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Effective June 30, 2013, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (DOR) will phase out its Audit Protest Bureau (APB) for purposes of all taxes administered by the DOR.  In the upcoming months, the APB staff will continue to work on its current inventory. As of January 18, 2013, the APB will accept no new protests.  The audit protest process will be conducted by the DOR’s Field Audit Service Division in the future.(Revenue Information Bulletin No. 13-007, Louisiana Department of Revenue, January 17, 2013)


The Louisiana Department of Revenue has announced that it will participate in the new Federal-State Offset Program.  Participation in the program will allow the state to intercept payments owed by the federal government to vendors and contractors to use for the payment of non-tax debts owed to the state.  Under this initiative, a participating state agency will submit to the program delinquent debts it has made extensive efforts to collect from the debtor. The program will then match those debts to a federal database of taxpayers, vendors, and contractors owed refunds or payments from the federal government.  If a match is found, the program will claim those refunds or payments and forward them to the state agency for payment of the outstanding debt. The department is currently developing an implementation plan for the program.  (Press Release, Louisiana Department of Revenue, October 12, 2012)


The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program has opened a refund center in Baton Rouge. The program provides a tax exemption in the form of a refund on most retail purchases made by international visitors to Louisiana. In order to qualify for the program, visitors must be travelling on a foreign passport with a current U.S. tourist visa and be staying in the country for less than 90 days. The sales tax refund is offered on tangible items purchased at tax-free stores then permanently removed from the United States. A sales tax refund is not offered for personal services including lodging and meals. When making a purchase, the individual must display his or her passport or current official picture ID and pay the entire purchase price, including the sales tax. The individual will then be given a voucher along with their receipt or invoice. The sales tax refund is paid in U.S. currency up to $500, and checks are issued on refunds over $500. Individuals can also obtain refunds via the mail. (Tax Topics, Louisiana Department of Revenue, September 27, 2011)


In a sales and use tax opinion, the Attorney General of Louisiana has stated that bottled water is not exempt from sales and use tax. The sale of bottled water does not fit into the Louisiana sales and use tax exclusion for water “sold directly to the consumer for residential use.” That term includes the furnishing of natural gas, electricity, or water to private residences and for which residences are separately measured or metered. Bottled water also does not fit into the sales and use tax exclusion for “Water (not including mineral water or carbonated water or any water put in bottles, jugs, or containers, all of which are not exempted).” If water were to be treated as food, it still wouldn’t qualify for the exemption for food sold for preparation and consumption in the home. Bottled water does not require any preparation to be consumed in the home and thus does not qualify for the exemption. (Opinion No. 10-0296, Louisiana Attorney General, February 16, 2011)


The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued FAQs regarding the suspension of two policy statements pertaining to the taxability of digital transactions. The two policy statements that are suspended are Revenue Ruling No. 10-001 and Revenue Information Bulletin No. 10-015. The Department has clarified that sales and use tax will continue to be imposed upon the sale, use, or lease of canned computer software and software maintenance agreements. The suspension of Revenue Ruling No. 10-001 affects only those transactions in which the customer pays an access fee or subscription fee to use but not obtain ownership of a website or software. The suspension of Revenue Information Bulletin No. 10-015 affects only Pay-Per-View and Video-on-Demand movies purchased for viewing by cable and satellite television customers. The sale or use of digital downloads such as music, movies, books, or games remains a taxable transaction, as these transactions fall within the definition of tangible personal property. The rule in which this definition is found – LAC 61:I:4301 Tangible Personal Property – has not been suspended or repealed. (Revenue Information Bulletin No. 11-005, Louisiana Department of Revenue, February 14, 2011)



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