Tax Policy News

March 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...


Franchise Tax Deadline

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:

Mixed Beverage Taxes

Frequently Asked Questions Updated

The Comptroller updated the Overview of Mixed Beverage Taxes section to explain that both mixed beverage gross receipts tax and mixed beverage sales tax apply to sales of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption by brewpubs and distilleries and that sales tax applies to sales of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption.

The Comptroller also updated the Exemptions section to add as exempt from mixed beverage sales tax foreign diplomatic and consular personnel who present a Personal or Mission Tax Exemption Card issued by the U.S. Department of State.

Sales Tax

Annual Information Report Due for Qualified Research

For persons claiming the sales tax exemption for qualified research, the Annual Information Report (AIR) is due March 31. The AIR allows registrants to renew their Texas Qualified Research Registration Number and to provide information the Comptroller must report to the Texas Legislature. Those claiming the sales tax exemption must report the amount of qualified research performed in Texas; the number of employees engaged in research and development in Texas; and data regarding sales tax revenue.

Persons renewing their Registration Number should log in to the Comptroller's eSystems and will need the 11-digit taxpayer number(s) and Webfile number(s) printed on correspondence from the Comptroller’s office.

Cable Television, Internet Access or Telecommunications Services Providers – Refund Claim Deadline Extended

Providers and their subsidiaries can claim a refund for state sales and use taxes paid on qualifying purchases. The total amount available for refund under this program is capped at $50 million each calendar year. If the total of all qualifying refunds exceeds the cap, each eligible provider will receive a pro rata share of the $50 million.

The refund request date for qualifying purchases made on or after Sept. 1, 2013, for which tax was paid from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014, has been extended from March 31, 2015, to April 30, 2015. The deadline for all amendments to a refund claim for this period is also extended to April 30, 2015.

Requests filed after the extended refund request date may be eligible for refund, if funds are available.

Organizational Changes

Tax Policy Division

Tax Policy is now composed of three areas: indirect tax development; direct tax development; and a tax training and Web development area. Indirect taxes include sales and use tax, motor vehicle taxes, hotel tax and mixed beverage taxes. Direct taxes include insurance taxes, motor fuels taxes, severance taxes and franchise tax.

Website Updates

Retail Charge Agreement Delinquency Fee

The Comptroller updated the Retail Charge Agreement Delinquency Fee Web page to further explain the fee. The Comptroller also changed the name of the Web page to match the name used in Finance Code Section 345.157 and changed the due date to match current procedures.

Public Outreach

Presentations by the Tax Policy Division

Members of the Tax Policy Division often receive requests to discuss taxability issues with various interested organizations.

One recent event was a presentation at the 2015 Texas Motorcycle Dealers Association Annual Conference in Austin about the taxability of on-road and off-road vehicles and recordkeeping requirements.


Effective Rules

Insurance Tax

Rule 3.827 – Captive Insurance Companies, became effective Feb. 18, 2015.