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Louisiana has created the Sales Tax Streamlining and Modernization Commission in order to perform a study of Louisiana’s state and local sales tax systems and to make recommendations to the legislature regarding revisions of practices, administrative procedure, and statutory law and the Louisiana Constitution. The commission will conduct monthly meetings beginning no later than July 31, 2015 and will submit its report to the governor and the legislature no later than January 15, 2016. The commission’s report and recommendations will include: a study of how changes in state and local sales tax policy may better position Louisiana for the future in terms of equity and economic competitiveness;  a comparison of Louisiana’s state and local government sales tax bases and rates with those of other states with similar demographics and economies; a study and comparison of all special tax treatments against sales tax, including credits, deductions, discounts, exclusions, exemptions, and rebates; and a study and comparison of state and local government sales tax collection and audit procedures. The recommendations shall encompass an overall goal of ensuring both revenue stability and taxpayer equity through the adoption of proven contemporary tax policies. The policies shall be based on the concept of a low tax rate with a broad base to be administered fairly and efficiently.  The interim report is due by January 15, 2016. The commission will terminate on June 30, 2017.(Act 405 (H.B. 471), Laws 2015, effective July 1, 2015)

(09/22/2015)

On June 15, 2015, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) of 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill – similar to the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) of 2015 – pertains to sales and use taxcollection obligations for remote sellers, but the RTPA contains some differences and several additional provisions. Unlike the MFA’s $1 million small seller exception, the RTPA’s small seller exception is as follows: first year: $10 million; second year: $5 million; third year: $1 million. The exception goes away in the fourth year. Furthermore, under the RTPA sellers utilizing an electronic marketplace are not considered small sellers and are not entitled to the exception, no matter the year. Under the RTPA, sellers would not be audited by states where they don’t have a physical presence. There would be a three year statute of limitations for assessments on remote sellers. The bill would enable remote sellers to refund over-collected tax to customers. The RTPA also specifies that a state would not be authorized to impose a sales and use tax collection requirement on remote sellers until it has certified multiple software providers that are certified in all states seeking to impose authorization requirements. The RTPA would also allow customers to pursue refunds of over-collected tax from remote sellers. However, RTPA does not preempt states from imposing sales and use taxes on remote sellers that do not have physical presence under this definition. It merely authorizes states to impose sales and use tax on remote sellers without a physical presence. Under the RTPA, if a seller has nexus under existing law, including Quill v. North Dakota, then the state may still impose a sales and use tax collection requirement.  The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee just like the MFA.  On July 1, 2015 it was referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial And Antitrust Law. (H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015)

 

UPDATE: This bill failed to pass during the 114th Congressional Session running from January 3, 2015 to January 3, 2017.  Therefore, this bill has died and would need to be reintroduced to be considered and voted on.

(09/08/2015)

On March 10, 2015, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015. Similar legislation – the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 – was previously introduced in February 2013 and passed by the Senate on May 6, 2013. That legislation failed to be enacted. If passed, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 would authorize states meeting certain requirements to require remote sellers that do not meet a "small seller exception" to collect their state and local sales and use taxes. For more information on the previous legislation, visit Federal Government Introduces New Remote Seller Bill. (Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015, March 10, 2015)

 

UPDATE: This bill failed to pass during the 114th Congressional Session running from January 3, 2015 to January 3, 2017.  Therefore, this bill has died and would need to be reintroduced to be considered and voted on.

(03/16/2015)

On December 16, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, for sales and use tax purposes. The Act includes a provision that extends the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) until October 1, 2015 with all provisions unchanged.

 

On January 9, 2015, the House of Representative introduced a bill (un-numbered) that would permanently extend the ITFA, banning states and local jurisdictions from imposing any new tax on internet access. The proposed bill removes the current effective dates of November 1, 2003 through October 1, 2015 and changes the effective date to be effective for new taxes imposed after the date of the enactment.  It is not clear if states that have been grandfathered under the existing provision could retain their current tax on internet access but it appears that may be the case.  No formal legislation has been introduced that would incorporate the Marketplace Fairness Act into this bill. The bill is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, among others.

 

For our previous news item on this topic, see Internet Tax Freedom Act is Extended Through December 11, 2014.

 

For an update on this news item, see Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until December 11, 2015.

 

(Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015; H.R. 235)

(02/12/2015)

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has announced the dates for the state’s 2014 tax payment amnesty program. The amnesty program will take place October 15, 2014 through November 14, 2014. The amnesty program applies to all taxes administered by the department, except for motor fuel taxes and penalties for failure to submit information reports that are not based on an underpayment of tax. The amnesty program applies to taxes due prior to January 1, 2014, for which the department has issued an individual or a business proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2014. If qualified taxpayers pay all delinquent taxes, all penalties and 50% of the interest owed will be waived. Individual and business taxpayers now have the option to pay overdue tax through installment payments over six months. Taxpayers identified as noncompliant can expect to receive a letter and/or a recorded telephone message before the start of the amnesty program with instructions for submitting applications and payments online. For our further details on the program view our previous news item Louisiana Amends Tax Amnesty Program. (News Release, Louisiana Department of Revenue, August 13, 2014; Act 822 (H.B. 663), Laws 2014, effective August 1, 2014)

(09/29/2014)

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