Louisiana’s sales tax holiday for hunters
- Aug 31, 2017 | Gail Cole
A variety of firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies are subject to a reduced rate of sales tax in Louisiana, Sept. 1–3, 2017.
The state first celebrated the Second Amendment with a tax-free period in 2009. Back then, qualifying products were entirely exempt from state and local sales tax, and the plan is for the full exemption to resume starting July 1, 2018. However, fiscal problems inspired state officials to change the exemption to a reduction in 2016. Therefore, during all 2017 sales tax holidays (Louisiana generally offers three), qualifying products are subject to a 3 percent state sales tax.
The following items are eligible for the reduced sales tax rate:
- Firearms that may be legally bought and sold in Louisiana, including handguns, pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns
- Ammunition for the above
- Hunting supplies “used for and designed for hunting”
Certain accessories and apparel are also eligible for the reduced rate, including:
- Animal feed for game that can be legally hunted
- Apparel manufactured and marketed for use while hunting
- Bags to carry game or hunting gear
- Blinds and decoys
- Hearing protection
- Range finders
- Tree stands
The role of intention
For certain items, the intention of the purchaser determines taxability. For example, float tubes qualify for the reduced rate when “purchased to be used for hunting,” but not when purchased for use in a pool or an afternoon of R & R at a lake. The same goes for belts, binoculars, chairs, and certain knives. When purchased specifically for use during hunting excursions, they qualify; when purchased for other purposes, they don’t.
However, only certain vessels and vehicles qualify. The state allows an exemption (or reduced rate) for airboats, pirogues, and off-road vehicles “designed and intended primarily for hunting.” Yet dirt bikes, golf carts, and motorcycles don’t qualify, even if the purchaser intends to use them while hunting.
The reduced rate applies to all qualifying goods purchased during the sales tax holiday, as well as:
- Orders taken for immediate shipment, even if shipment occurs post holiday
- Purchases made during the holiday with rain checks issued earlier
- Exchanges of an identical item purchased during the sales tax holiday
For additional details, see the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
More than a dozen states are providing sales tax holidays in 2017, but compliance in Louisiana is most challenging. Instead of not charging any tax, which is complicated enough, retailers must program point-of-sale systems to charge the reduced rate.
Tax automation software can help facilitate sales and use tax compliance in all states, even during tax-free periods. Learn how it works.