Tax Services Sales Tax Refunds: Disaster-Related Sales Tax Relief
 
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In August 2016, areas of South Louisiana experienced record-breaking rain fall leading to severe flooding. In the aftermath of this event, you may qualify for sales tax relief. Tangible personal property a part of and used in a person’s home, apartment, or homestead that was destroyed by a federally declared natural disaster will be eligible for a disaster-related sales tax refund.

In order to claim a disaster-related refund, a claim for refund must be made on or before the end of the third calendar year following the calendar year in which the property was destroyed (i.e., for this disaster, by December 31, 2019).

Discussion

Disaster-Related Sales Tax Relief
Pursuant to La. Rev. Stat. 47:315.1, a sales tax refund is available for any tangible personal property on which Louisiana sales tax had previously been paid by the owner of the property that was destroyed by a natural disaster. In order to qualify, the property must be a part of or and used in a person’s home, apartment, or homestead and must have been destroyed by a natural disaster occurring in Louisiana that is subsequently declared a disaster eligible for federal relief by the President. Importantly, this tangible personal property must be movable in order to qualify for the sales tax relief, such as clothing, furniture, and appliances not permanently attached to a house or other building.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has also issued a nonexclusive list of items that will not qualify for a sales tax refund:

  • Property owned by corporations, partnership, or other types of legal entities as well as property owned by individuals for business use;
  • Items which were purchased out of state and on which no Louisiana sales tax was paid at the time of purchase;
  • Items received as gifts;
  • Immovable property, such as houses, buildings, central heating or cooling systems and other fixtures connected to the house or building that qualify as immovable property; and,
  • Automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, boats, boat trailers, factory-built homes, ATVs, and other vehicles along with recreational property such water or snow skis, golfing or tennis equipment as these are deemed to be items used away from the home.

For qualifying property, the amount of the refund will be equal to sales tax paid on the original purchase of the destroyed item and not the sales tax paid on any replacement item. Furthermore, a refund is not available for any portion of the loss that was reimbursed by insurance, other disaster relief funds, or any other source.

Procedure for Claiming Sales Tax Refunds

In order to claim a disaster-related sales tax refund, a claim for refund must be made on or before the end of the third calendar year following the calendar year in which the property was destroyed. In this case, for disasters occurring in 2016, the claim must be filed by December 31, 2019. The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Forms R-1362, R-1362D, and R-1362S which must be completed and submitted in order to claim the sales tax refund. Those forms, along with the instructions for completion, are available here.

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