taxes

Tax Policy News

May 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...

Policy Memo – Franchise Tax

Manufacturer’s Representatives and the Retail/Wholesale Rate

If you are a manufacturer’s representative, you may qualify for the retail/wholesale rate. See State Automated Research System (STAR) document 201005043L for more information..

Reminders

Cinco de Mayo Fireworks Sales

Fireworks can be legally sold during the Cinco de Mayo celebration period (May 1 through May 5), but only at a location that is not more than 100 miles from the Texas-Mexico border and in a county in which the county commissioner’s court has approved the sale of fireworks during that period.

Fireworks retailers must hold a sales tax permit and register for fireworks tax with the Comptroller. Retailers must collect the 2 percent state fireworks tax in addition to all applicable state and local sales and use taxes. The 2 percent fireworks tax applies to small fireworks such as firecrackers, rockets, roman candles and fountains that are included in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 1.4G category.

For more information, see our Fireworks Tax publication.

Franchise Tax – Annual Tax Reports Due 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:

Sales Tax - ENERGY STAR® Sales Tax Holiday

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.

Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund Assessment Billing

The Comptroller will mail the billings for the Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund Assessment by the end of May, and the assessment is due Aug. 1, 2015.

This assessment applies to property and casualty insurers writing homeowners insurance, fire insurance, farm and ranch owners insurance, private passenger auto physical damage insurance, commercial auto physical damage insurance or commercial multi-peril insurance.

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.

Franchise Tax

The Comptroller proposed the repeal of the following rule for public comment through the Texas Register on April 20, 2015. The comment period ends May 31, 2015.

Rule 3.597 REPEAL – Margin: Business Tax Advisory Committee

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

The Comptroller proposed amendments to the following rule for public comment through the Texas Register on April 15, 2015. The comment period ends May 31, 2015.

Rule 3.333 – Security Services

Adopted Rules

Mixed Beverage Taxes

The following rule adoption was filed with the Secretary of State on April 7, 2015. The rule will become effective on April 27, 2015.

Rule 3.1002 – Mixed Beverage Sales Taxes

The following rule adoption was filed with the Secretary of State on April 8, 2015. The rule will become effective on April 28, 2015.

Rule 3.1001 – Mixed Beverage Gross Receipts Tax

Effective Rules

Franchise Tax

Rule 3.599, Margin: Research and Development Activities Credit, became effective April 5, 2015.

General Rules

Rule 3.9, Electronic Filing of Returns and Reports; Electronic Transfer of Certain Payment by Certain Taxpayers, became effective April 15, 2015.