Calcasieu Parish School Board Sales and Use Tax Department
Representing Lake Charles, Sulphur, DeQuincy, Westlake, Iowa, Vinton,
Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Calcasieu Parish LED Dist. 1,
Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau


What is the sales tax rate?

See tables below.

Rates in Effect April 1, 2016

All jurisdictions except Unincorporated & Ward 1
  LOCAL RATE STATE RATE TOTAL RATE
Regular

5.75%

5.00%

10.75%

Food (for home consumption)

5.75%

0.00%

5.75%

Prescription Drugs

5.75%

0.00%

5.75%

       
       
Rates in Effect April 1, 2016
                                                      
Unincorporated & Ward 1 (Moss Bluff, Gillis)
  LOCAL RATE STATE RATE TOTAL RATE
Regular

5.75%

5.00%

10.75%

Food (for home consumption)

4.75%

0.00%

4.75%

Prescription Drugs

4.75%

0.00%

4.75%

       
 
Note: Call the Louisiana Department of Revenue at (225) 219-7356 concerning the state tax rate or visit them online at www.rev.state.la.us.

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What records am I required to keep?
The Sales/Use Tax Ordinance stipulates the requirement of every dealer to keep records. Proper records must be maintained in support of each sales/use tax return that is filed with this office.

The local ordinance, the Uniform Tax Code (UTC), is very specific about preserving adequate records. It states that every dealer is required to keep and maintain suitable records of sales, purchases, or the purchase or sale of services as the case may dictate. LA R.S. 47:309 states that the system of records should be suitable enough to support the accuracy of every return filed with the department. Some of the records necessary, but not limited to, are sales invoices, purchase orders, merchandise records, inventory records, bills of lading, shipping records, and all other pertinent records to sales, purchases, or use of tangible personal property, whether or not the dealer thinks they are subject to sales or use tax. Within this scope of records to keep are the details of property leased or rented in the instance of both rentals from and to others. It should be noted that bank deposits alone are not suitable records without the backup from other documents including cash register tapes (z-tapes) and sales invoices.

The consequences of not making records available for inspection by the Collector or for not preserving adequate records enough to confirm the correct tax liability could subject the violator to a fine up to $500 for each reporting period or imprisonment for up to sixty (60) days or both as stated in the provisions of LA R.S. 47:309 of the UTC.

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Who do I contact to obtain an Occupational License?
Anyone needing to purchase an Occupational License should call the Business License and Permit Office in the city or town your business is located. For businesses located in the unincorporated areas, call the Parish License Office.

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How do I obtain local sales tax forms?
A Sales and Use Tax Report form can be mailed to you upon request by calling (337) 217-4280 or may be picked up from our office located at 2439 6th Street, Lake Charles, LA. Since the implementation of our new digital imaging system, only original forms will be accepted. Photocopies, fax copies, spreadsheets, and tax service prepared forms will no longer be accepted. You may also request online that a form be mailed to you. Many other forms are also available online by accessing the “Tax Forms” section on the Sales Tax Department home page.

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When are sales taxes due?
The due date for all registered filers is the 1st of the month in which the tax is due. A return is considered delinquent after the 20th of the same month. If the 20th falls on a weekend or holiday, the return must be postmarked by the next workday to be considered paid on time.

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Which date is used to determine if a return is paid on time?
The U.S. Post Office postmark is used to determine if a return is transmitted on time.

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When is the Occupational License Tax due?
For a new business, the Occupational License Tax is due prior to the opening date. Renewal of an Occupational License is due on January 1st and becomes delinquent on March 1st. Contact the appropriate municipal or parish license office for further information.

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What is the sales tax and occupational license tax penalty and interest rate?
The delinquent penalty is 5% for each month or fraction thereof and increases by 5% on the 1st day of each month to a maximum of 25%. The interest is 1.25% per month or fraction thereof and increases by 1.25% on the 1st day of each month until paid.

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Which columns should be used in completing the sales tax return?
Column A - Used to report data that relates to the unincorporated areas of the Parish except Ward One (1).
Column B – Used to report data that relates to the City of Lake Charles
Column C – Used to report data that relates to the City of Sulphur
Column D – Used to report data that relates to the Town of Iowa
Column E – Used to report data that relates to the City of DeQuincy
Column F – Used to report data that relates to the Town of Vinton
Column G – Used to report data that relates to the City of Westlake
Column H – Used to report data that relates to the Ward One (Moss Bluff, Gillis, Topsy)
Column I – Used to report data that relates to the Hope Economic Development District (Sulphur)
Column J – Used to report data that relates to the Opelram Economic Development District (Sulphur)
Column K – Used to report data that relates to the Executive Economic Development District (Sulphur)

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How are the sales taxes distributed?
Sales taxes are distributed as follows for transactions occurring within the:

Within City Limits of  Lake Charles

 

As of January 1, 2016

   
City of Lake Charles

2.25%

   
Parish School Board

2.50%

   

City of LC Employees

0.25%

   
CP Law Enforcement

0.75%

   
Total

5.75%

     
Sulphur, Iowa, DeQuincy, Vinton, Westlake

 

