Louisiana Issues Guidance on Sales Tax Collection by Veterinarians

May 29th, 2012

The Louisiana Department of Revenue recently issued guidance regarding the tax treatment of items sold and services offered by veterinarians in the state. La. Revenue Rul. No. 12-003 (Dept. of Revenue May 29, 2012).

Generally, Louisiana treats veterinarian services as professional services, which are not subject to sales or use tax. Veterinarian services include examining, diagnosing, and treating of animals and livestock.

Louisiana considers veterinarians to be the users and consumers of all items they purchase for use in their practice. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. sec. 47:301(3). Therefore, veterinarians must generally pay tax on all items unless a specific exemption exists.

Louisiana provides one significant product-based exemption related to sales to Veterinarians: Louisiana exempts sales of pharmaceuticals administered to livestock and feed and feed additives purchased for the purpose of sustaining animals that are held primarily for commercial, business, or agricultural use. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. secs. 47:301(16)(f) & 47:305 A(4). However, sales of drugs, treatment devices, and tangible personal property used in the treatment of non-livestock animals are subject to tax.

Veterinarians may also sell medication and other treatment devices that are to be administered by an animal's owner, as well as other non-medical animal supplies (such as collars and leashes). These transactions are considered sales at retail and are thus subject to sales tax. Veterinarians must itemize such retail sales separately from their professional services and must collect sales tax on the full "sales price." La. Rev. Stat. Ann. sec. 47:301(13).