Louisiana – State Supreme Court Considers Sales Tax Case

The Louisiana Supreme Court is currently deliberating a case that could have an enormous impact on marketplace facilitators in Louisiana.

Who owes the tax on marketplace sales?

The state’s highest court is being asked to decide who’s responsible for collecting and remitting Jefferson Parish sales tax on marketplace sales (essentially, who’s the “dealer”). Is it the marketplace facilitator, Walmart? Or is it the individual marketplace seller?

Plaintiff Newell Normand, the sheriff and ex officio tax collector for Jefferson Parish, claims the responsibility lies with Walmart. In 2017, he handed Walmart a bill for more than $1.8 million in unpaid Jefferson Parish tax for the period of 2009 through 2015.

Walmart collected and remitted Jefferson Parish taxes on its own sales into the district during that time, but not on the sales it facilitated for marketplace sellers. The company is fighting the assessment; it insists the individual marketplace sellers are the dealers, and thus responsible for sales tax.

Walmart isn’t the first marketplace facilitator to take this stance, and it isn’t the first to be challenged on this issue. Amazon and South Carolina have been embroiled in a lengthy battle over marketplace sales tax. Recently, a South Carolina administrative law judge found in favor of the Department of Revenue, though Amazon could still appeal the decision.

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cpa practice advisor
sales and use tax compliance | Louisiana supreme court considers sales tax case
by gail cole
december 9, 2019