Department Profile

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The Department is organized into eight management groups: the Office of the Secretary; the Office of Legal Affairs; the Office of Management and Finance; the Office of Tax Administration, Group I; the Office of Tax Administration, Group II; the Office of Tax Administration, Group III; the Office of Charitable Gaming; and the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

The Department of Revenue receives funding for three programs: tax collection, alcohol and tobacco control, and charitable gaming.

The Tax Collection Program comprises the Department's entire tax collection effort and includes the Office of Management and Finance, the Offices of Tax Administration, Groups I, II, and III, and the Office of Legal Affairs. The Office of Management and Finance handles all accounting and personnel functions, computer services, and internal audit. The Office of Tax Administration, Group I, is responsible for processing all tax returns and remittances and for providing all postal services. The Office of Tax Administration, Group II, is responsible for providing billing and collection of all tax revenues and for providing taxpayers with assistance when inquiring about their accounts. The Office of Tax Administration, Group III is responsible for all audit functions that discover and recover tax revenues that would otherwise go unreported and uncollected. Group III is also responsible for providing taxpayers with full-service offices in all regions of the state. The Office of Legal Affairs is responsible for drafting and reviewing all contracts, rules, regulations, and tax legislation, and representing the Department in tax litigation cases in courts and before the Board of Tax Appeals.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Control Program regulates the alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries in the state; licenses alcoholic beverage manufacturers, native wineries, retailers, and wholesalers, as well as retail and wholesale tobacco product dealers; and enforces state alcoholic beverage and tobacco laws.

The Charitable Gaming Program is responsible for issuing and renewing annual state licenses required for organizations conducting games of chance, such as charitable raffles and bingo. The office also monitors licenses for compliance with gaming laws and regulations and trains gaming organizations in the proper use of the Uniform Accounting System.

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Office of the Secretary

The Department's executive management team consists of the Secretary, who heads the agency and is a member of the Governor's cabinet, a Deputy Secretary, an Undersecretary, and five Assistant Secretaries. The Deputy Secretary has responsibility for the Office of Charitable Gaming, the Bureau of Organizational Development, and the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission. The tax collection and enforcement activities of the Department are administered by the Assistant Secretaries. The Undersecretary oversees the Office of Management and Finance, which includes the financial and service activities of the Department.

The Bureau of Organizational Development is located within the Office of the Secretary. As such, it assists in identifying, utilizing, and developing methods and approaches that strengthen the organization's effectiveness. Its long range efforts focus on technology, processes, and the knowledge vested in the Department's human resources to address changes, challenges, and adaptations that occur at any time during the life-cycle of the organization. Through problem solving, performance measures, communications, strategic planning, and learning opportunities, the Bureau strives to assists the Department in reaching its vision, mission, and goals.

The Public Affairs Section is responsible for administering all internal and external communication programs. Functions include media relations, information dissemination, document development and printing, publications, and management of the Speaker's Bureau.

The Public Affairs Liaison serves as the Department's liaison with the legislature, Governor's Office, state and local agencies, other states' revenue departments, and various taxpayer groups and associations. Responsibilities include developing and fostering relationships/partnerships and outreach programs with external groups, such as the Internal Revenue Service, other states' revenue departments, and taxpayer groups/associations for taxpayer assistance, administration, taxpayer education, and tax compliance purposes.

The Organizational Learning/Training Section is the resource base for the training of employees in the Department. The responsibilities of this section includes the coordination of training for all employees, development of training initiatives, and the structuring of steering committees to plan, design, and implement training opportunities within each tax division. The division also coordinates orientation for all new employees, addresses organizational development issues, and works as a resource for special projects within various divisions in the Department.

The Project Management Section has the responsibility to assist the Executive group of the Department in assuring that high profile, high cost, department-wide projects are planned, initiated, executed, and concluded in a timely manner and within budgetary confines. The Section utilizes project management tools and concepts to guide and monitor the progress of deliverables defined within the project. The projects may or may not be technologically based but would have the potential of impacting a substantially large segment of the department

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Office of Legal Affairs

The Office of Legal Affairs is comprised of the Legal Division, Policy Services Division and Special Investigations.

The Legal Division is primarily responsible for representing the Department's interest in tax litigation in the courts and before the Board of Tax Appeals. In addition, the division is responsible for litigating bankruptcy cases in the federal bankruptcy courts, civil service appeals before the Civil Service Commission, and employment discrimination cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The legal staff also drafts and reviews departmental contracts for such matters as professional services and leases; reviews lien releases; and participates in taxpayer conferences.

The Policy Services Division serves as a single source of contact for official policy guidance for the public and the employees. The Policy Services Division is comprised of research tax analysts and attorneys. The staff drafts and issues various policy statements including the promulgation of Rules, Revenue Rulings, Private Letter Rulings, and Revenue Information Bulletins. In addition, the division drafts and monitors legislation.

