Automobile Rental Tax

R.S. 47:551 imposes a three percent automobile rental tax (2½ percent state tax and ½ percent local tax) on automobiles rented in Louisiana for periods of 29 days or less.

This tax is separate from the 4.45 percent state sales tax imposed by R.S. 47:301(7) on leases and rentals of tangible personal property, which includes motor vehicles. The sales tax is reported on the sales tax return, Form R-1029 .

Who Must File?

Every dealer who rents automobiles in Louisiana for periods of 29 days or less must collect and remit the tax in addition to any other applicable tax, including sales tax. For the purpose of the tax, automobiles are defined as vehicles designed primarily to transport passengers and their baggage, including vans that are rated for less than nine passengers. The tax is not applicable to the rental of pickup trucks.

Act 14 of the 2016 First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature reinstated the provisions of Revised Statute 47:551 to impose the tax effective April 1, 2016. The tax was previously in effect from August 1, 1990 through June 30, 2012.

Rate of Tax

Three percent (2 ½ percent state tax and ½ percent local tax)

Date Payment and Return Due

The return is due on the 20th day of the month following the close of the reporting period. All of the administrative provisions that apply to sales tax, including interest, penalty, and vendor's compensation, also apply to this tax.

Basis of Tax

The tax applies to automobile rentals of 29 days or less, with certain exceptions:

  1. An automobile rented by an insurance company or an automobile repair dealer as a replacement vehicle for a customer's vehicle that is being repaired, or an automobile rented by an individual as a replacement for their own vehicle that is being repaired.

  2. An automobile rented for 30 days or more. However, a long-term contract that is cancelled and results in a term of less than 30 days will be subject to the tax.

  3. An automobile that is rented with a driver furnished by the rentor.

The tax is due and reported for the month during which the rental proceeds are collected from the rentee, regardless of the date of actual rental.