Focus on Business Newsletter
Technology and TaxesRead Time: 1 min
The Louisiana Department of Revenue has unveiled “ParishE-File.com,” a new online tool that is intended to facilitate secure electronic filing of multiple parish sales and use tax returns and remittances to local taxing authorities on one centralized website and brings Louisiana closer to compliance with the Streamlined Sales Tax effort. The Streamlined Sales Tax effort is an ongoing effort by a number of states to avoid Congressional action to prohibit the imposition of sales and use taxes on electronic commerce by voluntarily simplifying and modernizing sales and use tax collection and administration procedures among the cooperating states. In the United States Supreme Court case of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), the Supreme Court discussed earlier case law that suggested that taxation of mail order commerce was unconstitutional in light of the complexity inherent in reporting and remitting to a multiplicity of taxing jurisdictions. The Streamlined Sales Tax effort has included efforts to simplify remittance and collection by a number of states with not much success to-date. Nevertheless, the new Parish E-File system appears to be a step by Louisiana in that direction.
There are no fees associated with the use of the new service. The service offers a registration feature that allows taxpayers to subscribe to its services and to maintain their own identifying and demographic information. The primary benefit of the new system is that Louisiana businesses and nonresident taxpayers may file and remit sales and use taxes in multiple parishes at one time by accessing Louisiana state forms as well as the forms in use in all 64 Louisiana parishes. In order to register, a taxpayer must provide an e-mail address, a bank account and routing number and tax account numbers for all returns to be filed. See https://parishe-file.revenue.louisiana.gov/. On January 09, 2009, the Louisiana Department of Revenue announced that the new system had surpassed $100 million in sales tax collections for local governments in its first three months of operations.
Taxpayers may still choose to file directly with a parish or municipality. The City of New Orleans, for example, has its own Tax Collection “Web Portal,” which purports to offer taxpayers a “secure, reliable way” to pay their monthly or quarterly sales, hotel/motel, and parking taxes and to renew occupational licenses online. The Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators maintains a very useful website at http://www.laota.com/ which has links to parish websites and rate information. And, of course, taxpayers may still file the “old fashioned” way by downloading tax forms and mailing them in. If the taxpayer is not required to pay through electronic means, they may also say “and the check is in the mail.