The Special Investigations Division is the Department's primary criminal tax enforcement unit. Its function is to review alleged violations of the tax laws, to investigate those violations, and to recommend criminal prosecutions as warranted. The Special Investigations Division also investigates alleged criminal violations and serious misconduct by Department employees. In carrying out its role to identify willful noncompliance with the state's tax laws, the division relies on referrals from other divisions, as well as information from other governmental agencies and the public.

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Office of Management and Finance

The Controller's Division is responsible for all fiscal matters of the Department. The division deposits and classifies approximately $6.0 billion annually to the State Treasury and accounts for more than one million refund checks. In addition, the division prepares the annual budget request, administers expenditures according to the budget, and monitors the budget. The 2000-01 budget expenditure was $60,311,935. The division also analyzes financial data and prepares monthly and annual financial reports.

The Purchasing Section procures all goods and services for the agency's personnel and performs all contract/grant/lease management functions.

The Human Resources Division provides personnel and payroll services, placement counseling to applicants, classification analysis, pay administration, rule and law interpretation, and compliance monitoring. Special pay options are also coordinated through Human Resources. The staff coordinates employee recruitment, placement, testing, and various benefits including life and health insurances. Processing of personnel requests, disciplinary action assistance, performance planning and review program, the employee assistance program, and grievance procedure guidance are also provided by this division.

The Information Technology Division is responsible for supporting the Department's use of computer technology. The division's role is to identify, develop, and maintain those technologies that will best serve the public and assist in accomplishing the Department's mission. The Division is also responsible for developing, processing, maintaining, and distributing executive information that aids in management decision-making, planning, and forecasting. It also coordinates nontraditional filing (nonpaper) and implements and coordinates interactive voice response applications. The Division performs help desk functions for tax preparers and software vendors involved with electronic filing.

The Internal Audit Division reviews and evaluates internal controls and operational activities, and has full authority to access all records, property, and employees of the Department in order to fulfill its responsibility. Internal Audit is also responsible for providing objective analysis and constructive recommendations to assist management with their responsibility for monitoring internal controls that do the following:

  • Safeguard resources.
  • Ensure reliable data and information.
  • Promote effective, efficient operations.
  • Encourage compliance with laws/regulations and management's plans, policies, and procedures.

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Office of Tax Administration, Group I

The Revenue Processing Center is responsible for the initial processing of all tax returns, remittances, supporting documentation, and correspondence received by the Department. This includes opening, sorting, and reviewing all returns and accompanying mail, performing archival capture functions, remittance deposit preparation, and data entry into the computer systems. These functions are generally performed using high-speed character recognition and imaging technologies. The division processes four million returns and remittances each year.

The Post Processing Services Division performs the post audit function for the sales, excise, individual income, and corporation income and franchise taxes. The division's primary mission is to examine and resolve data input discrepancies and questionable reportings identified through computer system edits and to review and approve refunds.

The Support Services Division provides a wide variety of services that support the operation of all other divisions within the Department's Headquarters facility, its regional and district offices, and affiliated agencies. The Mail Services Section processes more than 4.7 million pieces of mail each year. The Forms Distribution Section receives tax preparers' requests for tax forms and prepares the forms for shipping. These requests are received through USPS mail, Internet e-mail, telephone, walk-in traffic, or the Department's automated telephone system. This section also answers general information telephone inquiries. The Forms/Supplies Inventory Section monitors and maintains adequate levels of the Department's inventory of forms and office supplies. This includes preparing requisitions for these items, performing annual inventory duties, and determining the value of the Department's forms and office supplies inventory.

Other Support Services Division responsibilities include:

  • providing security services that comply with IRS federal tax data storage requirements;
  • assisting the Department with record retention and destruction duties;
  • serving as the coordinator with the Office of Telecommunications for communication system requests; and,
  • serving as the Department's Safety Coordinator.

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Office of Tax Administration, Group II

The Collection Division is the billing center for the Department. The Call Center in conjunction with the Collection Division provides a central contact point for taxpayers inquiring about their account. During this fiscal year, the Collection Division reported collections of $377,289,185 in delinquent collections.

The Taxpayer Services Division registers new businesses for all applicable taxes, provides tax assistance and information, maintains the Department's master file databases, registers contracts for nonresident contractors, and certifies resident contractors. The division consists of a central registrations section, a contractor registration section, an administrative support section, and a problem resolution office.

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Office of Tax Administration, Group III

The Office of Tax Administration, Group III, is comprised of the following divisions: Field Audit Services, Office Audit, and Regional Offices.

