Louisiana Sales Tax
Louisiana Sales Tax At a Glance
State rate: 4.45%
Maximum combined rate: 11.45%
Tax Holidays: None
Governing Body: Louisiana Department of Revenue
Whether your business is based in Louisiana or you just sell to customers who live there, it’s important to understand the state’s sales tax laws to ensure you’re fully compliant. Whether you need to collect sales tax in Louisiana depends on a number of factors, including the type of product or service you sell and how significant of a physical presence you have in the state.
Louisiana Sales Tax Rates
The state sales tax rate for Louisiana is 4.45%. Localities are permitted to impose their own sales tax as well, and so in some places, the combined effective rate can be as high as 11.45%.
A different state tax rate applies to certain items sold or rented in Louisiana as well. For instance, the rental of automobiles for less than 29 days is taxed at a rate of 3%, with 2.5% going towards state sales tax and 0.5% allocated as a local tax. The New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority tax is another example of a specialized kind of sales tax that applies only to food service establishments serving food in Orleans Parish or at the New Orleans International Airport. It must be collected at a rate of 0.5% or 0.75% based on the business’s total revenue from the previous year, and it’s added to the total sales tax rate for the region.
Sales Tax Nexus in Louisiana
You only need to collect sales tax in Louisiana if you have a significant presence, or nexus, there. This is true of most states, although the precise definition of a nexus can vary from one state to another. In Louisiana, you are considered to have a nexus if you:
- Sell, rent, or lease tangible personal property in the state
- Provide taxable services within the state
- Store property in the state for resale, lease, or rental
- Have a physical office or store in the state
- Employ a full- or part-time salesperson or agent who operates in the state
- Deliver goods to customers in the state using your vehicle
In many states, using Amazon fulfillment services to deliver your goods creates a nexus for you if your product is stored in a warehouse in that state. The building of several new fulfillment centers in Louisiana in the last five years impacts sales tax for those using fulfillment by Amazon.
Economic nexus was established in Louisiana in May 2020, with thresholds of $100,000 per year in gross revenue or 200 transactions in the previous calendar year requiring remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax.
If you have a nexus, the rate you will collect from your customers depends on the destination location of the product. If you have a physical store, you will charge the rate applicable at that location. If you’re shipping products to customers in Louisiana, however, you will have to collect at the rate in effect at the delivery address.
What is Taxable in Louisiana?
If you have a nexus in Louisiana, you next need to determine if what you are selling is taxable. Most sales of tangible personal property are taxable in Louisiana, as are a number of services. These services include the furnishing of:
- Admission or access to amusement, recreation, entertainment, athletic facilities or events
- Rooms by hotels
- Parking or storage of vehicles
- Printing and overprinting
- Cold-storage space
- Repairs of tangible personal property
- Laundry, pressing, dyeing, and cleaning services
- Telecommunications services
Medications and groceries are exempt from sales tax in Louisiana, and this includes all foods and beverages that are intended to be prepared and consumed in the home. However, some prepared meals are exempt from sales tax if furnished to patients, inmates, students, or educational, religious, medical, or mental institution staff.
Louisiana Tax Holidays
Louisiana historically had several sales tax holidays, but they were suspended in 2018 as part of a budget-balancing agreement. Since there have been several attempts to bring these sales tax holidays back to the state, so be sure to stay up to date on new developments with Louisiana State sales tax laws.
Louisiana Sales Tax Registration and Filing
In order to collect and remit sales tax in Louisiana, you need to register with the state and obtain a sales tax certificate. Business registration can be done online through the Louisiana Department of Revenue website, and there is no registration fee. You will need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to register, and you should complete your registration process before making any taxable sales.
When you register, the Department of Revenue will assign you a filing frequency based on the volume of taxable sales you expect to make. In general, smaller businesses will have to file sales tax returns quarterly, while larger, higher-volume businesses will be required to file and pay monthly.
Louisiana Sales Tax Due Dates
If you file and pay your Louisiana state sales tax returns quarterly, they will be due on the 20th of the month following the close of the reporting period, as outlined below.
|January – March (Q1)||April 20|
|April – June (Q2)||July 20|
|July – September (Q3)||October 20|
|October – December (Q4)||January 20|
When filing monthly, your returns and payments will be due on the 20th of the following month.
For instances in which a due date falls on a weekend or a holiday, returns and payments will be due on the next business day.
Failure to file and pay your Louisiana state sales taxes on time once you’ve received your sales tax certificate from the state will incur a penalty of 5% of the tax due for each month it’s late, up to a maximum of 25%. Interest will also be added to your total due, with the current rate at 0.5417% per month. The rates for previous years can be found here. In addition, a negligence penalty may be assessed, along with an examination fee.
- Louisiana Department of Revenue
- Frequently Asked Questions – Louisiana Department of Revenue
- General Sales and use Tax – Louisiana Department of Revenue
Louisiana Sales Tax Software
With so many factors impacting when you need to collect sales tax from your Louisiana customers and at what rate, you must stay on top of things to ensure you’re always compliant with local tax rules and regulations. This is compounded by the fact that rates and other elements of state sales tax laws can change at any time, and so you need to keep up to date with those changes as well.
The challenges of staying on top of all of this are compounded further if you do business in more than one state, so it can be very helpful to have software designed to help you in these situations. TaxTools is just such a program, and its ability to track changes to local sales tax rates, provide up-to-date information on sales and payments, and organize data separately for each state you make sales in will greatly streamline your accounting processes. TaxTools integrates smoothly with all eCommerce platforms, so you won’t need to change anything else about how you do business to take advantage of its benefits.
Last updated March 2023