New Orleans tax preparer arrested for fraud

BATON ROUGE – A New Orleans woman faces charges of defrauding the State of Louisiana of more than $900,000 through the filing of false tax returns, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

Kenshika Sade Jiles, of 5209 Spain Street in New Orleans, was arrested by investigators from the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 16 and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. She faces two felony counts of computer fraud and injuring public records.

Investigators say Jiles, owner of S&A Tax Service, prepared and submitted tax returns containing false information including phony business expenses, unreimbursed employee expenses and improper child care tax credit claims. Her alleged actions resulted in $923,751 in unpaid taxes and fraudulent refunds.

Jiles is the 17th person arrested since March 2013 under an anti-fraud initiative by the Department of Revenue and state Department of Justice.

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Revenue Information Bulletin 14-008: Partnership Composite Return Automatic Extension

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Revenue Information Bulletin 14-008: Partnership Composite Return Automatic Extension:

Act 580 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacted La. R.S. 47:201.1(F)(4) to require that all composite returns be filed electronically.  This change is effective for taxable periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013.

The filing date for partnership composite returns for the 2013 tax period is May 15, 2014.  Currently, the only method of electronically filing these returns is via third party software vendors.  As of this date, there are currently no third party software vendors who have been approved by the Louisiana Department of Revenue.  Several products are currently being tested, but such testing is not complete as of this time. 

Due to the uncertainty as to when electronic filing of partnership composite returns will be available, the Louisiana Department of Revenue has decided to provide for an automatic extension of six (6) months for the filing of said returns.  The returns will now be due on November 15, 2014. This extension grants additional time only to file a return. It does not grant additional time to pay taxes due.

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Bossier Parish tax preparer arrested on fraud charges

BATON ROUGE – A Bossier Parish tax preparer faces felony charges related to tax fraud, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Wednesday.

Marie Kemp, known also as Marie Devers, of 430 Kingston Road in Benton, was arrested in Bossier City on April 3, 2014, and transported to Baton Rouge on April 7, where she was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Kemp is the 16th person arrested under a joint anti-fraud initiative by the Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ). She faces 21 counts of identity theft, computer fraud, and filing or maintaining false public records.

Kemp is accused of falsifying tax returns filed through Marie’s Tax Service, a tax preparation business with two locations in Bossier City. She allegedly inflated income tax refunds for her clients by improperly claiming the state’s Child Care Expense Tax Credit. Investigators contacted the providers listed on the falsified returns, who denied providing the services.

“The abuse of state tax credits is fraud,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “This anti-fraud initiative helps to ensure valuable programs such as the Child Care Expense Tax Credit remain available for those who need them.”

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Alexandria business owner arrested for tax fraud

BATON ROUGE – An Alexandria business owner faces two felony fraud charges of failing to account for state and local tax monies, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Friday. It is the latest arrest to result from a joint effort by LDR and the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat fraud.

Linda Gayle Pettit, owner of Airbrush LA, LLC, was arrested at her place of business in the Alexandria Mall on Tuesday, April 1 and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

Pettit is accused of failing to remit sales taxes to Rapides Parish and to the State of Louisiana. The amount due Rapides Parish is $32,439.75 for sales taxes collected from March 2010 through February 2014. She owes the Louisiana Department of Revenue $17, 376.70 for the period September 2010 through September 2013.

“We are seeing great results from our efforts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of tax fraud,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “Fraud harms everyone, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with the Attorney General’s office and local authorities on this statewide anti-fraud initiative.”

Rapides Parish tax authorities supported LDR and DOJ in the investigation.

The joint anti-fraud initiative has resulted in more than a dozen arrests since it began in March 2013.

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Revenue Information Bulletin 14-007: Louisiana Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has issued Revenue Information Bulletin 14-007: Louisiana Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit.

