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Revenue Ruling 04-001 identifies that computer software agreements may include non-taxable maintenance service packages in addition to the taxable sale of new or enhanced software. The department's position is that a package of products and services that consists of both taxable and non-taxable components should be considered taxable at the highest rate applicable to any component of the package. An alternative consideration would be to purchase the non-taxable or lower-percentage taxable components separately from those that are taxable at higher rates. (Letter No 200402388L, Comptroller of Public Accounts, March 17, 2004)


Governor Kathleen Blanco has called a special session of the Louisiana Legislature, starting on March 7, 2004 and set to adjourn on March 23, 2004. The regular session will begin on March 29, 2004. Many tax issues are slated to be discussed during this special session, including: (1) phasing out the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment; (2) eliminating the sales tax on residential gas for cooking and heating; (3) extending the state sales tax refund program that applies to retail purchases made by international visitors; and (4) extending several Louisiana sales and use tax exemptions slated to expire in 2004 and future fiscal years. (Proclamation No. 7 KBB 2004, Governor Kathleen Blanco, March 1, 2004.)


Tax payers already registered with the Louisiana Department of Revenue can register to pay their taxes on-line at The state's "E-asy Pay" program allows users to pay their corporate taxes, sales taxes, withholding taxes, and most excise taxes (those that are enabled for electronic funds transfer) electronically. (Department of Revenue Notice, November 24, 2003.)


Effective April 1, 2004 the interstate telecommunications sales tax rate in Louisiana will change from its current rate of 3% down to 2%. However, the intrastate telecommunications tax rate will remain unchanged at 3%. In Louisiana, a telecommunication service is considered to be an interstate activity service if the service originates and/or terminates within the state and all charges are billed to a Louisiana service address. (Revenue Information Bulletin No. 04-005, Louisiana Department of Revenue, January 21, 2004)


A company in Louisiana received gas to be used in compression at no cost, as was expressed by contract. The customer was not required to pay sales or use tax, regardless of the transfer of possession, because relevant sales tax statutes base the amount of sales tax owed upon the sales price, of which there was none. Similarly, use tax is based upon either the article's actual cost or its reasonable market value, whichever is lower. A good received at no cost is therefore not subject to sales or use tax. Because there was no sales cost under the Louisiana gas contract, no sales or use tax was due. (Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit, No. 02-0925, February 5, 2003)



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