Frequently Asked Questions
Did the new sales tax changes affect the purchase of boats?
Yes, the state sales tax rate decreased from 5% to 4.45%, effective July 1, 2018. Also, isolated or occasional sales* from individuals previously exempt from taxation were taxed at 4% on purchases from April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016.
*Definitions can be found under the FAQ How do I know if I owe sales tax on the boat I just purchased?
How do I know if I owe sales tax on the boat I just purchased?
Sales tax owed will depend on the type of sale.
Isolated or Casual Sales:
- Taxed at 4% on purchases from April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016. Exempt on purchases prior to April 1, 2016, or after June 30, 2016.
- Louisiana R.S.47:301(10)(c)(ii) excludes isolated or occasional sales from the definition of "retail sale", when the property is sold by persons who do not hold themselves out to be dealers of such items.
- Person to person sales of boats (includes out-of-state) - a boat purchased from a prior owner or someone not in the business of selling boats is considered an isolated or occasional sale.
- The prior owner’s title, certificate of origin, or Wildlife and Fisheries registration certificate must be properly signed over to the new owner with a notarized bill of sale signed by both parties.
- Taxed at 4.45% on purchases made on or after July 1, 2018 and taxed at 5% for purchases between April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.
- R.S. 47:303(A) provides that the tax imposed by R.S. 47:302 shall be collectible from all "persons" as defined in the sales tax law who are engaged as "dealers", as that term is also defined in the sales tax law.
The term "dealer" is very broadly defined. Part of the "dealer" definition at R.S. 47:301(4)(h) provides that the following persons shall be "dealers". Any person engaging in business in the taxing jurisdiction. "Engaging in business in the taxing jurisdiction" means and includes any of the following methods of transacting business: maintaining directly, indirectly, or through a subsidiary, an office, distribution house, sales house, warehouse, or other place of business or by having an agent, salesman, or solicitor operating within the taxing jurisdiction under the authority of the seller or its subsidiary irrespective of whether such place of business, agent, salesman, or solicitor is located in such taxing jurisdiction permanently or temporarily or whether such seller or subsidiary is qualified to do business in such taxing jurisdiction, or any person who makes deliveries of tangible personal property into the taxing jurisdiction other than by a common or contract carrier.
Consignment sales and auction sales are considered sales by dealers.
- Sales tax must be paid to the dealer or builder and must be a separate line on the bill of sale and/or invoice.
- The use of a broker will not necessarily disqualify a transaction from qualifying as an isolated or occasional sale as long as the seller meets the following criteria:
- the seller does not hold him/herself out to be engaged in the business of selling boat or vessels;
- the seller does not have a history of frequent, regular and repeated sales of boats or vessels;
- the seller maintains title, if the boat or vessel is titled, or possession, if the boat or vessel is not titled; and
- the seller purchased the boat or vessel for his/her own use. Further, to qualify a transaction as an isolated or occasional sale under the provisions of La. R.S. 47:301(10)(c)(ii)(bb), a buyer must submit documentation, such as a cancelled check from the seller to buyer and a bill of sale indicating title is being transferred or the prior owner’s certificate of registration showing his or her transfer of ownership to the buyer.
Is there a form required by the Louisiana Department of Revenue (“Department”) to register a boat?
Is there an application or processing fee to file Form R-1331?
No, there is not an application or processing fee to file Form R-1331.
What documentation is required to be submitted with Form R-1331?
For a purchase from an individual:
A copy of the notarized bill of sale and a copy of the prior owner’s title or certificate of origin or Wildlife and Fisheries registration certificate properly signed over to the new owner, if applicable, must accompany Form R-1331.
For a purchase from a dealer or builder:
Any sales tax due must be paid to the dealer or builder for payment to the Department. The tax paid must be listed on the invoice or billing statement and Form R-1331 should be completed and signed by both the dealer or builder and the purchaser certifying that such payment was made.
For a new resident moving to Louisiana from another state:
Form R-1331 must also be signed by a tax officer or other authorized representative of the Department and a representative of the parish. Proof that taxes were paid will be required (bill of sale, invoice, etc.). If any sales taxes are due, they must be paid directly to the Department and/or such payment noted on the signed certificate.
Why do I need to submit Form R-1331 to both the state and the parish before I can get my boat registered with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries?
Form R-1331 must be completed and signed by both the state and the parish to certify that any applicable Louisiana sales tax obligations have been satisfied before submitting an application for a boating license to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 47:303(D).
Do I need Form R-1331 signed by the state before it is signed by the local parish?
No, since Form R-1331 is often submitted by mail or fax, it is recommended, although not required, that the R-1331 be signed by the parish before submitting it to the Department. However the form must be signed by both the state and parish before the form is submitted to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
I purchased my boat from someone in another state and Form R-1331 has a space for the seller to sign. Does the seller have to sign before it can be submitted?
Form R-1331 does not have to be signed by the seller as long as you have the required notarized bill of sale and the title, certificate of origin, or Wildlife and Fisheries registration certificate signed by you the purchaser and the seller, if applicable. The notarized bill of sale must be signed by both the purchaser and the seller.
Do I include the boat trailer on the Form R-1331?
No, the boat trailer must be registered with the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles and should be listed as a separate item on the notarized bill of sale and/or invoice, if applicable.
What is the due date for the Form R-1331 to be submitted to both the state and the parish?
Form R-1331 is due no later than the 20th* of the following month in which the boat was purchased.
- For a purchase date of February 1, the R-1331 and any applicable payment would be due no later than March 20.
- For a purchase date of February 28, the R-1331 and any applicable payment would be due no later than March 20.
*When the 20th falls on a non-business day (weekend or holiday), the due date becomes the next business day.
Do I have to complete Form R-1331 for the purchase of a Jet Ski?
Yes, because the Jet Ski must be registered with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Will I be assessed late fees, penalties, and interest for late filing?
Late fees, penalties, and interest will be assessed if Form R-1331 is received after the due date of the purchase.
Sales taxes are due and payable to the Department on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month in which the tax became effective per R.S. 47:306(A). For example, a return becomes delinquent on the day after the due date. If the return is filed late, taxpayers will incur a delinquent penalty of 5 percent of the tax due for each 30 days or fraction thereof of delinquency, not to exceed 25 percent of the net tax due.
NOTE – In addition to the delinquent penalties reported above, a taxpayer may also incur a negligence penalty if circumstances indicate willful negligence or intentional disregard of rules and regulations. Also, an examination fee may be imposed in the event the Department is required to issue a billing notice necessitated by the filing or lack thereof.
Interest on the tax liability is assessed from the due date through the payment received date. Interest will continue to accrue until the tax due is paid in full. Refer to Interest Rate Schedule Collected on Unpaid Taxes, Form R-1111, for applicable monthly interest rates. Form R-1111 is available on the Department’s website at http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/Forms.
Where do I send Form R-1331 and required documentation?
The completed Form R-1331 and all required documentation can be sent to the Department by:
Louisiana Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 3278
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3278
Attn: Boat Registration
Walk-ins are welcome with no appointment necessary during normal business hours
M - F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Department's office located at 617 N. Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70821 or 1450 Poydras St., Ste. 800, New Orleans, LA 70122.
The Department does not administer or collect sales tax for the parish.
How do I submit payment for sales tax?
Sales tax payments due to the state may be remitted with the Department Form R-1331 when submitted by mail. When the R-1331 and required documentation are submitted by fax or email, a notification of tax due will be sent to the purchaser and the payment may be remitted electronically or by payment voucher as instructed in the notice. The approved R-1331 will not be released until the payment has been fully processed and posted to the account.
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