News for July 2011

Tax Free Weekend for Louisiana

July 14, 2011 Louisiana Tax Free

[caption id="attachment_4042" align="alignright" width="194" caption="Friday August 5th & Saturday August 6th "][/caption]

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Tax Free Weekend in Louisiana for Louisiana...

What is the Sales Tax Holiday?

The Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday provides an exemption from state sales tax on the first $2,500 of the purchase price of most individual items of tangible personal property for non-business use. The state sales tax is payable on the portion of the purchase price of any individual item in excess of $2,500. The holiday will apply to the 4 percent state sales tax, but will not apply to the sales taxes levied by parishes, municipalities, school boards, and other political subdivisions of the state. The 2011 holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 5, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 6. The statute creating the holiday establishes the dates as the first consecutive Friday and Saturday each August.

What items are eligible for exemption?

The exemption will apply statewide to all consumer purchases of tangible personal property, other than vehicles subject to license and title and meals furnished for consumption on the premises where purchased, including to-go orders, provided that the property is not for use in a business, trade, or profession.

What items are NOT eligible for exemption?

In addition to the specific exclusions in the Act for vehicles and meals, the state sales tax holiday will not apply to purchases of taxable services (such as hotel occupancy; amusement, recreational, and athletic admissions; repairs to tangible personal property; laundry, cleaning, pressing, and dyeing services; vehicle parking; the furnishing of cold storage space; printing services; and telecommunication services) or to leases or rentals of tangible personal property.

What are the conditions for exemption?

A customer will be eligible for the sales tax exemption if during the two days of each annual holiday:

  • The customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property;
  • The customer places property on layaway;
  • The customer acquires property that was previously placed on layaway; or
  • The customer places an order for immediate delivery, even if delivery must be delayed, provided that the customer has not requested delayed shipment.

Are there any special provisions?

  • The exemption is allowed on both inputs to and withdrawals from layaway.
  • Purchases during the holiday with “rain checks” issued before the three-day holiday are eligible for exemption, but purchases after the holiday with “rain checks” issued during the holiday are not eligible for exemption.
  • Orders for immediate shipment are eligible for exemption even if the shipment is after the holiday, provided that the customer does not request delayed shipment.
  • The post-holiday exchange of merchandise to effectuate changes in size, color, or correction of defects does not create a tax liability, but exchanges after the holiday for dissimilar items will be considered the purchase of new property on which the sales tax will be payable.
  • Items that are normally sold as a unit, such as dining tables and chairs, cannot be individually priced for the purpose of creating a separate eligibility cap for each individual item.
  • For a 60-day period after the holiday, dealers who issue refund or credit for the return of merchandise that was eligible for sales tax exemption during the holiday can issue refund or credit for the state sales tax on that returned merchandise only if the customers returning the property have receipts showing that the tax was actually paid on the original purchases, or the dealers are otherwise able to document that the state sales tax was paid on the original purchases.

Retailers

What is the Sales Tax Holiday?

The Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday provides an exemption from state sales tax on the first $2,500 of the purchase price of most individual items of tangible personal property for non-business use. The state sales tax is payable on the portion of the purchase price of any individual item in excess of $2,500. The holiday will apply to the 4 percent state sales tax, but will not apply to the sales taxes levied by parishes, municipalities, school boards, and other political subdivisions of the state. The 2011 holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 5, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 6. The statute creating the holiday establishes the dates as the first consecutive Friday and Saturday each August.

What items are eligible for exemption?

The exemption will apply statewide to all consumer purchases of tangible personal property, other than vehicles subject to license and title and meals furnished for consumption on the premises where purchased, including to-go orders, provided that the property is not for use in a business, trade, or profession.

What items are NOT eligible for exemption?

In addition to the specific exclusions in the Act for vehicles and meals, the state sales tax holiday will not apply to purchases of taxable services (such as hotel occupancy; amusement, recreational, and athletic admissions; repairs to tangible personal property; laundry, cleaning, pressing, and dyeing services; vehicle parking; the furnishing of cold storage space; printing services; and telecommunication services) or to leases or rentals of tangible personal property.

