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Tax Facts Vol. 9, No. 3

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

Department of Finance

Vol. 9,  No. 3

July 1998

The applicability of Sales Tax & Occupancy Tax on Hotel Rooms

The Sales and Use Tax Ordinance defines "Sales of Services" to include the furnishing of rooms by hotels and tourist camps as a service subject to sales tax. The term "hotel" is defined as any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing sleeping rooms, cottages or cabins to transient guests when such establishment consists of six or more guests (sleeping) rooms at a single location. The term "tourist camp" means any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing rooms, cottages or cabins to tourists or other transient guests when the number of guest rooms, cottages or cabins at a single location is six or more. The classification is determined by the type of guest (transient or permanent) accommodated and the number of units at each location. It is immaterial whether or not cooking and eating facilities are provided. If an establishment contains less than six sleeping rooms, cottages or cabins, sales tax does not apply.

Sales tax applies only to charges made to transient guests. Whether the guests of a particular establishment are transient or not must be determined on the basis of the facts of each case. A guest who pays for a room by the month and who resides in the establishment for 60 consecutive days shall be considered a permanent guest and sales tax would not apply. The hotel-motel occupancy tax does not apply to a guest who rents a room for 30 or more consecutive days or on an annual contract basis. Sales taxes and hotel-motel occupancy taxes paid to an establishment during the first 60 or 30 days referred to above are not refundable.

Employees of the federal, state or local government are not exempt from the payment of sales tax or hotel-motel occupancy tax when on non-government travel. However, room charges billed directly to and paid by Federal, State or Local Governments are not subject to state or local sales tax. Room charges billed directly to and paid by the Federal Government are also not subject to hotel-motel occupancy tax.

Recently, the State of Louisiana issued a directive applicable to the state sales taxes on hotel rooms. This directive does not affect sales or occupancy taxes levied and collected by this parish. When an employee of the United States Government or of the State of Louisiana or one of its political subdivisions can document that they are engaging a hotel room on direct orders from their government employer, and that the room expenses are reimbursed by the employer, the State Department of Revenue will consider this sale of lodging services to the employee to be the same as a sale made directly to the government employer, regardless of the manner of payment. Documentation can be in the form of either signed written travel orders accompanied by an exemption certificate signed by the employee or employer or by the presentation of a signed exemption certificate signed by both the employee and their government employer. These procedures must be followed at the time the hotel room is occupied and the hotel must retain documentation. Please also note that these procedures will result in an exemption of the state sales tax only, it does not apply to City-Parish sales tax nor to the 3% hotel-motel occupancy tax.

Sales tax due dates

Following are the sales tax due dates for the third quarter of 1998:

For the
Month of
July
August
September
Tax Due
Date
August 1
September 1
October 1
Delinquent
Date
August 21
September 22
October 21

Returns bearing a U.S. postmark on or after the above delinquent dates will be assessed penalty, interest and loss of vendor's compensation. Remember to mail your return early.

Taxpayer topics

Tax Facts is issued quarterly by the Department of Finance/Revenue Division to provide information concerning developments and policies regarding the collection of local sales tax within East Baton Rouge Parish.

The Revenue Division invites any suggestions, questions or comments that you would like addressed in future issues of Tax Facts. Please address these items to:

City of Baton Rouge
Department of Finance
P. O. Box 2590
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-2590

ATTENTION:
Steve Thomas,
Assistant Revenue Manager

Need help?

Taxpayers may call the Revenue Division to receive assistance at the following telephone numbers between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Sales/Use Tax
Occupational License Tax
Business License and Permit Office
Fax Number
(225) 389-3084
(225) 389-3278
(225) 389-3278
(225) 389-5369