Tax Policy News

December 2012

The Comptroller's office publishes this online newsletter to keep you informed about Texas taxes and what is happening in the Tax Policy Division. Tax Policy News provides general information and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

In This Issue...

Coin-Operated Amusement Machine Tax

REMINDER! Renewal Applications were Due Nov. 30

Applications to renew coin-operated amusement machine General Business Licenses, Import Licenses, Repair Licenses and Registration Certificates were due Nov. 30, as announced in the September 2012 Tax Policy News.

Applicants who filed and paid all fees and taxes by the Nov. 30 due date, but who have not received a license or registration certificate, may continue to operate their machines after Dec. 31, unless notified by our office of a problem with the renewal. Coin-operated amusement machine operators who did not receive their renewal packets should contact our office.

Late Filing Penalties and Fees

A renewal application filed after the due date may result in the license or registration certificate being issued after Dec. 31 when the 2012 license or registration certificate expires. Taxpayers who filed their renewal applications late cannot operate amusement machines until the 2013 license or registration certificate is issued. A person who operates amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, or with an expired license or registration certificate, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Penalty fees on late filers are:

  • $50 on renewal applications filed after the due date but before the license or registration certificate expires on Dec. 31;
  • one-and-a-half times the annual license or registration fee when filed Jan. 1 through March 31; and
  • twice the annual license or registration fee when filed April 1 or after.

A $60 occupation tax is also required for each coin-operated amusement machine that is "exhibited or displayed on location." An occupation tax permit sticker (decal) must be affixed to each machine in use.

For more information, see our website and our Coin-Operated Amusement Machine Regulation and Taxation publication, along with Occupations Code Sections 2153.401 and 2153.406.

Franchise Tax

REMINDER! Entities Ending Their Registrations by Dec. 31

Franchise tax entities that wish to end their registration will need to do so with the Texas Secretary of State by Dec. 31, 2012. If the entity fails to terminate by Dec. 31, 2012, they will be liable for a 2013 franchise tax report. Any return filed after the due date is subject to the $50 late filing fee. See the Texas Franchise Tax section for more information on filing.

Sales Tax

REMINDER! Yearly, Quarterly and Monthly Filers

The annual sales tax peak is fast approaching! Jan. 22, 2013, is the sales tax due date for all sales taxpayers, whether they file monthly, quarterly or yearly. Call volume to our Tax Assistance call center increases greatly during January, and callers may experience a longer than normal wait to reach a tax analyst. The phone number for sales tax assistance is 1-800-252-5555. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Revised Publications

Sales Tax

The sales tax publications below have recently been revised. Our publications are intended as a general guide and not as a comprehensive resource on the subjects covered. They are not a substitute for legal advice.

Other News

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a special federal credit for certain persons who work. The credit reduces the amount of income tax a qualifying taxpayer owes (if any) and is intended to offset some of the increases in living expenses and Social Security taxes.

As part of the Comptroller's campaign to publicize the federal EITC program, we are asking employers to share the Earned Income Tax Credit section of our website with their employees. For more information, call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040.


Effective Rules

State Sales and Use Tax

The following rule became effective Dec. 3, 2012:

Rule 3.365, Sales Tax Holiday – Clothing, Shoes and School Supplies