The Field Audit Services Division is the enforcement division primarily responsible for the discovery and generation of tax revenues that would otherwise go unreported and uncollected. Through the audit process, future voluntary compliance is improved by informing the taxpayer of Louisiana tax laws, rules, and regulations that are applicable to the individual's type of business. Additionally, the presence of an active audit program contributes to a higher level of voluntary tax compliance by serving as a deterrent to would-be tax evaders. The division also provides a state tax audit program in district offices located outside Louisiana and assists in the planning and administration of the Department's regional offices within the state in order to achieve uniform and efficient application of their audit, taxpayer assistance, inspection, collection, cashier service, and excise taxes enforcement. Auditors are located throughout Louisiana, as well as in major metropolitan centers around the country. This division is comprised of several key functions designed to support the enforcement activities. The key functions are: Audit Review, Assignment Control, Audit Selection and Development, Audit Technology and Excise Taxes - Field Audit Group. Audit collections in fiscal year 2000-01 totaled more than $72.7 million.

The Office Audit Division is responsible for receiving, verifying and paying claims for refunds submitted by the taxpayers of the state. This division is responsible for processing refunds related to excise taxes, sales and use taxes, motor vehicle tax, and corporation income and franchise taxes. This division was created with one primary objective in mind, the return of tax overpayments to taxpayers in the most expedient manner.

The Regional Offices provide taxpayers with a full-service state tax office in their area. Each office is a center for conducting the Department's business with the taxpayer on a regional basis. These regional offices provide administrative support, cashier services, taxpayer assistance, field inspection and collection, field audits, and excise taxes enforcement.

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Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control

The Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) is responsible for overseeing the alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries within the state. Retail dealers selling alcohol or tobacco products must be licensed and are monitored for compliance with Title 26, the Alcohol and Tobacco Control Law. This office monitors wholesale dealers to ensure compliance with Fair Trade regulations and retail dealers to prevent access to alcoholic beverages for persons under age 21 and access to tobacco products for persons under age 18.

The office is comprised of two divisions: the Certification Division and the Enforcement Division.

The Certification Division is responsible for licensing alcoholic beverage manufacturers, native wineries, retailers, wholesalers, and wholesale tobacco product dealers. Permits are issued to eligible applicants upon a completed investigation by the Investigative and Enforcement Division. The Certification Division issues approximately 30,000 permits annually. In addition, the Certification Division is responsible for notifying permit holders of renewal dates and collecting permit fees and administrative fines.

The Enforcement Division is responsible for investigating permit applications for compliance with permit regulations. Based on these investigations, permits can be issued or denied by the Certification Division. This division is also responsible for administering Title 26, the Alcohol and Tobacco Control Law. Enforcement agents, in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel, conduct random inspections to uncover violations of law (including drug trafficking) at locations where alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are sold. Agents also investigate the current license holder's operations to assure compliance with the laws that govern the alcohol and tobacco industries. Annually, the division conducts more than 15,000 inspections and responds to 10,000 dealer requests. Legislation in 1997 created the Responsible Vendor Program within the Enforcement Division. This section monitors, certifies, and issues more than 150,000 Responsible Vendor permits statewide to all employees of permitted alcohol beverage outlets. The intent of this program is to educate vendors as to their responsibilities and deter sales of alcohol and tobacco to underage citizens.

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Office of Charitable Gaming

The Office of Charitable Gaming (OCG) monitors and regulates the charitable gaming industry in the State of Louisiana. Charitable Gaming is defined as non-profit organizations raising funds through games of chance where all net proceeds are contributed to bona fide charitable causes. Training sessions are conducted for the organizations that hold these games to ensure that they understand their responsibilities when conducting charitable games as well as the reporting requirements for all their proceeds and expenses.

There are two divisions within OCG: Licensing and Auditing.

Licensing - Seven different types of licenses are issued through OCG for Organizations, Commercial Lessors, Distributors and Manufacturers. For fiscal year ending June 2002 there were approximately 500 organizations licensed to conduct charitable activities. These organizations collected over $192 million in gross wagers and paid out over $145 million in prizes to the players. These same organizations reflected charitable contributions in excess of $20 million.

Auditing - Another responsibility of the Office is to ensure that all net proceeds of these games are devoted to educational, charitable, patriotic, religious, or public spirited uses. OCG monitors this by conducting detailed audits of organizations, performing surprise inspections of games, and offering comprehensive training sessions.

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Offices Associated with the Department

The Louisiana Tax Commission is a three-member board responsible for the ad valorem assessments for a number of public service corporations or companies. The Commission is also responsible for ensuring that all properties are assessed equitably and uniformly.

The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission is a five-member commission that administers the sales tax refund program that applies to retail purchases made by international visitors. Louisiana is the first state in the nation to approve tax-free shopping for foreign visitors.