State & Local Tax Impacts of COVID-19 for Louisiana

Thoughtware Alert Published: Dec 11, 2020
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Information current as of December 31, 2020.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the incidence of COVID-19 are changing life across the globe. Many taxing jurisdictions are taking mitigating actions to create social distance and aid taxpayers. The following is a running list of actions by jurisdiction, which generally result in additional time to file and/or pay. Further, many jurisdictions have closed their offices to in-person use by taxpayers and suspended their audit and administrative functions. This alert doesn’t cover similar waivers from local-level taxing authorities. These developments continue to quickly evolve; check with your BKD Trusted Advisor or visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for current information as needed.

Information Specific to Louisiana

  • The DOR is automatically extending the due date for the February 2020 sales tax return and payment from March 20 to May 20.
    • Louisiana DOR Information Bulletin 20-008, March 19, 2020.
  • The tax deadlines and legal proceedings are suspended until April 13, affecting corporate income, individual income and sales and use, property, excise and trust income taxes.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. JBE 2020-30, March 16, 2020.
  • The due date for income tax returns and any payments due with the returns is extended to July 15.
    • Louisiana DOR Information Bulletin 20-009, March 23, 2020.
  • The filing date for personal property renditions was suspended until at least April 13 from April 1 previously.
    • Louisiana Tax Commission Advisory 02-2020, March 25, 2020.
  • Louisiana extended state tax filing and payment deadlines, including: 1) automobile rental, beer and wine excise tax due dates extended to May 20 from March 20; 2) corporate income, franchise, fiduciary, individual and partnership tax due dates extended to July 15 from May 15; and 3) sales tax due dates extended to May 20 from March 20.
    • Louisiana DOR Notice, March 27, 2020.
  • Louisiana will waive any penalty for underpayment of estimated individual income tax otherwise due for the April 15 and June 15, 2020, declaration payments provided the taxpayer pays the April 15 and June 15, 2020, declaration payments timely and the amount paid on the declarations is at least 90 percent of the respective prior-year amounts.
  • Louisiana also extends the deadline for a credit transfer or for the execution of a binding agreement to transfer such credit by 30 days for income and franchise tax returns with an original due date between March 1 and May 30, 2020.
    • Louisiana Revenue Ruling No. 20-002, March 30, 2020.
  • Louisiana further extended the suspension of legal and administrative deadlines to April 30.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. 41 JBE 2020, April 2, 2020.
  • Louisiana initially extended, but then rescinded, the April 15 deadline to file and pay quarterly premium tax statements and the June 1 deadline to file and pay surplus lines tax reports. These original filing dates remain effective.
    • Louisiana DOI Emergency Rule 42, rescinded prior to effective dates.
  • Louisiana has extended the April 15 deadline to file and pay quarterly premium tax statements and the June 1 deadline to file and pay Surplus Lines Tax Reports to July 15, 2020.
    • Louisiana DOI Emergency Rule 42, effective April 20, 2020.
  • Louisiana has extended the monthly severance tax returns, payments and reports due April 25 to June 25, with full relief of penalty and interest. This is an automatic extension, and no extension request is necessary.
    • Louisiana DOR Revenue Information Bulletin No. 20-011, April 22, 2020.
  • Louisiana further extended the suspension of legal and administrative deadlines to May 15.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. 52 JBE 2020, April 30, 2020.
  • Louisiana further extended the suspension of legal deadlines, including liberative prescription and preemptive periods applicable to legal proceedings in all courts, administrative agencies and boards, until June 5, 2020, including any such deadlines set forth by law within Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. 59 JBE 2020, May 14, 2020.
  • Louisiana has extended sales tax returns/payments for March and April 2020 that were due April 20 and May 20, respectively, to June 30, 2020. Sales tax returns/payments for February 2020 were previously extended from March 20 to May 20, 2020. However, if a collection notice is received by a taxpayer for this period, it may be disregarded, as the notices have been voided in the Department of Revenue’s system.
    • Louisiana DOR Information Bulletin No. 20-012, May 22, 2020.
  • Louisiana has suspended the corporate franchise taxes for small businesses from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. It applies to businesses subject to the tax that have up to $500,000 of taxable capital. A first-time initial tax of $110 also is suspended.
    • Louisiana H.C.R. 66, Laws 2020, effective June 1, 2020.
