The 2016 Louisiana State Sales Tax
What is the 2016 Louisiana Sales Tax Rate?
The Louisiana state sales tax rate is 4%, and the average LA sales tax after local surtaxes is 8.91%.
- Groceries are exempt from the Louisiana sales tax
- Counties and cities can charge an additional local sales tax of up to 7%, for a maximum possible combined sales tax of 11%
- Louisiana has 667 special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
- Louisiana has a lower state sales tax than 92.3% of states
Parishes (equivalent to counties) and cities in Louisiana are allowed to charge an additional local sales tax on top of the Iowa state sales tax. Baton Rouge, for example, has a 5% city sales tax on top of the Louisiana sales tax.
A total of .03% of the 4% state sales tax goes to tourism districts, while the rest is allocated to the state government. The Louisiana government regularly audits merchants to ensure sales tax compliance.
If you are a Louisiana business owner, you can learn more about how to collect and file your Louisiana sales tax return at the 2016 Louisiana Sales Tax Handbook .
Louisiana Sales Tax Exemptions
Louisiana doesn't collect sales tax on purchases of most groceries. In most states, necessities such as groceries, clothes, and drugs are exempted from the sales tax or charged at a lower sales tax rate.
Some items may not be eligible for these reduced sales tax rates, such as expensive clothing, unhealthy food or drinks like soda, and certain non-essential pharmaceuticals. Unlike many states, Louisiana treats both candy and soda as groceries for sales tax purposes. Other items including gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes are subject to various Louisiana excise taxes in addition to the sales tax.
Louisiana has five sales tax holidays, during which certain items can be purchased sales-tax free. For more details, see the Louisiana sales tax holiday calendar.
In some states, items like alcohol and prepared food (including restaurant meals and some premade supermarket items) are charged at a higher sales tax rate. The LA sales tax applicable to the sale of cars, boats, and real estate sales may also vary by jurisdiction. Louisiana's sales tax rates for commonly exempted items are as follows:
$100 Restaurant Dinner
$100 of groceries
$100 in clothes
$100 of consumer products
$4.00 sales tax
$0.00 sales tax
$4.00 sales tax
$4.00 sales tax
Louisiana Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
Unlike a Value Added Tax (VAT), the Louisiana sales tax only applies to end consumers of the product. Individuals and companies who are purchasing goods for resale, improvement, or as raw materials can use a Louisiana Sales Tax Exemption Form to buy these goods tax-free.
Companies or individuals who wish to make a qualifying purchase tax-free must have a Louisiana state sales tax exemption certificate, which can be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Revenue . On making an exempt purchase, Exemption Certificate holders may submit a completed Louisiana Sales Tax Exemption Form to the vendor instead of paying sales tax.
Sales tax exemption forms (as well as business sales tax id applications, sales tax returns, and the full Louisiana sales tax code) can be downloaded from the Louisiana Department of Revenue here .
Louisiana Sales Tax Calculator
Whenever you make a purchase at a licensed Louisiana retailer, your sales tax will be automatically calculated and added to your bill. To lookup the sales tax due on any purchase, use our Louisiana sales tax calculator.
Louisiana Use Tax
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If you buy goods and are not charged the Louisiana Sales Tax by the retailer, such as with online and out-of-state purchases, you are supposed to pay the 4% sales tax (less any foreign sales tax paid) for these items yourself as the Louisiana Use Tax.
Your are expected to voluntarily list your liable purchases on a Louisiana Use Tax Return, which should be attached with payment to your Louisiana Income Tax Return. Historically, compliance rates with with the Louisiana Use Tax have been low.
Louisiana Local Sales Taxes
Louisiana allows counties and cities to collect a maximum local sales tax of 3.00% on all non-exempt purchases within their jurisdiction. The local sales tax is collected in addition to the Louisiana sales tax of 4%, so the actual sales tax you pay on purchases in Louisiana may vary between 4% and 7.000% depending on which county or city the sale is made in.
You can find local sales tax rates on our list of Louisiana local sales taxes by county, city, and zip code, or you can lookup your local sales tax rates with our free Louisiana sales tax lookup tool. If you need to download Louisiana local sales tax rates, visit the Louisiana sales tax database download page.
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