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TITLE 34PUBLIC FINANCE
PART 1COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
CHAPTER 3TAX ADMINISTRATION
SUBCHAPTER OSTATE SALES AND USE TAX
RULE §3.323Imports and Exports

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Air forwarder--A licensed International Air Transportation Association freight forwarder.

  (2) Consignee--The person named in a bill of lading to whom or to whose order the bill promises delivery.

  (3) Consignor--The person named in a bill of lading as the person from whom the goods have been received for shipment.

  (4) Licensed and certificated carrier--A person authorized by the appropriate United States agency or by the appropriate state agency within the United States to operate an aircraft, vessel, train, motor vehicle, or pipeline as a common or contract carrier. Certificates of inspection or airworthiness certificates are not the appropriate documents for authorizing a person to operate as a common or contract carrier. These documents relate to the carrier device itself rather than a person's right to operate a carrier business.

  (5) Licensed customs broker--A person who is licensed by the United States Customs Service to act as a custom house broker and who holds a Texas Customs Broker's License issued by the comptroller as provided in §3.360 of this title (relating to Customs Brokers).

  (6) Ocean forwarder--A licensed Federal Maritime Commission freight forwarder.

(b) United States Constitution. On the basis of the import and export clause of the United States Constitution, Article 1, §10, clause 2, tangible personal property imported into or exported from Texas is exempt from taxation by the Tax Code, §151.307 and §151.330, so long as the property retains its character as an import or export.

(c) Exports.

  (1) When an exemption is claimed because tangible personal property is exported beyond the territorial limits of the United States, proof of export may be shown only by:

    (A) a copy of a bill of lading issued by a licensed and certificated carrier of persons or property that shows the seller as consignor, the buyer as consignee, and a delivery point outside the territorial limits of the United States;

    (B) documentation that is valid under §3.360 of this title (relating to Customs Brokers) provided by a licensed customs broker certifying that the property will be exported to a point outside the territorial limits of the United States;

    (C) formal entry documents from the country of destination showing that the property was imported into a country other than the United States. For the country of Mexico, the formal entry document would be the pedimento de importaciones document with a computerized, certified number issued by Mexican customs officials, or an alternative type of formal entry document also used by Mexican customs officials, such as the boleta;

    (D) a copy of the original airway, ocean, or railroad bill of lading issued by a licensed and certificated carrier that describes the property being exported and a copy of the air forwarder's, ocean forwarder's, or rail freight forwarder's receipt if an air, ocean, or rail freight forwarder takes possession of the property in Texas; or

    (E) a maquiladora exemption certificate issued by an organization of the type defined in §3.358 of this title (relating to Maquiladoras). The maquiladora must also provide a copy of its maquiladora export permit issued by the comptroller.

  (2) The retailer is responsible for obtaining proof of exportation. Only one type of proof relating to a particular piece of property is necessary. For example, a furniture store sells a table and collects sales tax. The purchaser returns to the store a week later with a valid pedimento de importaciones showing that the table was imported into Mexico. The retailer may accept the pedimento, alone, as proof of export and refund the tax. It is not necessary for the retailer to also obtain an export certification form issued by a licensed customs broker. Except as provided in §3.358 of this title (relating to Maquiladoras), exemption certificates, affidavits, or statements from the purchaser that the property will be or has been exported are not sufficient to exempt the sale as an export. The certification form provided by a licensed Texas customs broker as provided in §3.360 of this title (relating to Customs Brokers), is acceptable as proof of export. A passport number taken by a seller from a passport issued by a foreign country is not acceptable as proof of export. For information concerning resale certificates given by Mexican retailers, see §3.285 of this title (relating to Resale Certificate; Sales for Resale).

  (3) Storing property in Texas by the owner prior to exportation is a use of that property in Texas. Property stored or otherwise used or consumed in Texas by the owner loses its exemption as an export. For example, clothing or jewelry actually worn by the purchaser in Texas is used in Texas; automotive parts (not including electronic audio equipment) installed on the purchaser's motor vehicle in Texas are used in Texas if the vehicle is subsequently driven in Texas; and food ready for immediate consumption that is purchased in Texas is presumed to be used in Texas. By law, electronic audio equipment retains the exemption even if installed in a motor vehicle that is driven in Texas prior to export. Sufficient time will be allowed to arrange for shipping. Property in Texas longer than 30 days from date of purchase will be presumed to have been stored. Any use of the property in Texas by the owner prior to export also causes the loss of the export exemption. Property in the hands of a freight forwarder is not covered by this provision.

