taxes

Tax Policy News

March 2013

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...

Franchise Tax

REMINDER – Annual Franchise Tax Reports are Due in May

The 2013 annual franchise tax report is due Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Visit our extension request overview for information about requesting additional time to file.

Sales Tax

REMINDER – Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday is Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is May 27 this year. The holiday coincides with the annual Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday (May 25-27) when Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales and use taxes on purchases of certain energy-efficient products.

REMINDER – No Summer Break for Sales Tax Reports

Many schools and school-related organizations forget summer sales tax filings when school is out for the summer. It's important for schools, PTAs, booster clubs and other school organizations with sales tax permits to remember that taxpayers must file their monthly or quarterly reports during the school summer break.

It is also important for outgoing officers from one school year to inform the incoming officers for the new school year of the due dates and to transfer corresponding sales records and unremitted tax collected so the sales tax reports are filed on time.

These reports are due and returns must be filed, even if the organization has no sales for the reporting period or if all of its sales are nontaxable. A $50 penalty is assessed on late returns, even if no tax is due.

Public Outreach

Alcohol Reporting

The Comptroller's office was asked to provide a speaker to discuss alcohol sales reporting requirements for wineries at the 2013 Annual Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Donald Dillard spoke to the association about reporting requirements stemming from the passage of House Bill 11 in 2011. Interested persons can learn more about alcohol reporting requirements on our website.

Agriculture Exemptions

The Texas Chapter of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives requested a speaker for their convention about sales tax exemptions available for farmers and ranchers, and how legislation in 2011 changed them. Al Van Allen spoke to the convention about the new law, which required persons claiming an agricultural exemption to obtain a registration number from the Comptroller. He also fielded questions about the difference between processing and storing grains for tax purposes; farm equipment and electricity; and other seasonal issues. See our "Texas Taxes for Agricultural and Timber Industries" web page for more information about these and other exemptions.

Recent Tax-Related Website Updates

Publication

The Spanish version of Fairs, Festivals, Markets and Shows (Pub. 96-211) is now available online.

Rules

Proposed Rules

Franchise Tax

The following rule was submitted for filing with the Secretary of State with a publication date of March 15, 2013. The comment period ends 30 days after publication.

Rule 3.588 Franchise Tax – Margin: Cost of Goods Sold

Cigarette Tax

The following rule was submitted for filing with the Secretary of State with a publication date of March 22, 2013. The comment period ends 30 days after publication.

Rule 3.102 – Applications, Definitions, Permits, and Reports

Adopted Rules

General Rule

The following rule adoption was filed with the Secretary of State on March 6, 2013. The rule is effective March 26, 2013, 20 days after the filing date.

Rule 3.9 – Electronic Filing of Returns and Reports; Electronic Transfer of Certain Payments by Certain Taxpayers

State Sales and Use Tax

The following rule adoption was filed with the Secretary of State on March 8, 2013. The rule is effective March 28, 2013, 20 days after filing.

Rule 3.324 – Oil, Gas, and Related Well Service

Other News

State Tax Automated Research (STAR) System User Survey

Do you use our searchable STAR system to find information about Texas tax law and policies? We are currently evaluating STAR's hardware and software components, and we've posted an online surveyto learn more about how our customers use the system. We invite you to share your comments and observations through the survey. As always, we value your feedback.

If the link does not work, please copy and paste this address into your browser to take the survey.

Thank you for your participation.