The Louisiana Legislature has instituted a statewide amnesty program, Act 421, for all Louisiana taxpayers as a way to bring current any delinquent taxes with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. La. Tax Amnesty 2013: A Fresh Start will officially begin Sept. 23, 2013 and end Nov. 22, 2013. During this two-month time period, Louisiana taxpayers will be able to officially apply for tax amnesty and submit payment for all tax periods that are outstanding.
All taxpayers who qualify for the Fresh Start program will receive a letter from the Secretary of Revenue accompanied by a voucher showing tax periods and amounts owed with all necessary account numbers to expedite payment to LDR by November 22, 2013. Upon receipt, electronic application and payment will be the fastest and most efficient way to clear all accounts with LDR. Should taxpayers decide to pay via check, they will be able to simply mail in the voucher with their full payment.
“This is a time for all Louisiana taxpayers to get a fresh start with their taxes,” Tim Barfield, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue said. “We have worked to make this process very simple and easy to use. We want to make certain that this direct benefit to taxpayers will be a way to help them and their families without jumping through a lot of hoops or going through red tape,” Barfield continued.
“The fastest way to get all the information needed to move through the process is to access the website and follow the prompts. This process is specifically designed to clear taxpayer accounts quickly. If a taxpayer needs help at any point in the process, we have people ready to assist them.”
"Amnesty is an opportunity for eligible taxpayers to save money and help the state in the process," Joshua Legg, local Certified Public Accountant said. "If a taxpayer qualifies, they will be required to file any outstanding reports/forms due and pay any amount owed plus 50 percent of accrued interest on the outstanding liability.
"In return, the Louisiana Department of Revenue will waive up to one-half of the interest and all of the penalties associated with the outstanding balances owed," Legg continued. "It should be noted that partial amnesty is not available and outstanding tax liabilities plus 50 percent of the accrued interest must be paid in full during the amnesty window provided by the state. However, taxpayers can choose to apply amnesty to a specific period/year even if they are delinquent for more than one period/year.
The following taxes and tax periods are included in the amnesty program:
The tax amnesty program shall apply to all taxes administered by the department except for motor fuel taxes and penalties for failure to submit information reports that are not based on an underpayment of tax.
Taxes due prior to January 1, 2013, for which the department has issued an individual or a business proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2013;
Page 2 of 2 - Taxes for taxable periods that began before January 1, 2013.
A taxpayer is eligible for amnesty under any of the following circumstances:
The taxpayer has received a notice for the failure to timely file a return or for the failure to remit the amount owed;
The taxpayer has an outstanding tax liability but has never filed a Louisiana return;
The taxpayer has an outstanding tax liability but has not been billed by the department;
A lien has been issued against the taxpayer’s property;
LDR has initiated proceedings under assessment and distraint procedures;
LDR has entered into an installment agreement with the taxpayer;
The taxpayer has filed for bankruptcy protection;
The taxpayer is involved in a field audit;
The taxpayer is involved in litigation;
The taxpayer’s liability consists of interest and penalty;
The taxpayer’s liability consists of interest only; or
The taxpayer’s liability consists of penalty only.
The following are not eligible for the Fresh Start program:
Taxpayers who are a party to any criminal investigation or criminal litigation, in any court of the United States or the State of Louisiana pending on August 1, 2013, for nonpayment, delinquency, or fraud in relation to any state tax imposed by a law of the State of Louisiana and administered by the department, are not eligible for amnesty.
Taxpayers who deliver or disclose any false or fraudulent application, document, return, or other statement to the department in connection with an amnesty application shall be ineligible for amnesty and shall be subject to penalties of fraud.
The website for LA Tax Amnesty 2013: A Fresh Start is www.ldrtaxamnesty.com. The current website may be used for informational purposes only. All current information on the website will better help prepare taxpayers to participate in the amnesty program. A more enhanced website will be released Sept. 23.