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When should I collect Louisiana sales taxes or another state's?

We live in an era in which most brick-and-mortar retail stores also sell online in an effort to get their products in customers' hands worldwide. This increase in e-commerce during the past two decades had led lawmakers to update sales tax laws to recover revenue that they would have otherwise lost because of how business is now done.

If your company's headquarters are in Louisiana and your customer purchases an item while here or has it shipped to an address within the state, then you should collect taxes for here.

Most retailers are only required to collect another state's sales taxes if they have some type of physical presence such as a corporate office, store or warehouse in that same state. Some jurisdictions have laws on the books that serve as an exception to this rule, though.

Even if you haven't set up operations in a particular state, you may still be required to collect their sales tax if you maintain an affiliate relationship with a distributor or retailer there.

If the entire transaction takes place online, then tax authorities generally consider your shipping address to be place that you operate your business from. You'll be expected to pay sales taxes on purchases made or shipped within that same state's borders.

Any sales tax that you collect is supposed to be sent to the appropriate state's department of revenue on a monthly basis. If you fail to do so, then you could lose your right to make sales there and also be ordered to pay steep fines as well.

These tax rates often change. Regulations surrounding when they're supposed to be collected do as well. A Lafayette tax law attorney can provide knowledgeable assistance to help you understand what you're responsible for collecting when your business extends beyond Louisiana's own state borders.

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Stephen Hawley Myers, LLC
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