with the merchant’s or dealer’s tax return.” This allowance is further explained on the Louisiana Department of Revenue website.