BSW Tax Blog

Federal and Louisiana Taxes

Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals Rules That Chemicals Qualify for Pollution Control Sales Tax Exclusion 

Louisiana Tax Deadlines Extended

COVID 19 Affects Upon All State and Local Taxes:

From March 13, 2020 until at least April 13, 2020, all deadlines under Title 47, Revenue and Taxation of the Louisiana Revised Statutes are suspended. The extension also applies to all legal deadlines, including liberative prescription and peremptive periods applicable to legal proceedings in all courts, administrative agencies, and boards. Proclamation No. JBE 2020-30, 03/16/2020.

The Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals has cancelled all hearings through March 26, 2020 without date and has closed its doors until March 30, though it will likely be amended to April 13, 2020.

State Taxes:

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) personnel are working remotely since all state offices were closed to public visitors on March 22, 2020 until April 13, 2020. JBE-2020-33. Taxpayers are encouraged to use their LaTAP accounts and LDR email hotlines for inquiries. www. E-Services are available at

Income Tax:

LDR has administratively and automatically extended the following deadlines for reporting and paying income taxes until July 15, 2020. LDR RIB 2020-009. No requests for extension are required.

Fiscal year filers with deadlines between March 1 and May 30, 2020 are automatically granted an extension of 60 days. Additional extensions may be granted upon request to extend the deadline to November 15, 2020 for individual, fiduciary, and partnership returns and to December 15, 2020 for corporate.

State Sales Taxes, and
Excise Tax

The March 20, 2020 deadline to report and pay February 2020 sales taxes and excise tax (wine shipped direct to consumer and beer) was extended to May 20, 2020. The extension will not incur penalty or interest and requests for extension are not required. LDR RIB 20-008.

State Refunds, Audits, Assessments, Collections and Litigation:

From March 16, 2020 until at least April 13, 2020, deadlines to respond to audit inquiries, assessments, or litigation discovery are suspended. LDR RIB 20-008. Not specifically mentioned is the deadline to claim a refund of a tax overpayment, which is also suspended by JBE- 2020-30. LDR advises that it will cease any collection activity, but interest and penalties will continue to accrue on those amounts.

Wage and Unemployment Tax

Louisiana Workforce Commission announced on March 19 and 24, 2020 that it administratively extended the first quarter reports and payment for unemployment and wage tax deadline to June 30, 2020.

Local Taxes:

Sales Taxes

All Parish February 2020 taxes are not due until at least April 13, 2020. JBE 2020-30. Because each Parish has its own collector, each one may administratively extend their own deadlines. Most Parishes allow sales tax account applications at and parish taxes may be reported and paid centrally through https://parishe-file.revenue.

Orleans Parish has extended deadlines to May 20, 2020 to report and pay taxes without penalty or interest for December 2019, January 2020, February 2020, and March 2020 taxes. This might include occupational license tax due January 1, 2020.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Broome signed an executive order on March 17, 2020 that extends the March 20, 2020 and April 20, 2020 returns for 30 days. The new deadline to timely report and pay tax is April 20, 2020 for February taxes and May 20, 2020 for March taxes.

Property taxes

The April 1, 2020 deadline to file LAT-5 (business personal property renditions) and the annual report due by public service companies is extended until April 13,2020. JBE 2020-30.

The Louisiana Tax Commission has continued without date all hearings until at least April 13, 2020. It will however continue its work on change order requests, tax sale cancellations, and similar matters while its personnel work remotely. LTC Advisory 02-2020.





Orleans Parish Sales Tax Amnesty

Until September 3, 2019, Orleans Parish will entertain applications for tax amnesty on sales tax, parking tax, and occupancy tax, also know as the hotel motel tax. If approved, taxpayers will receive a full penalty and 1/2 interest waiver.  Do not delay!  If you are waiting for audit adjustments before agreeing to pay tax liabilities and half of the interest, you must work quickly to get your audit revisions made in time enough to file your application.

Property tax (ad valorem) is not available for amnesty.

LDR disagrees with welding company: fuel is not excluded from sales tax, despite the written law saying as much.


The “sale or purchase by a person of any fuel or gas” has been excluded from sales taxes since July 1, 2008.  Nevertheless, LDR claims the written law is mistaken and takes the position that the spirit of the Act was only to exclude purchases of butane and propane.  The Department’s position is untenable; it is not free to ignore the letter of the law. The Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals is considering the matter for welding fuel purchases in Metals USA Plates & Shapes Southeast, Inc. v. Robinson (BTA 9342D) consolidated with O’Neal Steel Louisiana, LLC v. Robinson, (BTA 9250).