What are the conditions for exemption?

A customer will be eligible for the sales tax exemption if during the two days of each annual holiday:

  • The customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property;
  • The customer places property on layaway;
  • The customer acquires property that was previously placed on layaway; or
  • The customer places an order for immediate delivery, even if delivery must be delayed, provided that the customer has not requested delayed shipment.

Are there any special provisions?

  • The exemption is allowed on both inputs to and withdrawals from layaway.
  • Purchases during the holiday with “rain checks” issued before the three-day holiday are eligible for exemption, but purchases after the holiday with “rain checks” issued during the holiday are not eligible for exemption.
  • Orders for immediate shipment are eligible for exemption even if the shipment is after the holiday, provided that the customer does not request delayed shipment.
  • The post-holiday exchange of merchandise to effectuate changes in size, color, or correction of defects does not create a tax liability, but exchanges after the holiday for dissimilar items will be considered the purchase of new property on which the sales tax will be payable.
  • Items that are normally sold as a unit, such as dining tables and chairs, cannot be individually priced for the purpose of creating a separate eligibility cap for each individual item.
  • For a 60-day period after the holiday, dealers who issue refund or credit for the return of merchandise that was eligible for sales tax exemption during the holiday can issue refund or credit for the state sales tax on that returned merchandise only if the customers returning the property have receipts showing that the tax was actually paid on the original purchases, or the dealers are otherwise able to document that the state sales tax was paid on the original purchases.

How does the Cash Register Reprogramming Credit work?

Dealers who incur costs to reprogram cash registers, including computer programming, as a result of a change in the state sales and use tax rate or base shall be allowed credits on their sales tax returns of up to $25 for each cash register reprogrammed. Dealers are allowed to claim credit only for reprogramming costs invoiced to them by external providers of services, but not for internal reprogramming services rendered within their businesses by such internal persons as owners, officers, partners, or employees. Dealers whose point-of-sale cash registers are controlled from host computers can deduct the costs invoiced by external service providers to reprogram tax rate or base information in those computers, not to exceed $25 times the number of cash registers controlled from the host computers. For example, a dealer or merchant whose host computer controls 20 point-of-sale cash registers can claim credit for up to $500 in charges for reprogramming services associated with a change in the state sales tax rate or base. Dealers who do not use point-of-sale cash registers, but who instead issue printed or electronic invoices on which the invoiced tax amounts are determined from tax rate or base information housed in their computers, can deduct up to $25 in external reprogramming costs for each computer that must be reprogrammed because of a change in the state sales tax rate or base. The credit is deductible on Line 12A of the state sales and use tax return. Copies of invoices from external service providers must be attached to the tax return to support the amount of credit claimed. More detailed information about the reprogramming credit is available from Revenue Information Bulletin No. 03-009.

What are the return filing procedures?

Retailers should report exempt sales on Line 33 of the Sales Tax Return (R-1029) and write the words “Sales Tax Holiday” as the explanation. Learn More at: Louisiana Department of Rev.

witti (Women in Travel & Tourism International)

July 13, 2011 Latest News

 

