On February 8, 2023, Louisiana released a Remote Sellers Information Bulletin draft intended to clarify that, under current statute, marketplace facilitators are always considered to be remote sellers in the state, regardless of their physical presence or affiliate nexus.
Generally, the main remote seller rule for dealers and retailers making sales into Louisiana is: if the dealer or retailer does not have a physical presence in the state (e.g. a brick-and-mortar store, employees, etc.) nor an affiliate relationship in the state, then the sales those dealers and retailers make are remote sales for sales tax compliance purposes, and sales tax collected for both the state-level and the local-level on those sales should be remitted entirely to the Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers.
Otherwise, taxable Louisiana-sourced sales made by dealers and retailers with physical presence, affiliate nexus, or from physical locations within Louisiana should collect the appropriate sales tax and remit it to the applicable taxing jurisdiction directly—either the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the individual taxing parish(es), or both.
Further, both remote sellers and Louisiana-based merchants making sales through marketplace facilitators may rely on the marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax on those sales. However, sellers making taxable sales directly to consumers that are not facilitated through a marketplace are responsible for collecting and remitting the sales tax to the appropriate taxing jurisdictions themselves on those direct sales. So, a seller may have some sales and sales tax reported to the state by a marketplace facilitator while also filing their own separate sales tax returns in Louisiana for direct sales they make to their customers that are not through the marketplace.
But the compliance rules and definitions for marketplace facilitators themselves were left a little ambiguous in the governing statutes. This Remote Sellers Information Bulletin draft aims to remove that ambiguity by defining all marketplace facilitators as “remote sellers” in the state of Louisiana, even if they have a physical presence or an affiliation with another physically present entity in the state.
This clarification of the definition of a marketplace facilitator in Louisiana will make sales tax compliance for marketplace facilitators much simpler, as they generally will only ever need to file a single return with the Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers—this applies both to the marketplace facilitators’ direct-to-customer sales and the sales they facilitate for marketplace sellers. This will consolidate the jurisdictions that marketplace facilitators remit to into one filing rather than them having to remit and file separate returns with all applicable individual parishes for the local-level sales taxes, plus an additional return with the state for the state-level sales tax.
This updated guidance comes not even a year after the Louisiana legislature passed two bills creating a multi-parish audit program, where the parishes can contract with the Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers to authorize the Commission to collect local sales taxes in one central system. Both those bills and these updates to clarify marketplace facilitator and remote seller definitions are an ongoing effort of the state to try to provide clarity and simplification to current sales and use tax laws.
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