Is food taxable in Louisiana?

by Sarah Craig January 8, 2024

Please note: This blog was originally published in 2021. It’s since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Ah, food taxability. Forever a grey area for food and beverage companies. Like most things in the world of sales tax, it varies by state. But making things even more complicated is the fact that most states tax food differently based on its intention. For example, the majority of states don’t tax groceries items because they are intended for consumption at home — while food intended to be eaten on restaurant or store premises is usually taxable. A headache, right? We’re here to help by breaking down food taxability in Louisiana. 

Are groceries taxable in Louisiana?

In the state of Louisiana, food sold for preparation and consumption in the home is tax exempt at the state level, though counties and other local jurisdictions may levy a tax. Types of food that are considered grocery items include: 

  • Fresh meat and fish
  • Butter  
  • Eggs 
  • Bread 
  • Vegetables 
  • Fruit
  • Coffee and its substitutes
  • Candy bars and packaged candy  
  • Condiments

Items that are not exempt from sales tax include:

  • Seller-prepared meats, seafood and vegetables
  • Seller-prepared lunch and dinner plates • 
  • Seller-prepared sandwiches 
  • Ice 
  • Whole or sliced hot pizza
  • Foods sold for heating in seller-provided equipment 
  • Over-the-counter medicines 
  • Dietary supplements

Are meals taxable in Louisiana?

Meals prepared by a restaurant or business are subject to the state sales tax

Using an example, frozen pizza purchased in the grocery store is not subject to sales tax because it is intended to be prepared at home. However, pizza purchased from a local pizzeria would be subject to the state sales tax since it was prepared by an establishment. 

Are beverages taxable in Louisiana?

Beverages are generally taxable in Louisiana. These include:

  • Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages
  • Fountain drinks
  • Frozen slush drinks
  • Ice
  • Bottled water
  • Coffee, tea, or cocoa

How to always collect the correct amount of sales tax in Louisiana

Do you sell groceries, meals or beverages? Are you required to collect sales tax in Louisiana? Then this may sound like a huge headache. 

That’s where TaxJar can help. 

With the TaxJar API, you can be sure you’re collecting the right amount of sales tax on every transaction. Our product tax codes ensure you do collect sales tax on that soft drink but don’t collect sales tax on that plain coffee drink. 

Not to mention, most e-commerce businesses have nexus in multiple states. For example, groceries are taxable in some states, but non-taxable in others. Or, like Illinois, they are taxable at a reduced rate. With TaxJar, you’ll collect the right amount of sales tax from every customer, in every state, every time.

Further food and meal taxability resources:

Ready to automate sales tax collection, reporting and filing? Click here for more on how TaxJar can take the headache out of sales tax in your food & beverage business.

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