Louisiana Tax Amnesty: Last Chance for a Decade
Author: Jana Gradeva
Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2015, which runs November 16, 2015, through December 15, 2015, is a last chance for Louisiana taxpayers to make a fresh start. This monthlong program is available to qualified individual and business taxpayers who voluntarily apply and pay 100 percent of delinquent taxes. In exchange, the state will waive 33 percent of penalties and 17 percent of interest due.
The 2015 amnesty period is the last of three consecutive amnesty programs offered by the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) under the Louisiana Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of 2013 in an effort to collect delinquent state taxes and reduce the state budget deficit. The 2015 amnesty is the last chance for many taxpayers to wipe their slates clean; statutorily, another amnesty program cannot be offered until January 2025.
Taxpayers that would like to participate in the 2015 amnesty program need to file the required application form, file all applicable tax returns and pay in full or enter into an installment agreement for 100 percent of taxes due,
67 percent of accrued penalties and 83 percent of accrued interest during the amnesty period.
Here are the taxes and periods eligible for amnesty:
- Taxes due prior to January 1, 2015, for which LDR has issued an individual or a business proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2015
- Taxes for taxable periods beginning before January 1, 2015
- Taxes for which the taxpayer and LDR have entered into an agreement to interrupt the running of prescription pursuant to state statutes and said agreement suspends the running of prescription until December 31, 2015
Taxpayers may be eligible for amnesty in the following circumstances:
- The taxpayer has received a notice for failure to timely file a return or 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 hasn’t been billed by LDR.
- A lien has been issued against the taxpayer’s property pursuant to state statutes.
- LDR has initiated proceedings under the assessment and distraint procedures pursuant to state statutes.
- 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 or litigation.
- The taxpayer’s liability consists of interest and/or penalties.
Taxpayers involved in a criminal investigation or criminal litigation for LDR-administered taxes don’t qualify for the amnesty program.
While amnesty could be a very effective way to settle past-due taxes and liabilities, applying for the amnesty means the taxpayer agrees with the LDR position for three years, waives the right for refund for the periods covered under amnesty and may still be audited by the state.
To learn more about this amnesty program, contact your BKD advisor.