  • Louisiana passed legislation providing that if a disaster or emergency is declared by the Louisiana governor or the U.S. president, the Louisiana Department of Revenue may extend tax return filing and payment deadlines by no more than six months for income and franchise taxes and three months for any other tax. Interest may accrue during the extension in the case of a governor-declared disaster, but not during a presidentially declared disaster.
    • Louisiana Act 47 (S.B. 498), Laws 2020, effective June 4, 2020.
  • Louisiana has further extended emergency provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including penalties and interest due on sales and use taxes collected by the Office of Motor Vehicles, which began on or after March 9 to until July 1, and legal and administrative tax deadlines to June 15.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. 75 JBE 2020, June 4, 2020.
  • Louisiana has further extended emergency sales and use tax provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, extending general emergency provisions to July 24 and suspending penalties and interest, which began on or after March 9, due on state and local sales and use taxes collected by the Office of Motor Vehicles until June 30.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. 84 JBE 2020, June 25, 2020.
  • Louisiana legislation authorizes the DOR to waive penalties and interest for the late filing of tax returns or late tax payments due for 2019 and 2020, with an original due date between March 11 and July 15, and clarifies the waiver doesn’t apply to tax returns or payments submitted after November 15. Taxpayers claiming the waiver are required to retain documentation confirming the request to the DOR evidencing the COVID-19 effect on their health or their tax preparers’ health.
    • Louisiana H.B. 37, Laws 2020, effective July 13, 2020.
  • Louisiana extended its July 15 state income tax filing deadline by two days because of the DOR’s computer network problems. The extension to July 17 applies to partnership, individual, fiduciary and corporation and franchise income tax return and payment deadlines that were originally due in April or May but were extended to July 15 because of the pandemic, as well as alcoholic beverage, motor fuels and withholding taxes that were due July 15.
    • Louisiana DOR News, July 15, 2020.
  • Louisiana legislation authorizes certain COVID-19-affected businesses to participate in the Quality Jobs Program from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, which provides a payroll subsidy to qualifying firms, as well as a choice of a sales tax rebate on qualifying expenditures or a refundable credit for qualifying capital expenditures. COVID-19-affected industries are defined as entities that have no more than 50 employees nationwide, including affiliates, and that operate in retail trade; restaurants and bars; and accommodations in Louisiana that had to decrease/cease operations due to the pandemic. Eligibility to earn benefits terminates after June 30, 2023.
    • Louisiana H.B. 19 (Act 29) and S.B. 26 (Act 23), Laws 2020, First Extraordinary Session, effective July 1, 2020.
  • The Louisiana DOR has revoked and replaced a personal income tax emergency rule governing the state’s COVID-19 Hazard Pay Rebate Program. The Frontline Workers COVID-19 Hazard Pay Rebate Program provides a one-time $250 hazard pay rebate to eligible essential critical infrastructure workers. The new emergency rule reduces the reserved allocation of funds for paper applications from 25 percent ($12.5 million) to 2 percent ($1 million) based on the quantity of paper applications received by the DOR since the program’s inception.
    • Louisiana Admin Code 61:I.1919, effective September 16, 2020, for 120 days unless revoked or renewed.
  • The Louisiana Department of Economic Development is authorized to provide an extension for certain job creation requirements for enterprise zone incentives and quality jobs incentive rebates due to the effects of COVID-19.
    • Louisiana S.B. 67 (Act 41), 2nd Extra. Session 2020, effective October 28, 2020.
  • Louisiana implemented an income tax credit for businesses whose operations were interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, there is a new refundable income tax credit for the amount of annual license or permit fees paid by owners of restaurants and bars attributable to any month during which the holder’s operations were temporarily closed due to the pandemic, applicable for tax periods beginning January 1 through December 31, 2020. 
    • Louisiana S.B. 72, 2nd Extra. Session 2020, effective November 5, 2020.
  • Louisiana held a sales tax holiday to help citizens recovering from hurricanes Laura and Delta and the COVID-19 pandemic on November 20 to 21, 2020. The tax exemption applied to the first $2,500 of consumer purchases of tangible personal property.
    • Louisiana DOR Revenue Information Bulletin No. 20-023, November 16, 2020.
  • Louisiana suspended the exclusions for food service establishments from the food and beverage tax assessed by the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority to the extent that the prior calendar year’s gross annual receipts from the operation of such establishments are considered in determining the exclusions for the taxes to be assessed in the 2021 calendar year.
    • Governor’s Proclamation No. 210 JBE 2020, issued December 22, 2020, and effective from December 23, 2020, through January 31, 2021, unless further extended.

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