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Louisiana Department of Revenue Tracking and Billing Tobacco Purchases from Out of State Vendors

April 20, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


BATON ROUGE, LA – As part of an ongoing campaign to enforce Louisiana’s Consumer Use and Excise Tax laws, LDR is tracking tobacco products imported into the state by businesses and individual consumers. Current and future sales audits are based on information obtained from third parties such as internet vendors, catalog sales and other businesses.

Stressing the importance of tracking these sales, Virginia Burton, Director of LDR Office Audit said, “The purchase of tobacco from out of state vendors with intention to bypass Louisiana’s tobacco tax can harm or otherwise negatively impact Louisiana retailers and wholesalers… and this simply will not be tolerated. However, it is often the case that individual consumers are unaware that Louisiana, no differently than other states in the nation, protects its local retailers through a Consumer Use Tax and associated Excise Taxes on out of state purchases of products intended for use within our state.”

To date over 2,000 tax notices have been issued to purchasers of tobacco products from out of state vendors. These notices represent a combined taxpayer obligation of over 1.5 million dollars that would otherwise have been collected through consumers patronizing in-state retailers. Audits are planned for businesses and individuals that have and are currently receiving large shipments of untaxed tobacco products. Records of purchases being tracked extend back to the year 2003.

The forms to remit payment of Consumer Use and Excise taxes due LDR for out of state purchases can be found by visiting the LDR website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/sections/taxforms. Under the business category, select the excise and sales tax options to retrieve forms R-1035 (Consumer Use) and R-5629 (Excise Sales Tax).

LDR will continue to notify businesses and consumers of revenue obligations associated with untaxed tobacco purchases.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue’s mission is to administer the applicable tax laws of the state of Louisiana as well as regulations concerning alcohol, tobacco and charitable gaming.
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