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'Online' doesn't mean 'tax free'

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 10:00pm

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) reminds holiday shoppers that “online” does not mean “tax-free.” Louisiana’s consumer use tax applies to purchases in which a retailer does not charge sales tax. This happens typically during transactions with online and mail-order retailers, or television shopping networks, that do not have physical locations in Louisiana.

When out-of-state vendors do not charge sales tax, Louisiana state law requires the shopper to report and pay the Consumer Use Tax. The tax is calculated at a rate of 8 percent, payable directly to the Department of Revenue. LDR redistributes 4 percent of the revenue to local governments.

The Consumer Use Tax protects Louisiana businesses from unfair competition with out-of-state vendors who don’t charge sales tax. It also helps to provide the funds for vital state services such as education, public safety and roads and bridges.

Purchases subject to the Consumer Use Tax include:

Appliances
Book
Clothing
Computers
CDs and DVDs
Electronics
Furniture
Music and movie downloads
Software
Tobacco products
You can report the Consumer Use Tax annually when filing your Louisiana individual income tax return. Or you can use the Consumer Use Tax Return, available with more information at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/ConsumerUse. 

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