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Storm Victims in Eight More Parishes Are Eligible for Sales Tax Refunds

Affected taxpayers also get extensions to file and pay taxes

October 23, 2002

BATON ROUGE - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has added eight more Louisiana parishes to the 28 already designated disaster areas after Hurricane Lili. The designation means that storm victims in all 36 parishes are eligible for refunds of state sales taxes paid on uninsured personally owned movable property destroyed by the storm, according to Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges. She adds that taxpayers in those parishes have also been granted extensions of time to file tax returns and make payments that were due during or immediately after the storm.

The eight newly added parishes are Allen, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, St. Helena, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Washington, and West Baton Rouge. The 28 parishes originally declared disaster areas after the storm are Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Vermillion.

“Revised Statute 47:315.1 of the Louisiana Sales Tax Law allows the state to refund the sales tax paid by citizens who lost moveable property that was not reimbursable by insurance,” Bridges says. This means storm victims in the eight new parishes and the previously designated 28 parishes are eligible for state sales tax refunds on insured personally owned moveable property lost in the storm.

Bridges says that taxpayers in the designated parishes have also had their tax return due dates extended. “The Internal Revenue Service has extended until December 2, 2002 due dates for certain fiscal year corporations and for individuals and businesses that had returns and payments that were due by October 15, 2002. This is also the new due date for the state return filed by those same taxpayers,” Bridges says. In the case of other types of state taxes that may have been due between September 26, 2002 and October 4, 2002, Bridges says those due dates have been extended by 30 days from the original due date. The types of taxes with 30-day extensions include withholding tax, severance tax, oil/condensate tax, natural gas tax, timber tax, and minerals tax. Bridges says taxpayers should write the words “Hurricane Lili” in red ink at the top of any return that is filed under these extensions. There will be no delinquent filing or payment penalties for taxpayers filing under this relief, but interest will accrue on any taxes due.

In order to obtain a refund of sales tax paid on uninsured personally owned movable property destroyed by the storm, a citizen’s loss must meet the following guidelines:
* The loss was not reimbursable by insurance.
* The loss must be suffered by a natural person and must be to property used in or about the citizen’s home, apartment, or homestead. Property owned by other than a natural person, such as a corporation, partnership, or any type of business, does not qualify for a sales tax refund.
* The statute only authorizes refunds of sales taxes paid on the original acquisition of destroyed property and not on the acquisition of replacement property.
* The destroyed property eligible for a sales tax refund must have been moveable, both at the time of its purchase and at the time of its destruction. Sales taxes paid on components that become parts of buildings, homes, or other fixed structures are not eligible for refund. Accordingly, no refund is authorized for taxes paid by a homeowner on such fixed items as wall-to-wall carpeting, cooling or heating systems, lighting fixtures, lavatories, or wall structures. Refunds can be made for taxes paid on movables such as clothing, boats, appliances, or furniture.
* The person making the claim must have paid state sales or use tax on the acquisition of the destroyed property. If the property was acquired by the person suffering the loss without the payment of the state sales or use tax, or if the purchase was made in another state, or if the destroyed property was acquired as a gift, then a refund cannot be issued under this statute.

Bridges says persons suffering movable property losses from Hurricane Lili must file a claim with the Department using Form 1362 (Natural Disaster Claim for Refund of State Sales Taxes Paid), Form R-1362I (Natural Disaster Claim for Refund - General Information), Form R-1362S (Natural Disaster Claim for Refund - Schedule), and Form R1363 (Refund of State Sales Taxes Paid on Titled Assets). The forms are available from the Department’s website at www.rev.state.la.us under “Tax Forms” and the sub-heading “Sales Tax.” Information and forms may also be obtained from any of the following Department offices: Baton Rouge, (225) 219-7356; New Orleans, (504) 568-5233; Thibodaux, (337) 447-0976; Lafayette, (337) 262-5455; Lake Charles, (337) 491-2504; Alexandria, (318) 487-5333; Shreveport, (318) 676-7505; and Monroe, (318) 362-3151.