Archive for November, 2009

Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-053: Prepaid Wireless Service Charge

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Revenue Information Bulletin (RIB) No. 09-053, which explains a 2 percent service charge that applies to purchases of prepaid wireless services.

Louisiana Revised Statute 33:9109.1, as enacted by Act 531 of the Regular Session of the 2009 Louisiana Legislature, imposes a service charge on the purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service. This service charge has been imposed to maintain effective and efficient 911 systems across the state and to be a source of funding for the upcoming deployment of enhanced 911 services. The effective date of Act 531 is January 1, 2010.

Beginning on January 1, 2010, a consumer’s retail purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service will incur a 2 percent service charge. Prepaid wireless telecommunication service is defined as a wireless telecommunication service that is paid for in advance and is sold in predetermined units or dollars of which the number declines with use in a known amount. Prepaid wireless telecommunications service gives the caller the ability to dial 911 to access the 911 system. Prepaid wireless telecommunications service includes the sale of the following to a consumer:

  • Cellular phones preloaded with minutes or units of air time or sold with rebates for airtime;
  • Calling cards for cellular phones preloaded with minutes or units of air time; and
  • The recharging of a reusable cellular phone calling card or the cellular phone itself with additional minutes or units of air time.

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Prepaid wireless service fee takes effect January 1, 2010


 

Louisiana Administrative Code 61:I.5401 – Act 531 of the 2009 Regular Session of the Legislature imposed a service charge upon the sales of prepaid wireless telecommunications. In accordance with the emergency provisions of R.S. 49:953(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act, which allows the Department of Revenue to use emergency procedures to establish rules, and R.S. 47:1511, which allows the department to make reasonable rules and regulations, the Secretary hereby finds that imminent peril to the public welfare exists and accordingly adopts the following Emergency Rule. This Emergency Rule shall be effective January 1, 2010 and shall remain in effect until the expiration of the maximum period allowed under the Administrative Procedure Act or the adoption of the final Rule, whichever comes first.

This Emergency Rule is necessary to allow the secretary to provide needed information to Louisiana taxpayers regarding the collection and remittance of the prepaid wireless 911 service charge as provided by R.S. 33:9101.1. The effective date of this new law is January 1, 2010. The Department of Revenue is charged with the responsibility of administering the prepaid wireless 911 service charge.

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20th Anniversary Celebration – Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program

The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program (LTFS) held a celebration to mark 20 years of service to Louisiana’s international visitors.

The LTFS allows international visitors who shop at participating retailers to receive a refund of sales taxes on eligible purchases.

Tuesday’s celebration took place at Lakeside Shopping Mall in Metairie.


Jefferson Parish Councilman-at-Large John Young, Jr. (left) and former state senator Hank Lauricella attend 20th anniversary LTFS celebration

Jefferson Parish Councilman-at-Large John Young, Jr. (left) and former state senator Hank Lauricella attend 20th anniversary LTFS celebration

The Storyville Stompers lead the group in a second line to the ribbon cutting for the new LTFS refund center.

The Storyville Stompers lead the group in a second line to the ribbon cutting for the new LTFS refund center.

Ribbon cutting for new LTFS refund center

Ribbon cutting for new LTFS refund center

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Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program celebrates 20 years of serving international visitors

The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program (LTFS) celebrates its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, November 17. The festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. with refreshments near the Veterans Skylight Entrance in Lakeside Shopping Mall in Metairie. Following refreshments, there will be a ribbon cutting near the entrance of Macy’s to mark the opening of a new sales tax refund center inside the department store.

Louisiana was the first state to offer tax-free shopping to international visitors. The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program is available at more than 800 participating retail locations throughout the state. Visitors can apply for sales tax refunds by mail or at any of five refund centers across Louisiana:

• Downtown Refund Center, Riverwalk Marketplace (New Orleans)
• Louis Armstrong International Airport (Kenner)
• Capital One Bank, Main Branch (Lafayette)
• Capital One Bank, Main Branch (Shreveport)
• Macy’s Lakeside (Metairie)

More than 600,000 international visitors have taken advantage of LTFS since it began in 1989. The program has recorded more than $500 million in sales. A 2008 study by the University of New Orleans determined that LTFS has had an economic impact of more than $45 million in direct and indirect spending. Hotel, restaurant, and service sales taxes are not refundable.

“This groundbreaking program promotes both tourism and retail trade globally for the state and has become one more reason for international travelers to visit Louisiana,” said Eugene Schreiber, Managing Director of the World Trade Center of New Orleans and chairman of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission since its inception.

The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program was created by Act 535 of 1988, introduced by state senators Hank Lauricella, Ben Bagert, and Ken Hollis, and by state representatives Jim Donelon, Woody Jenkins and Charles Lancaster. LTFS Refund Centers processed the first sales tax refunds for international visitors in November 1989.

