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News Releases

Updated state income tax withholding tables in effect following federal tax reform...Continue Reading

 

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has updated the state’s income tax withholding tables to account for changes in federal tax law passed by the U.S. Congress late last year in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

 

LDR has issued an emergency rule to ensure that employers are withholding the correct amount of state income taxes from employee paychecks and avoiding unnecessary penalties for businesses and unexpected tax liabilities for workers.

 

The updated withholding tables are effective February 16, 2018. They are published in LAC 61:I.1501. Employers should begin using the updated tables immediately.

 

 

Dept. of Revenue sues three businesses in statewide crackdown on payroll tax fraud...Continue Reading

 

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) is taking legal action against three Louisiana businesses it accuses of evading taxes by not withholding and remitting the appropriate payroll taxes from their employees’ earnings. LDR is suing the companies to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdue taxes, penalties, and interest.

 

In 2017, the GAME ON (Government Against Misclassified Employees Operational Network) Task Force was formed as an interagency network to combat employee misclassification. In collaboration with the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Unemployment Insurance and Office of Workers’ Compensation, LDR works to recover unpaid withholding tax by identifying businesses that misclassify employees. Most misclassifications involve employers improperly labeling workers as independent contractors to evade withholding tax and other costs. The employer commonly pays the worker in cash with no Louisiana payroll tax withheld.

 

“The evasion of withholding taxes is a serious crime that robs Louisiana taxpayers of revenues the state uses to provide vital services such as public safety, healthcare, education and infrastructure,” said Secretary of Revenue Kimberly Lewis Robinson.

 

LDR filed suit against Elliott Roofing Services of Metairie, Antunez Painting of Baton Rouge, and Extreme Cars & Trucks of Monroe. LDR assessed the companies through a new withholding audit program designed to recover withholding tax resulting from employee misclassification and unreported cash payments. The audit program focuses on labor brokers and industries that typically employ independent contractors, including construction, personal services, and staffing companies.

 

For the tax years 2013 through 2015, the total tax, penalty, and interest owed by the companies is more than $242,000:

 

 

 

Total Tax, Penalty, & Interest

 

Company

Location

2013

2014

2015

Court

Elliott Roofing Services

Metairie

24,921.19

18,886.53

11,227.28

24th Judicial District Court

Antunez Painting

Baton Rouge

30,066.88

54,705.35

62,293.44

19th Judicial District Court

Extreme Cars & Trucks

Monroe

5,008.69

14,492.21

20,519.33

4th Judicial District Court

 

One unfair advantage this type of fraud provides to companies misclassifying their employees is the ability to outbid competitors on state contracts and other business due to lower costs. These costs include withholding tax, paying at least the minimum wage, overtime compensation, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and workplace safety.

 

“We are putting companies who engage in this fraudulent behavior on notice that they shouldn’t expect to get away with it,” Secretary Robinson said.

 

Lawsuits against the three companies were filed in December 2017. Several other audits are currently in progress, with some employers having agreed to pay the assessed withholding tax liabilities.

 

 

Louisiana Dept. of Revenue now accepting 2017 state individual income tax returns...Continue Reading

 

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue began accepting 2017 state individual income tax returns today, January 29, 2018. Louisiana taxpayers can begin filing their state income tax returns electronically through Louisiana File Online (www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline), the state’s free web portal for individual tax filers. With Louisiana File Online, taxpayers can:

 

·         File returns and pay taxes electronically

·         Check the status of individual income tax refunds

·         Amend current and prior-year tax returns

 

Taxpayers can also begin submitting returns to the state through commercially available tax preparation software; or they can download paper tax forms from the LDR website. Updated printed forms are now available at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/TaxForms.

 

LDR has implemented enhanced security measures to protect Louisiana taxpayers from identity theft and other types of tax fraud. If returns do not trigger any fraud indicators, taxpayers can expect their tax refunds within 60 days of the filing date if they file electronically, and within 14 weeks if they file paper returns.

 

Taxpayers can minimize delays in receiving their refunds by updating their contact information with LDR, including name, address and telephone number. If you have moved or changed your name since your last tax filing, update your contact information at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/AddressChange.   

 

2017 Louisiana individual income tax returns are due May 15, 2018.

 

Tips for Taxpayers

 

Steps to Insure Fast, Accurate Return & Refund Processing

 

·         File electronically – The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 60 days; for paper returns, expect to wait up to 14 weeks.

·         Taxpayers should update personal information if their name or address changed during the tax year.

·         Double-check return information – Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct. Math errors and incorrect tax-table information are leading causes of delayed refunds.

·         Include all supporting information such as W-2s; use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return.

·         Apply for extensions in a timely manner – Extension requests must be filed no later than the May 15 income tax filing deadline.

·         Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue; do not send cash.

·         If filing a paper return, attach the proper label to the mailing envelope.

 

Tips for Choosing a Reputable Tax Preparer

 

·         Try to find a preparer who will be around to answer questions after the return has been filed.

·         Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund or who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers without first reviewing your returns.

·         Review and ask questions before signing a return.

·         Ask others that you know who have used that preparer if they were satisfied with the services that they received.

·         Ask any preparer that you are considering for references.

·         Ask and verify if the preparer belongs to a professional organization that requires its members to pursue continuing education and also holds them accountable to a code of ethics.

·         Always question entries on your return that you don’t understand.

·         Never sign a blank return.

·         Insist that the preparer sign as the paid preparer of the return and provide his/her appropriate information on the return.

·         The preparer should meet with the taxpayer and go over the return before it is filed.

·         Taxpayers should be provided a copy of their return before it is filed.

·         Pay attention to media reports of persons who have been convicted of tax fraud.

 

Taxpayers should be aware that the information that they provide to their preparer could be used to commit identity theft by an unscrupulous preparer.

 

Filing Dates

02/20 Tuesday
Sales and Use Tax
Prepaid Wireless Telecommunications 911 Service Charge
Hotel Occupancy Tax
Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Food and Beverage Tax
Beer Tax
Tobacco Tax
Terminal Operator Monthly
02/22 Thursday
Supplier/Permissive Supplier
02/28 Wednesday
Terminal Operator Annual
03/15 Thursday
Alcoholic Beverage Tax

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