News Releases

Special Session Act Permits Revenue to Re-evaluate Refund Denials

Secretary Bridges says most overpayments to be refundable

April 4, 2001

BATON ROUGE -Act 6 of the First Extraordinary Session of the 2001 Louisiana Legislature has given the Department of Revenue wider latitude to issue refunds and to re-evaluate previously denied refunds of overpayments, says Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges. She adds that refund claims that have been received but not yet formally approved or denied will also be re-evaluated.

"This act that Governor Foster signed on March 27 includes a transition rule," Bridges says. "It gives the Department the authority to re-evaluate all refund claims that were denied between January 1, 2000 and March 27, 2001." She says the re-evaluation will determine if a refund claim can now be paid under recent amendments made to Revised Statute 47:1621(B) and (C) by the legislature. "In general, most overpayments, except those that should have been paid under protest, will be refundable," Bridges says. In order to advise them of the re-evaluation process, Bridges says her department will immediately begin contacting taxpayers who have had refunds denied since January 1, 2000.

Lack of specific authority in the statutes forced the Department of Revenue to deny overpayment refunds in hundreds of cases during the past year. Before recent amendments, a refund of an overpayment by a taxpayer was only authorized in a few instances specifically named in the statutes, such as overpayment of withholding tax for individual income tax. Earlier this year, the Department urged the legislature to correct the problem by amending the law to provide the Department with wider latitude to make overpayment refunds.

During the past year, Bridges says several hundred taxpayers have filed appeals with the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) in order to receive their refunds. "Unfortunately, that was the only course of action open to the taxpayer before the recent amendments," Bridges says. Many of those appeals are still pending before the BTA, but Bridges says those cases will also be re-evaluated.

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Byron Henderson
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