What: 20th Anniversary Celebration/Refund Center Ribbon Cutting
When: 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Where: Veterans Skylight Entrance – Lakeside Shopping Mall, Metairie

Honored guests include:

• Louisiana State Senator Conrad Appel
• Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo
• Jefferson Parish Councilman-at-Large John Young, Jr.
________________________________________

For more information, please contact:

Denise Thevenot
Executive Director
Louisiana Tax Free Shopping
504.568.5248
Ltfs_dat@bellsouth.net

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RIBs address sales tax-related legislation

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued three Revenue Information Bulletins (RIBs) concerning sales tax-related measures from the Regular Session of the 2009 Louisiana Legislature.

Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-050 discusses a phased-in exclusion from state sales tax for manufacturers in certain NAICS codes on their purchases and uses of certain property to be consumed in the manufacturing process, as provided by Act 466 of 2009.

Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-051 concerns a new state sales tax collection exemption on sales and admissions at domed arenas and associated facilities in certain parishes, as provided by Act 464 of 2009.

Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-052 discusses new state sales tax exemptions for three named charitable organizations on their purchases of materials for housing construction, rehabilitation, or renovation, also as provided by Act 464 of 2009.


A Revenue Information Bulletin (RIB) is issued under the authority of LAC 61:III.101(D). A RIB is an informal statement of information issued for the public and employees that is general in nature. A RIB does not have the force and effect of law and is not binding on the public or the Department.

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Cloutier pleads “No Contest” to tax-related crimes

BATON ROUGE – A Lafayette businessman pleaded “No Contest” to tax evasion and obstruction of justice in an agreement with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

Eric Cloutier entered the plea in 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette.  

Cloutier, a former owner of Karma nightclub and Marley’s Downtown sports bar in Lafayette, surrendered the licenses for those businesses as part of the plea.

After an investigation involving LDR’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, ATC enforcement agents arrested Cloutier in February following allegations that he manipulated the cash registers in his bars to avoid remitting sales taxes to Lafayette Parish and to the State of Louisiana.  He initially faced more than 500 felony counts including theft, fraud, and obstruction of justice.  He pleaded “No Contest” on Thursday, November 12, 2009 to one count of tax evasion and one count of obstruction of justice connected to the destruction of more than 300 tax-related documents.

As a condition of his plea agreement, Cloutier paid a tax liability of more than $200,000 including interest and penalties to Lafayette Parish and the State of Louisiana.  In addition, the court ordered Cloutier to pay the cost of the investigation and prosecution of this case assessed at $10,000.  He was ordered also to pay more than $1,400 in fines and court costs. 

Cloutier will serve two years of active supervised probation.

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Meeting of Act 442 Collaborative Working Group

This is a reminder of the next meeting of the Collaborative Working Group on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, at 9 a.m. in the Calcasieu Room on the second floor of the LaSalle Building, 617 N. Third Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue will provide teleconferencing capability for this meeting.  The dial-in number for the teleconference is 1-866-810-0043. When prompted, please key-in conference code 3076258.

Section 4 of Act 442 of the 2009 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature established a collaborative working group of state and local tax administrators and industry representatives for the purpose of assisting in developing policy regarding the determination of which items should be considered as moveable or immovable property for the purposes of state and local sales and use tax.

The group’s mission is to study and develop specific proposals on the definition of tangible personal property under Chapters 2, 2-A, 2-B and 2-D of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. The group shall report its policy recommendations to the chairmen of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs no later than January 31, 2011.

The group shall cease to exist on June 30, 2011.

 Further information concerning this meeting may be obtained from Ted James, Office of the Secretary, P.O. Box 66258, Baton Rouge, LA 70896, phone (225) 219-2707.

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Report: ‘Tax amnesty lucrative for state’

The front-page story in today’s Baton Rouge Advocate is about the overwhelming success of the 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program, which collected more than double the anticipated amount.

Louisiana’s latest tax amnesty program generated more than twice as much money as state officials expected.

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday that delinquent taxpayers paid $303.7 million — more than double the $150 million anticipated.

“The program has generated a significant amount of money that will go toward providing critical services for our people during a challenging budget cycle,” Jindal said.

The two-month program, which ended on Halloween, waived half the interest owed if state taxpayers settled their accounts in full.

State officials still are tallying the numbers, so the $303.7 million figure could climb.

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Governor Jindal to make announcement regarding tax amnesty collections

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal will hold a press conference at 10 AM in the Governor’s Press Conference Room at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge to make an announcement regarding the total collections from Louisiana’s tax amnesty program. Later, the Governor will continue his “Louisiana Working Tour” with an address to the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce in Chalmette at 12:15 PM to stress the importance of economic development and job creation in the state.

 TODAY, Wednesday, November 4

 

10 AM

Governor Jindal makes an announcement regarding the total collections from Louisiana’s tax amnesty program in BATON ROUGE

State Capitol

4th Floor Press Conference Room

900 North 3rd Street

Baton Rouge, LA

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