  (4) The sale of property to military personnel is taxable unless proof of export is maintained as outlined in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

  (5) If a seller delivers property to a purchaser in Texas, the seller must collect tax at the time of sale unless the sale is exempt for a reason other than export and the seller accepts a properly completed resale or exemption certificate. Tax may not be refunded until the property has actually been exported from the territorial limits of the United States and the seller has received valid proof of export as described in this subsection. There is a rebuttable presumption that an export certification form issued by a licensed customs broker who complies with §3.360 of this title (relating to Customs Brokers) is valid. Tax not collected will be assessed against the seller. This paragraph does not apply when proof of export is provided to the seller at the time of sale by a maquiladora according to the terms of paragraph (1)(E) of this subsection.

(d) Imports. Property imported into Texas from another country is exempt from Texas use tax as long as the property retains its character as an import. When transit ceases in Texas, the import becomes subject to the Texas use tax.

(e) Refunds.

  (1) A retailer who collects sales tax on tangible personal property that qualifies for exemption under subsection (b) of this section may refund the tax to the original purchaser or the original purchaser's assignee upon receipt of export documentation as required by subsection (c) of this section.

  (2) A retailer who receives documentation that is valid under subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section, must report the total amount of sales tax refunded as provided in subsection (g) of this section, may not refund the tax paid under this chapter on that purchase before:

    (A) the 24th hour after the hour stated as the time of export on the documentation, if the retailer is located in a county that borders the United Mexican States; or

    (B) the seventh day after the day stated as the date of export on the documentation, if the retailer is located in a county that does not border the United Mexican States.

  (3) The refund may be made by certified check, company check, money order, credit memo, or cash. If the refund is made in cash, the retailer must receive at the time the refund is made a receipt showing a description of the property purchased, the amount and date of the refund, and the name, address, and signature of the purchaser and, if applicable, the purchaser's assignee. A retailer who issues a tax refund to the purchaser's assignee must also receive a copy of the purchaser's written assignment of the right to a refund. A retailer who makes a refund before the time prescribed by subsection (e)(2)(A) or (B) of this section or makes a refund that is undocumented or improperly documented is liable for the tax refunded plus interest.

  (4) A copy of the certified check, company check, money order, credit memo, or signed cash receipt and a copy of the written assignment of the purchaser's right to a refund, if applicable, must be attached to the original export documents and maintained in the seller's files.

  (5) In an audit, the auditor must be able to tie the export documents to the original taxable transaction. The seller must retain the original invoice of the sale. Cash register receipts and other records of the original taxable transaction that do not include a detailed, specific description of the items purchased are not sufficient to tie the export documents to the original taxable transaction. Refunds made pursuant to undocumented or improperly documented export exemptions will be assessed against the seller.

(f) Records. Please refer to §3.281 of this title (relating to Records Required; Information Required), §3.282 of this title (relating to Auditing Taxpayer Records), and §3.360 of this title (relating to Customs Brokers).

(g) Reports. Retailers are required to report the total amount of sales tax refunded for items exported beyond the territorial limits of the United States based on licensed customs broker certifications on a supplemental sales tax report prescribed by the comptroller at the same time and for the same reporting period as the retailer's state sales and use tax return.


Source Note: The provisions of this §3.323 adopted to be effective November 3, 1985, 10 TexReg 4127; amended to be effective February 19, 1990, 15 TexReg 658; amended to be effective January 1, 1993, 17 TexReg 7583; amended to be effective March 6, 1995, 20 TexReg 1270; amended to be effective January 3, 1996, 20 TexReg 11021; amended to be effective June 20, 2000, 25 TexReg 5915; amended to be effective April 13, 2005, 30 TexReg 2083

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