taxes

Tax Policy News

April 2015

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...

Reminders

Franchise Tax – Annual Tax Reports Due by May 15

Annual franchise tax reports are due May 15. Beat the rush to file your franchise tax report or request an extension of time to file – Webfile is available now!

Webfile makes it easy to request extensions, submit tax reports, make payments, file final reports or request tax clearance letters. Your Webfile account allows you to view a summary of your transactions. You can find your franchise tax Webfile number (which starts with "XT") on the franchise tax upcoming due date reminder letter we mailed in February.

You can also call 1-800-442-3453 at any time to get your XT number via an automated system. When you call, be sure to have your 11-digit taxpayer number and identifying information, such as total revenue from a previous report or the amount of the last tax payment you made (cannot be zero).

The following video tutorials will help you with filing Franchise Tax:

Insurance Tax – Annual Independently Procured Insurance Premium Reports Due by May 15

The Comptroller will mail the 2014 independently procured insurance report forms the first week of April. The annual independently procured insurance premium tax report and supplement are due, and the taxes payable, on or before May 15.

To qualify as independently procured insurance, the insured must obtain a policy of insurance directly from a non-admitted insurer and must not use the services of an agent or broker in the procurement of coverage. If an agent is involved in the placement of the insurance, the policy will be surplus lines insurance with taxes due the home state of the insured, or the transaction will be considered unauthorized insurance.

Sales Tax – Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday is Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is May 25 this year. The holiday coincides with the annual Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday (May 23-25) when Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales and use taxes on purchases of certain energy-efficient products.

Publications

International Fuel Tax Agreement Texas Guidebook (Publication 96-336)

The Comptroller's International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Texas Guidebook has been revised to include information on credits and refunds and examples of the latest report and supplement forms. See the Comptroller's IFTA website for more information.

Website Updates

New How-To Videos Answer Sales and Franchise Tax Filing Questions

The Comptroller's office recently expanded its series of how-to videos on filing and paying taxes with Webfile, our secure online system. New videos guide taxpayers through filing an amended sales tax return, filing a no tax due report, finding your 11-digit taxpayer number and filing and paying franchise tax. Whether you are a new filer or just need a refresher, our videos are a great way to learn how to navigate Webfile.

Job Postings

Employment Opportunities in the Tax Policy Division

The Tax Policy Division currently has vacancies for a franchise tax specialist, a sales tax specialist and a research specialist. Details are available at the Job Opportunities section of our website.

Rules

Proposed Rules

Information about proposed rules is available from the Texas Secretary of State.

The Comptroller proposed amendments to the following rules for public comment through the Texas Register on April 3, 2015. The comment period ends May 3.

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

Rule 3.316 – Occasional Sales; Joint Ownership Transfers; Sales by Senior Citizens' Organizations; Sales by University and College Student Organizations; and Sales by Nonprofit Animal Shelters

Special Fee on Certain Cigarettes and Cigarette Tobacco Products (New Subchapter)

Rule 3.751 – Special Fee on Certain Cigarettes and Cigarette Tobacco Products: Definitions, Imposition of Fee, and Reports

Adopted Rules

Franchise Tax

The following rule was filed for adoption with the Secretary of State on March 16, 2015. The rule became effective on April 5.

Rule 3.599 – Margin: Research and Development Activities Credit

General Rules

The following rule was filed for adoption with the Secretary of State on March 26, 2015. The rule will become effective on April 15.

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