Louisiana Establishes Tax Amnesty Program

Jun 25, 2013, 17:18 ET from Ryan, LLC

DALLAS, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Louisiana will have three tax amnesty periods between 2013 and 2015 covering most taxes. On Friday, June 21, 2013, Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law House Bill 456 ("H.B. 456") creating the Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program ("Program"), which applies to all taxes administered by the Louisiana Department of Revenue ("Department"), with the exception of motor fuels tax. The bill authorizes the Department to set an amnesty period in 2013 for a period of at least two months. During this period, the Department will waive all penalties and one-half of the interest owed for taxpayers approved under the Program.

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In 2014, the Department will offer a one-month amnesty period to be set to occur sometime between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. During the amnesty, the Department will offer a 15% penalty waiver and no interest waiver. The 2015 amnesty provides for a 10% penalty waiver and will last at least one month between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Amnesty is available for the following taxes:

  • Taxes for periods that began prior to January 1, 2013;
  • Taxes due prior to January 1, 2013, for which the Department has issued a proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2013; and
  • Taxes for which a taxpayer and the Department have agreed to interrupt and suspend the running of the statute of limitations until December 31, 2013.

Taxpayers wishing to participate in the Program must apply during the amnesty period and pay all tax, interest, and penalties. The payment must be sent with the Program application. Under H.B. 456, the Department may not enter into installment agreements for Program payments. Further, taxpayers are precluded from protesting or initiating an administrative or judicial proceeding with regard to any tax paid under the Program. Taxpayers involved in field audits or litigation may participate in the Program but must abide by the Department's interpretation of the law with respect to issues resolved through the Program for the succeeding three years. In addition, the Department will not pay interest on refunds for amounts paid under the Program.

Amnesty is not available for the following:

  • Motor fuels tax;
  • Penalties that are not based on an underpayment of tax but that are assessed for failure to submit information reports; and
  • Taxpayers who are parties to any criminal investigation or criminal litigation for nonpayment, delinquency, or fraud in relation to any tax administered by the Department.

The Department has not announced dates for the three amnesty periods.

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Susan Traylor Bittick

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