       As of July 1, 2015

   
Parish School Board

2.50%

   

Jurisdiction (above)

2.50%

   
CP Law Enforcement

0.75%

   
Total

5.75%

     
Within Unincorporated Limits of Parish (Except Ward 1)
  As of July 1, 2015
   
Police Jury STX Dist #1

1.00%

   
Parish School Board 2.50%
   
Police Jury STX Dist #4A 1.50%
   
CP Law Enforcement 0.75%
   
Total 5.75%
     
Within Ward One (Moss Bluff, Gillis and Topsy)

 

     As of July 1, 2015 
   
Parish School Board       Dist #3

1.50%

   
Parish School Board

2.50%

   
Police Jury STX Dist #1

1.00%

   
CP Law Enforcement

0.75%

   
Total

5.75%

 
Within Hope Economic Development District
As of January 1, 2016
   
Parish School Board

2.50%

   
Jurisdiction (above)

2.50%

   
CP Law Enforcement

0.75%

   
Hope EDD

2.00%

   
Total

7.75%

 
Within Opelram Economic Development District
As of April 1, 2016
   
Parish School Board

2.50%

   
Jurisdiction (above)

2.50%

   
CP Law Enforcement

0.75%

   
Opelram EDD

2.00%

   
Total

7.75%

 
Within Executive Economic Development District
As of July 1, 2016
   
Parish School Board

2.50%

   
Jurisdiction (above)

2.50%

   
CP Law Enforcement

0.75%

   
Opelram EDD

2.00%

   
Total

7.75%

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What is use tax?
Use tax is complementary to sales tax. When items are purchased locally, sales tax is often charged with each transaction. Purchases of similar items from out of town or out of state concerns generally do not include taxes and the use tax would be due on the purchase price. Other examples of transactions which require the purchaser to report use taxes are those where purchases are made through catalogs or over the Internet.

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What do I do if I owe taxes, but am unable to pay by the due date?
Submit your return by the due date. Any amount paid with your return will reduce the amount of interest charged. The office will bill you for the remainder of tax and interest owed.

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What do I do to set up arrangements to pay an outstanding tax liability?
Installment arrangements are handled by the Tax Compliance Section at (337) 217-4280 extensions 3406 or 3414.

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Are charges for labor subject to the sales tax?
Labor charges associated with the repairing and routine servicing of most tangible, personal property such as appliances, automobiles, office equipment and similarly related items are subject to a sales tax. Separately stated labor charges with the installation of new tangible, personal property is not subject to the tax.

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Are delivery charges taxable?
Delivery charges in and by themselves are classified as a service and ordinarily would not be subject to a sales tax. However, there are instances where delivery charges are an inseparable part of the transaction and consequently would be includable in the taxable base. A simple rule of thumb has been the use of certain terminology such as FOB origin and FOB destination. FOB origin transactions tend to reflect that delivery charges are not part of the sale although the vendor may as a customary service to their clients make the arrangements predicated on information given them by their customer. In these transactions any separately stated delivery charges would not be includable in the taxable base since the dealer is not responsible for delivering articles purchased to the customer. On the other hand, when the vendor has an obligation to deliver items purchased from them, more than likely any stated charges for delivery would be includable in the taxable base. In this instance the transaction is not completed and transfer of ownership does not occur until delivery is made. Other forms of delivery charges such as inbound freight or freight in are includable in the taxable base regardless of a separate charge appearing on the invoice.

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Is a vendor required to give you a receipt for your purchase?
The law requires each and every retail dealer of goods and/or services to issue purchaser a receipt noting a transaction that has occurred. Often times this is done in the form of a cash register receipt, which reflects the name of the business, the item(s) or services purchased along with a breakdown of prices and separately stated taxes. These receipts are important for both parties as they are used either for tracking sales within the particular business concern or may be used for refund purposes by the purchaser. Persons who do not receive a receipt from the business they have purchased articles and/or services should contact the sales tax office for possible investigation.

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If I donate my car to my daughter, will she owe taxes on it?
Donations of motor vehicles to family members are customarily not subject to sales or use tax. However, other fees associated with the transfer of title from one owner to another will typically apply. The Office of Motor Vehicles generally requires a duly notarized Act of Donation presented at the time of transfer in order to validate the intent of both parties.

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If I buy a boat from my neighbor will I owe tax?
This type of transaction, one occurring between individuals who do not hold themselves out as being in the business of selling such property, is typically viewed as a casual or isolated sale and not subject to tax at the local level only. Please visit the Louisiana Dept. of Revenue's website for a complete breakdown of the state tax rate for this type of transaction. However, if the transaction involves a trailer, then sales or use taxes will be due at the time the title is transferred at the Office of Motor Vehicles. The tax will be based upon the value of the trailer only. Although the sale of a boat between individuals is usually not subject to local tax for the reason earlier stated, the buyer will be unable to secure a hull number from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries until evidence is provided that all taxes have been satisfied. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provides a form that must be taken to our office for signature which will reflect whether taxes have been paid or no taxes were due (effective October 2015 our office collects boat registrations on behalf of the State).