The Event

Women in Travel & Tourism and The Court of Two Sisters Invites you to a special Reception and Dinner in New Orleans, in conjunction with the DMAI Annual Convention. Women in Travel & Tourism International (witti) is an exciting new organization whose mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways. Help us launch this new organization committed to promoting, connecting, and celebrating women in travel and tourism. Click here to register for the upcoming witti launch event at one of New Orleans' premier restaurants: The Court of Two Sisters in the heart of the historic French Quarter. The Organization Women in Travel & Tourism International (witti) is an exciting new organization whose mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways. The first steps to organize this dynamic group have been taken, and we are now establishing our Founder’s Circle, The women and partner organizations who will help determine the directions of the organization’s key tenet: Connecting, Supporting, and Promoting Women’s Contributions in Travel and Tourism. The specific benefits witti will offer include: 1) Networking, through conferences, a listserve, and gatherings at major tourism conferences; 2) Lead sharing; 3) Education; and 4) Community service, to entail the funding of projects that help women in developing nations develop the skills and acquire tools to establish tourism-related businesses. Women and Partner organizations in the Founder’s Circle will help shape witti’s mission and global programming as we seek to serve women in our industry.  You also will be invited as special guests to speak at the inaugural meeting of witti in Orlando, 2012, as well as benefit from listings on our website and in promotional materials. witti plans to hold two meetings annually -- at Pow Wow (incorporating former FIT Brunch founded by Sharon Gaiptman of Alaska) and annually in partnership with the ONE Travel Conference each January. Our first meeting will follow the ONE Travel Conference January 15-17 in Orlando, FL. At the Hilton Orlando, Bonnet Creek. witti will also hold special events in conjunction with other conferences held by National Tour Association, and is approaching other Associations to co-host events at their annual conferences.  And, of course, we’ll create a vibrant online community through a web site and social media where we can all click, connect, and confer. Let Them Know Get involved now by e-mailing your response and areas of service interest (i.e. membership, bylaws, communications, etc.) to Laura Mandala at Laura@MandalaResearch.com. We hope you’ll say “YES!” to becoming a part of this extraordinary group, together we will plan, strategize, and connect to help women in travel and tourism everywhere. Witti Statement witti’s mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways to serve women in the travel. witti is founded and led by Laura Mandala, managing director of Mandala Research & Consulting and former VP/Research with U.S. Travel.  witti is supported by the Collie Gorg Group (CGG), a management firm based near Washington DC specializing in growing organizations and associations.  CGG has experience with managing groups within travel and tourism and involvement with many travel, convention, and destination marketing organizations.

Tip of the Week: How to Find the Best Travel Rates

July 11, 2011 Latest News

Here is an interesting article that explains to you the best time to purchase plane tickets. Thinking of making an international visit to Louisiana? Now you should be.

http://www.farecompare.com/travel-advice/tips-from-air-travel-insiders/ (this tip brought to you by Louisiana Tax Free Shopping)

COOLinary Restaurant Promotion

July 11, 2011 Latest News

NEW ORLEANSJuly 7, 2011— New Orleans has announced the line-up of more than 35 world-class restaurants for its seventh annual COOLinary restaurant promotion, offering special two and three-course lunch menus for $20 or less and three-course dinner menus for $35 or less, August 1-31, 2011. The event celebrates the famous, authentic cuisine of New Orleans and its culinary community, which according to Tom Fitzmorris and www.nomenu.com, currently boasts 1,205 restaurants. The COOLinary promotion runs throughout the month of August, coinciding with New Orleans summer hotel rates, a year-round unparalleled nightlife scene and one-of-a-kind attractions—making for the perfect summer vacation destination. “Food is at the core of New Orleans’ culture, and for the past seven years, COOLinary has extended a special invitation for visitors to dine at the city’s most prestigious and beloved restaurants,” said Kim Priez, Vice President of Tourism Sales for the New Orleans CVB. “This promotion creates an opportunity to enjoy signature meals from our award-winning chefs, all inspired by fresh Louisiana produce and products.” Restaurants participating in COOLinary 2011 include: 5 Fifty 5, 7 on Fulton, Antoine’s Restaurant, Bayona, The Bombay Club, Bon Ton Café, Bourbon House, Brennan’s Restaurant, Brigtsen’s, Café Adelaide, Café Degas, Café Giovanni, Commander’s Palace, Charlie’s Steak House, The Court of Two Sisters, The Crazy Lobster, Desire Seafood & Oyster Bar, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Emeril’s New Orleans, Feast, GW FINS, Latil’s Landing of Houmas House Plantation & Gardens, Lüke, M Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton, Mike’s on the Avenue, Mulates Cajun Restaurant, Muriel’s Jackson Square, One Restaurant & Lounge, Palace Café, The Pelican Club, Roux on Orleans, Royal Palm, Restaurant August, Sazerac Restaurant, Ste. Marie and Tujague’s Restaurant. Visit www.coolinaryneworleans.com to see the growing list of restaurants and to learn more about COOLinary New Orleans. Unique specials as well as the latest information and menus from participating restaurants are also available on the official COOLinary website.