Louisiana’s sales tax rate is 4.45 percent for retail sales. The state also has a use tax, which is complementary to the sales tax. The state also has other rates for certain industries. The sales and use tax rate for taxpayers change often, so businesses should frequently check to ensure that they always have the correct rates.
This guide does not fully describe all of Louisiana’s laws and regulations regarding taxes. Businesses should contact a business attorney or visit the Louisiana Department of Revenue to learn more about the rules, regulations, tax laws and tax information associated with their industries and the types of taxes due.
Types of taxes
Louisiana has several taxes that various businesses must charge to their customers. Depending on how much gross sales a business takes in, the state might require the business to remit reports and payments monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Sales and use tax
Most tangible personal property sold for retail in Louisiana is subject to the state’s 4.45 percent sales and use tax. Some services are also subject to sales and use tax. Certain services might be subject to an additional tax or a separate tax.
A business must pay use tax if it purchases the taxable tangible personal property and does not pay tax on the purchase. For example, if a business sells Widget A and also uses Widget A, the business would pay sales tax on any Widget A items sold to consumers and use tax on the items it uses in the business.
Services subject to sales tax include:
- Hotel rooms.
- Admission to amusement parks, entertainment, recreational, and athletic facilities and events.
- Parking fees that hotels and parking lots charge.
- Printing and overprinting services.
- Laundry and cleaning services.
- The provision of cold-storage space and the preparation of the property for cold storage.
- Repairs to tangible personal property.
- Telecommunications services.
Food and beverage tax
Food establishments in Orleans Parish and the New Orleans International Airport must pay a food and beverage tax. If any of those food establishments sell $200,000 or more in taxable sales the preceding year, they must collect and remit the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Tax (NOEHA).
The tax rate is:
- 0.5 percent for sales from $200,000 to $499,999; and
- 0.75 percent for sales of $500,000 and over.
Any prepared or manufactured foods are taxable, except for those prepared to be consumed in the home. Even if the food is prepared off-site, as long as it is sold in Orleans Parish and the New Orleans International Airport, it is taxable.
Exempted meals include those furnished to:
- The staff.
- Students of educations, religious, medical, or mental institutions, unless they have facilities open to the public.
- Any food or beverage paid for with WIC or USDA food stamps.
Food establishments include fixed or mobile businesses where food and beverages are prepared for sale or service, on or off the premises, including but not limited to:
- Coffee shops.
- Soda fountains.
- Tea rooms.
- Ice cream shops.
- Roadside stands.
- Cocktail lounges.
- Mobile canteens.
- Hot dog wagons.
- Convenience stores and grocery stores that feature prepared deli items.
- Bowling alley snack bars.
- Theater snack bars.
Businesses must file the tax returns and remit payment on or before the due date of the 20th day of the month following the month they collect the tax.
Hotel occupancy tax
Establishments that provide rooms for sleeping and dwelling purposes in Orleans and Jefferson Parish must pay a hotel occupancy tax of 4 percent. These establishments include those with rooms under one roof and those with separate cabins or cottages.
The establishments pay this tax in lieu of the 2 percent state sales tax that all hotels and other establishments must pay as denoted by R.S. 47:302. However, the establishments must still pay the 2 percent as dictated by R.S. 47.321 and 331, and R.S. 51:1286.
The hotels and other establishments must also pay a tax of .045 percent pursuant to R.S. 47:321.1.
Additionally, establishments in Orleans Parish must pay the following on top of the other taxes:
- 3 percent Earnest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Tax.
- 50 cents per night for hotels with 10 to 299 rooms.
- $1 per night for hotels with 300 to 999 rooms.
- $2 per night for hotels with 1,000 or more rooms.
The total tax an establishment in Orleans Parish pays is 4 plus 2 plus .045 plus 3 for a total of 9.045 percent, plus either $0.50, $1, or $2, depending on the size of the establishment.
Businesses must remit reports and the tax due on or before the 20th day of the month following the month they collected the tax. For example, January’s tax collections must be paid on or before February 20.
Automobile rental Tax
Auto rental businesses pay a 3 percent tax that consists of a 2.5 percent state tax and .5 percent local tax if they rent vehicles for 29 or fewer days. The tax is in addition to the state sales tax of 4.45 percent. Businesses report the automobile rental tax on Form R-1029.
Pickup truck rentals are exempt.
The motor vehicle rental tax is due on the 20th of the month following the month the business collected the taxes.
- Vehicle rented by insurance companies or dealers repairing vehicles when the dealer rents or provides a loaner vehicle.
- Vehicles rented for 30 or more days.
- Vehicles that are rented that include a driver furnished by the lessor.
If a customer cancels a long-term contract and the new term is less than 30 days, the business must charge the tax to the customer and remit it to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Registering for and filing Louisiana's taxes
Louisiana tax exemptions
Louisiana has a few exemptions from the state sales and use tax for sales of goods, including:
- Food that customers take home for consumption.
- Prescription drugs.
- Utilities, including water, natural gas, and electricity.
- Items traded in on new items.
In addition to the state sales taxes, Louisiana has several excise tax liabilities, including:
- Hazardous waste disposal tax: $30 per dry weight ton generated and disposed of at the same site. $40 per dry weight ton generated at one site and disposed of at another site.
- Alcoholic beverage tax: $0.80 per liter of liquor, $0.55 per liter of sparkling water, $0.20 per liter of beverages with alcoholic content not over 14 percent by volume, $0.35 per liter for beverages with 14 to 23 percent alcohol by volume, $0.55 per liter for beverages with 24 percent or more alcohol by volume. Additionally, malt beverages and those with low alcohol content – usually beer – are taxed at $12.50 per barrel of 31 or fewer gallons.
- Vape products: $0.05 per milliliter of vapor product.
- Tobacco tax: Cigars – up to $120 per thousand: 8 percent; over $120 per thousand: 20 percent; Cigarettes – $0.054 per cigarette; Smoking Tobacco – 33 percent of the manufacturer’s net invoice price; Smokeless Tobacco – 20 percent of the manufacturer’s net invoice price.
Local sales tax rates
Louisiana has several local jurisdictions that charge a sales tax in addition to the state’s sales tax. To locate the local sales and use taxes and other taxes that businesses must pay, enter the business location in Criteria 1 in the lookup tool. You can also add other keywords, such as ‘beer,’ ‘hotel,’ or other keywords, so you do not have to wade through a list of taxes that do not apply to your industry.
Calculating Louisiana's sales and use tax rates
Determine the retail sales tax rates for a business’s local jurisdiction, then add them to the state’s sales tax. For example, if AnyParish has a 6 percent sales tax on Widget A, then the business would charge 10.45 for the total price of Widget A ($100 times .1045 equals $10.45, for a total of $110.45).
Remote retailers and marketplace sellers must collect Louisiana state and local sales and use taxes if they meet the economic nexus of $100,000 in sales or 200 separate transactions in the previous year.
However, most remote sellers collect Louisiana taxes and remit reports and payments as a convenience to their buyers. If not, the buyer must pay the use tax. The use tax return and sales tax return are located in the seller’s Louisiana Department of Revenue account.
Louisiana’s sales tax is 4.45 percent. Businesses must add local sales tax based upon their jurisdiction.
The business does not collect Louisiana’s sales tax but instead collects the buyer’s state and local sales taxes. The business should have an account with that state’s department of revenue to file sales tax reports and remit payments.