Louisiana's Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane and Pandemic Recovery is Underway

Holiday shoppers can avoid Louisiana sales tax on purchases of most items during the state's newest tax-free period.

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Attention all Louisiana (opens in new tab) shoppers! The state's newest sales tax holiday has begun. This one-time event takes place on November 20 and 21 in the Pelican State. It's designed to provide tax relief for Louisiana residents recovering from Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the sales tax holiday, the state's 4.45% sales tax will not be charged on the first $2,500 of most consumer (not business) purchases. This is just in time for bargain hunters shopping for the holidays. Be aware, though, that motor vehicle sales and purchases of meals (either to eat-in or to-go) don't count and will still be charged sales tax.

The tax exemption generally applies to layaway sales and to purchases for products that won't be delivered until after November 21. Items purchased during the sales tax holiday period with "rain checks" also qualify for exemption, regardless of when the rain check is issued. However, a rain check issued during the exemption period doesn't qualify for the sales tax break if the item sold is actually purchased after November 21.

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No tax is due if you buy something during the sales tax holiday and exchange it later for an essentially identical item of a different size, color, etc. However, sales tax is due if you return something after the sales tax holiday and receive credit on the purchase of a different item.

For 60 days after the sales tax holiday, no credit or refund of sales tax will be given if you return an item unless (1) you provide a receipt or invoice showing that the state sales tax was paid, or (2) the retailer has sufficient documentation showing that the tax was paid on the item purchased.

For a complete list of 2020 sales tax holidays in Louisiana and throughout the country, see Sales Tax Holidays in 2020. Happy shopping!

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.