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What about taxes at special events, craft shows and trade shows?

   Collecting sales tax at special events ensures fair treatment to all customers and vendors, and helps both the state and local economies. The vendor collects sales tax from the consumer and remits it to the appropriate taxing authority. The money collected funds schools, roads, and police and fire protection. All persons and entities making retail sales are to collect and remit local sales tax.
   Special events include fairs, craft shows, trade shows, flea markets, art shows, farm markets, concerts, festivals, carnivals, swap meets, and fund raising events. They may also include conventions, picnics, and other gatherings where retail sales are made.
What is an event? – An event is an occurrence, occasion, activity, or function at which merchandise is sold or traded or taxable services are provided.
Who is a vendor? – A vendor is defined as a person or entity selling merchandise, providing a taxable service, or attending to an informational booth. A vendor may also be referred to as a seller, exhibitor, or booth owner.
Why must I collect and remit local sales taxes? – It is the law. Provided every one complies, local sales tax ensures fair opportunity for all vendors.
Are admissions taxable? – Admissions to any place providing amusement, entertainment, or recreational services require local sales tax to be collected.
Is there local sales tax on food? – Local sales tax is required to be charged on all prepared food sales.
What if I didn’t collect local sales tax? – Local sales tax is collected on all sales. Local sales tax may be added to the price of an item or included in the price of an item. If local sales tax is included in the price of an item, the vendor must post, in a conspicuous location, a sign stating that “All prices include local sales tax”. You will be responsible for the local sales tax whether you intentionally collected it or not.

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Executive Economic Development District
There is another 2% sales tax increase to take effect July 1, 2016. Please click here to see a map of the boundaries of this district that is located within the Executive Economic Development District. This rate increase is NOT for the entire City of Sulphur. Currently, there are no businesses that are located in this district. This will appear on Column K (Executive Economic Development District) of the parish sales tax return. This increase will bring the overall rate for sales and use tax in Column K (Executive EDD) to 7.75%. The new rate will also reflect an increase of 2% hotel/motel tax on Column D (Executive Economic Development District) of the parish hotel/motel return. This increase will bring the overall rate for hotel/motel tax in Column D (Executive EDD) to 6%.

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Opelram Economic Development District
There is another 2% sales tax increase to take effect April 1, 2016. Please click here to see a map of the boundaries of this district that is located within the Opelram Economic Development District. This rate increase is NOT for the entire City of Sulphur. Currently, there are no businesses that are located in this district. This will appear on Column J (Opelram Economic Development District) of the parish sales tax return. This increase will bring the overall rate for sales and use tax in Column J (Opelram EDD) to 7.75%. The new rate will also reflect an increase of 2% hotel/motel tax on Column C (Opelram Economic Development District) of the parish hotel/motel return. This increase will bring the overall rate for hotel/motel tax in Column C (Opelram EDD) to 6%.

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Hope Economic Development District
There is another 2% sales tax increase to take effect January 1, 2016. This will appear on Column I (Hope Economic Development District) of the parish sales tax return. This increase will bring the overall rate for sales and use tax in Column I (Hope EDD) to 7.75%. The new rate will also reflect an increase of 2% hotel/motel tax on Column B (Hope Economic Development District) of the parish hotel/motel return. This increase will bring the overall rate for hotel/motel tax in Column B (Hope EDD) to 6%. Please click here to see a map of the boundaries of this district that is located within the Hope Economic Development District.This rate increase is NOT for the entire City of Sulphur. Currently, there are no businesses that are located in this district.  

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Resale Exemption Certificates DISCONTINUED at Local Level
Effective November 1, 2009, locally prepared Resale Exemption Certificates shall no longer be issued by the Calcasieu Parish Sales/Use Tax Office. Resale exemption certificates R-1064 or R-1055 will now be issued by the LA Department of Revenue. Existing retail dealers should have received their certificate(s) already while new registrants will receive them either by virtue of their business classification (NAICS Code) or through application. Since the LA Department of Revenue commenced the issuance of their Resale Exemption Certificate effective Nov. 1, 2009, the Calcasieu Parish Sales/Use Tax Office discontinued issuance of a local certificate. We advised our local dealers that they could accept the LA State Resale Exemption in lieu of a local certificate. Act 438 of the 2012 Legislative Session states that local tax collections shall accept an exemption certificate issued by the DOR. Local certificates may be requested for intra-parish activity as an exception. Calcasieu does not require dealers to have a local certificate if they have secured their state resale exemption certificate. Interested parties should visit the Department's website at www.rev.state.la.us for further information.

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Sales Tax 101 -- Free Help to Dealers
Are you a new business owner and overwhelmed by the number of forms and information you need to produce? Maybe you've been in business a while but are unsure of exactly what forms you need to complete. Our office has the answer--Sales Tax 101 is a short session offered to dealers to help answer questions and make filing returns easier. CLICK HERE to download the presentation (rates effective July 1, 2016). You may also call our office for more information or to schedule an appointment for individual assistance.

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Credit Cards
Effective September 1, 2012, credit cards are no longer accepted.

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