AP News

Louisiana's state tax holiday next week

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's upcoming, two-day state sales tax holiday is aimed at helping small businesses recover from the recession.

On Aug. 3-4, shoppers can make purchases free of the 4 percent state sales tax. The exemption applies to the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item. Local sales taxes will apply unless the local taxing authority allows its own exemption. The state tax holiday does not apply to vehicles, meals, admission to events and taxable services such as hotel occupancy or rentals.

"The sales tax holiday is kind of like the day after Thanksgiving," said Rene Amar, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. "It gets people fired up and puts them in the mood to shop, and that's what we need right now.

"The more we can encourage people to spend money and shop at our small businesses, the more jobs we'll save, and the faster our economy will recover."

The Louisiana Department of Revenue encourages shoppers to retain receipts for school supplies, uniforms and educational equipment required by schools. These expenses may be eligible for tax deductions on 2012 Louisiana Individual Income Tax Returns due May 15, 2013. To claim the deductions, you must be able to claim the student as a dependent on your state individual income tax return, and you must be able to provide documentation for the expenses.

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