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Tax Policy News

A monthly newsletter about Texas tax policy


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


REMINDERS

Franchise Tax Deadline

Annual franchise tax reports are due May 15. Beat the rush to file your franchise tax report or request an extension by using WebFile to electronically file reports.

With WebFile, it is easy to request an extension, submit franchise tax reports, make payments, file a final report or request a tax clearance letter. 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 to franchise taxpayers in February. You can also call 1-800-442-3453 to get your XT number via an automated system.

Vendor Software Program for Preparing Franchise Tax Reports

The vendor software program provides tax preparers the ability to submit reports and payments in one transaction. Submitting electronically provides the tax preparer with enhanced error validations and rapid feedback from their software provider. Tax preparers can track processing, and if necessary, resubmit rejected reports with corrected data. The error validation option offers companies filing combined reports line-by-line error identification on their affiliate schedule for report accuracy. View the Comptroller-approved tax preparation software providers for 2014 reporting.


Insurance Tax Deadline

The Comptroller will mail the 2013 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, May 15.

As of July 21, 2011, to qualify as independently procured insurance, the insured must obtain a policy of insurance directly from a non-admitted insurer, and does 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 either be surplus lines or unauthorized insurance.


FORMS – NEW AND REVISED

Motor Vehicle Tax

The Comptroller has created a new Texas Motor Vehicle Exemption Certificate for Agricultural/Timber (Form 14-319). Farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers and timber operators use this exemption certificate to claim an agricultural or timber exemption from Texas motor vehicle sales and use tax when purchasing farm machines, timber machines, trailers and semitrailers used primarily in agricultural or timber operations.




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.

Recent events include these presentations:

  • County Tax Assessor-Collectors regional meeting in San Antonio – county tax liabilities, licensing farm trailers and general motor vehicle tax information
  • Texas Ground Water Association meeting in Lubbock – sales tax presentation on taxability issues relating to water well drilling, services and equipment
  • National Society of Accountants for Co-ops meeting in San Antonio – sales and use tax class on taxability issues and exemptions relating to agricultural co-ops, grain elevators and cotton gins

PUBLICATIONS

Franchise Tax

The Comptroller has updated the Franchise Tax Overview (Pub. 98-806) to include new tax rates and calculation of tax, along with general franchise tax information including due dates and filing methods.


WEBSITE UPDATES

Private Letter Rulings – FAQs and Sample Ruling Requests

We have updated our webpage concerning private letter rulings (PLR) and general information letters to include some FAQs and sample PLR requests to help taxpayers and their representatives understand how to submit a request for a private letter ruling that meets the requirements of Rule 3.1.

Sales Tax

Providers of Cable Television, Internet Access or Telecommunications Services – Deadline to Claim a Sales Tax Refund is July 31, 2014

Providers and subsidiaries of providers of cable television, Internet access or telecommunications services can request a refund of Texas state sales and use tax paid on qualifying purchases made from Sept. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013.

The deadline to file a claim is July 31, 2014. The deadline for subsequent years will be March 31.

Visit our HB 1133 website for information regarding the program and a link to the electronic claim submission system.


OTHER NEWS

A Message from our Electronic Filing Team: E-Filing Becomes the Norm

Sales Tax

A monumental number of sales taxpayers are turning to WebFile to file their returns and make payments. 329,023 taxpayers filed their returns electronically in January 2014, avoiding the hassle of filing by mail. Transmitting your sales tax return by WebFile is a secure and accurate way to submit your return. Your WebFile account allows you to view a summary of your transactions. Sales Tax WebFile also calculates your discounts, penalties and interest, which increases payment accuracy. Join us in our goal to go green and eliminate paper returns completely by submitting your return with WebFile.


RULES – PROPOSED AND EFFECTIVE

Proposed Rules

Information about proposed rules is available on the Secretary of State’s website.

Motor Fuel Tax

Amendments to Rule 3.430, – Records Required, Information Required, were proposed for public comment through the Texas Register on March 14, 2014. The comment period ends 30 days after publication.

Effective Rules

Motor Fuel Tax

Effective Feb. 27, 2014
Rule 3.442 – Bad Debts or Accelerated Credit for Non-payment of Taxes

State Sales and Use Tax

Effective Feb.26, 2014
Rule 3.335 – Property Used in a Qualifying Data Center; Temporary State Sales Tax Exemptions

Effective March 3, 2014
Rule 3.365 – Sales Tax Holiday – Clothing, Shoes, and School Supplies

Effective March 26, 2014
Rule 3.360 – Customs Brokers


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