Consumers of fuel used anywhere but on the highway should consider making a refund claim for sales taxes paid as far back as January 2014.  Additionally, those consumers should consider making its next sales tax payments under protest followed by suit for refund.  Aviation or marine businesses in transit or shipping stand to benefit the most. The exclusion, however, was fully suspended and subject to the full 5 cents from April 1 to June 30, 2016 and is partially suspended and subject to 3 cents thereafter until June 30, 2018.

“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.” – Learned Hand

Taxpayers File Suit Against the Cap On Louisiana Solar Tax Credits.

Thousands of Louisiana residents purchased expensive solar systems, incentivized by a state tax credit equal to 50% of the cost, up to $12,500.  The Louisiana Legislature retroactively capped the solar tax credit statewide at $25,000,000, making it available to taxpayers when they filed their returns on a first filed, first served basis.  Prior to June 19 2015, there was no cap on the solar credits and  a more generous deadline to install the solar systems, however, taxpayers that would have qualified for the credit prior to the new law were eventually denied, and left holding the bag. Naturally, the deprived taxpayers are looking for answers or their refunds.

With the combined legal skills of New Orleans lawyers, Larry Centola of Martzell, Bickford & Centola, and Heidi Mabile Gould, and Baton Rouge lawyer, Nicole Gould Frey of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, suit was filed on September 9, 2015 to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation in the matter entitled Gwen and Justin Ulrich & Raymond and Pam Alleman v. La. Dept. of Revenue, 19th JDC, dkt# 651,300, Section 25.




Christmas Gift for Taxpayers

giftThe purchasers of flex fuel vehicles receive a Christmas gift from the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal upholding the La. Board of Tax Appeals judgment in Bolotte v. LDR (BTA 8007 5/14/2014), which held they qualify for the $3,000 refundable income tax credit under La. RS 47:6035.

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The Last La. Tax Amnesty for Awhile

shackleThe 30 day application period begins on November 16, 2015 to qualify for a 33% and 17% discount on penalties and interest.  Do you qualify?  You can check out the La. 2015 Amnesty Facts and download an application from LDR.  If you don’t have the cash now, credit card payments and installment plans are an option to unshackle taxpayers from past tax liabilities.

Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Consultation

Are You Over or Under Paying?

Louisiana derives 1/3 of its tax revenue from its 4% sales and use tax alone.  Estimates show that an equal amount of tax is avoided through 192 exemptions or exclusions to sales and use tax.  Since the combined state and local rate averages 10%, it is clear that the money involved in sales and use tax can be staggering.   Despite the significant amount of money involved, we find that many of our clients are unable to access sales and use tax expertise to gain affordable advice.  The result is either a surprise hefty tax bill or unclaimed refunds.  Our BSW SALT Team can help.


As a quick test, any business that cannot afford to waste money equal to 10% of expenses or 10% of sales, needs a consultation.  The need for a consultation exists with any business scheduled for a sales and use tax audit.

Businesses selling or leasing tangible personal property (think movable property) must collect the correct sales tax for the correct jurisdiction or else it can be made to pay its customer’s tax out of pocket as a penalty.  Conversely, the same business often enjoys exemptions and exclusions on its own purchases, such as those for raw materials, manufacturing equipment, and purchases for resale.

Business engaged in one of the seven taxable services or leasing movable property must also carefully watch its transactions with customers and venders.  These services can be complicated, but are generally summarized as: rooms for lodging, parking, cold storage, amusements, printing, repair to movables, and laundry.

Businesses selling immovable property, usually contractors, rarely collect any sales tax but must be hyper vigilant in paying sales and use taxes on its purchases to the correct jurisdiction.  Contractors with multi-parish jobsites operating from a centralized storage facility are a particular favorite of local tax auditors these days.

Any business in the following particular industries often receive significant benefit from a consultation:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Nonprofits
  3. Construction
  4. Fabrication
  5. Manufacturing or Farming
  6. Repair services
  7. Any entity with gross sales or expenses over $1M


A sales and use tax consultation will deliver training specific to your business based upon its historical transactions and provide peace of mind that your sales and use tax practices are up to snuff.  Some clients have sales personnel join in the consultation along with their payables clerk for greater accuracy in project cost and sales price estimates.

Through sampling methods and then drilling down to individual transactions, Mrs. Gould can identify audit risks, possible exemptions, overpayments, or reporting errors.  Mrs. Gould will provide recommendations at the conclusion of the consultation which may warrant a full reverse audit.  If you are entitled to a refund, you are free to handle it yourself or retain Mrs. Gould and our BSW SALT Team at an hourly or contingency fee for recovery.


The consultation fee is equal to 0.2% of your 3-year IRS Form 1040 gross sales average.  Mrs. Gould will review your basic financial statements, tax returns and the nature of your business before conducting an onsite visit to review specific transactions.  During the onsite visit, valuable sales and use tax training occurs as part of her transaction investigation with your payables clerk.  At the conclusion of the visit, Mrs. Gould will deliver a confidential written report identifying areas of reporting error and potential exemptions and overpayments that may generate a refund or future tax savings.  Every consultation has delivered bottom-line results that have surprised our clients.

La. Supreme Court Protects Taxpayers From Creeping Rental Taxes

“La. Supreme Court Protects Taxpayers From Creeping Rental Taxes”

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson successfully defended its client, Pot –O-Gold, from the imposition of taxes on services offered in conjunction with the rental of tangible personal property. Pot-O-Gold Rentals, LLC v. City of Baton Rouge, 2014-CA-2154, (La.1/16,/15).

Pot-O-Gold leases various waste collection equipment, in this case, portable toilets and holding tanks. Pot-O-Gold also offers waste removal and equipment cleaning services, which are entirely optional for its rental customers.  For those options which are chosen, a separate charge for the service is made by Pot-O-Gold. Waste removal and cleaning services are not listed among the services subject to tax. La. R.S. 47:301(14).

Louisiana, and its parishes, levy sales tax upon the “gross proceeds” of rentals of tangible personal property. R.S. 47:302B.  The tax laws do not define the phrase “gross proceeds.” In this case the City of Baton Rouge interpreted it to include the amounts charged for the separately stated services and issued an assessment for additional taxes. Pot-O-Gold paid the taxes under protest and filed suit to recover the protested amounts.

The Firm filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted by the trial court. The court found that because the nontaxable services were independent and optional, they did not become part of the taxable “gross proceeds” simply because the services were rendered by the owner of the rental.

The City appealed and the First Circuit reversed with 2 judges dissenting. Pot-O-Gold Rentals, LLC v. City of Baton Rouge, 2013-1323 (La. App. 1 Cir. 9/17/14) (La. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2014) writ granted, judgment rev’d sub nom. Pot-O-Gold Rentals, L.L.C. v. City of Baton Rouge, 2014-2154 (La. 1/16/15). The appellate court found that while the “true object” of the rental was the rental of the tangible personal property the  “Money collected for ordinarily nontaxable cleaning and sanitation services became taxable gross proceeds of the lease by virtue of the inexorably intertwined relationship between the services and the leased property.” The appellate court went on to state “ It is of no import whether the services were optional for lessees, whether the services could be purchased from another party, whether the services could be rejected, or whether the services could be purchased independently from the plaintiff by others.”

The Firm filed a writ application with the Supreme Court. The Court not only granted Pot-O-Gold’s writ application, but also simultaneously reversed the appellate court’s decision. In so doing, the Court adopted the dissenting judges’ reasoning that “that to hold that providing cleaning services for portable toilets is not a taxable event if the toilet is owned by someone else, but is a taxable service if the toilet is owned by the lessor, creates an absurd result.” The Court also found  “that the “true object” of the transactions is, in the least, debatable, requiring the court to adopt the interpretation urged by the applicant as the least onerous to the taxpayer.”

A rental company which collected taxes on separately stated, optional services may want to notify its customers as to possible refund opportunities.  A rental company currently collecting taxes on such services may want to reconsider its policy.

If you have questions about your sales tax liabilities or duty to collect, do not hesitate to call a member of our SALT Team.

Taxpayers take Round Two!

boxing glovesThe Louisiana Department of Revenue has lost round two in its fight against the refundable $3,000 income tax credit for the purchase of flex fuel vehicles (FFV).  Judge Scott Gardner ruled for the taxpayers on December 22, 2014 at the 22nd JDC, affirming the decision granting the La. R.S. 47:6035 credit to FFVs in Bolotte v. LDR, 8007 (Bd. Tax App., May 14, 2014).  While we wait for this lead case to complete its appeal process, anyone purchasing a FFV in 2010 has until December 31, 2014 to amend their 2010 tax return to claim the credit.  2011 purchasers have until December 31, 2013 to amend.