Act 418 of the 2013 Regular Session enacted the Louisiana Tax Credit Registry Act to establish a central tax credit registry within the Department of Revenue for the registration and recordation of transferable tax credits granted, issued and authorized by the state. The Louisiana Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit is one of several tax credit programs that the Department of Revenue (LDR) will be required to track in the Registry. This credit is allowed for the eligible costs and expenses incurred during the rehabilitation of a historic structure located in a downtown development or a cultural district. Eligible structures must be nonresidential real property or residential rental property. (R.S. 47:6019(A)(2)(b)) The credit shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the eligible costs and expenses of the rehabilitation and no taxpayer, or any entity affiliated with such taxpayer, shall claim more than $5,000,000 of credit annually for any number of structures rehabilitated within a particular downtown development or cultural district. (R.S. 47:6019(A)(1)(a)) The credit is earned only in the year in which the property attributable to the expenditures is placed in service. (R.S. 47:6019(A)(1)(b))

After the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has certified the rehabilitation, LDR Secretary may deem an application for credit approved for purposes of the Registry. This Revenue Information Bulletin will set forth the guidelines for the recordation and approval of the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit by the SHPO and LDR.

Click here to read the full text of RIB 14-007.

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Louisiana state income tax filing begins January 31, 2014

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) will begin processing 2013 state individual income tax returns on January 31, 2014. On that date, 2013 state income tax forms will become available at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/taxformsLouisiana File Online, the state’s free electronic filing application will begin accepting returns on that date, as well.

The state income tax filing deadline is May 15, 2014.

LDR recommends the following steps to ensure the fastest, most accurate tax return and refund processing:

  • File electronically – The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 21 days; for paper returns, expect to wait 12 to 16 weeks
  • Update your personal information if your name or address has changed during the tax year
  • Double-check return information – Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct, and that all names and Social Security numbers are in the same order as previous years; 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
  • If additional tax is due, include the remittance coupon to ensure proper payment posting
  • 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

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Louisiana File Online is the state’s free web portal for individual and business tax filers. With Louisiana File Online, taxpayers can:

  • File returns and pay taxes electronically
  • Check the status of individual income tax refunds
  • Amend tax returns
  • View business tax information for current and previous years

Louisiana File Online is a public service from the Department of Revenue. There are no fees associated with its use. Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.   

Taxpayers may also use commercial tax preparation software to file their state income taxes.

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Revenue Information Bulletin 13-029: Electronic Filing Extensions for Composite Returns

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Revenue Information Bulletin (RIB) 13-029: Electronic Filing Extensions for Composite Returns:

Beginning with returns due on or after May 15, 2014, partnerships that file composite tax returns are required to submit their request for a filing extension electronically. All extension requests must be made on or before the return’s due date.

Extension Requests

Extensions may be requested by requesting the extension electronically through the LDR website or tax preparation software.

A tax filing extension granted by the secretary only allows for an extension of time to file the tax return. The extension does not allow an extension of time to pay the tax due. To avoid interest and penalty assessments, taxes should be paid on or before the original due date.

Visit the LDR website to read the full text of RIB 13-029.

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2013 Louisiana tax amnesty collections reach $435 million

BATON ROUGE – The 2013 state tax amnesty program has received more than 52,000 applications with payments totaling over $435 million, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

“Taxpayers responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to fulfill their obligations and settle their accounts with the state,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “We believe we have received the overwhelming majority of applications, and we continue to process those applications that were submitted by the deadline to ensure compliance with the amnesty eligibility requirements.”

Of the $435 million collected, approximately $369 million came from accounts under audit and litigation, which generally are contested matters involving businesses, and $66 million came from delinquent tax collections generally involving individuals. Amnesty collections include $67 million paid using transferable tax credits.

LDR estimates the cost of administering the amnesty program, including its share of outside legal fees, is approximately $14 million. And, as provided under the amnesty statute, LDR will retain about $64 million to replace penalties and fees waived under the program.

LA Tax Amnesty 2013: A Fresh Start gave eligible taxpayers the chance to bring their accounts up to date by paying all taxes due, with a waiver of all penalties and 50 percent of the interest. The program was in effect from September 23 through November 22. Taxpayers submitted applications by mail, online or at LDR customer service centers throughout the state.

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“Online” doesn’t mean “tax-free”

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) reminds shoppers on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout the year that “online” does not mean “tax-free.” Louisiana’s Consumer Use Tax applies to purchases from out-0f-state vendors who do not charge sales tax. This occurs frequently when shopping online or with catalogues or television shopping networks.

When out-of-state vendors do not charge sales tax, Louisiana state law requires the shopper to report and pay the Consumer Use Tax.  The tax is calculated at a rate of 8 percent, payable directly to the Department of Revenue.

 The Consumer Use Tax helps to protect Louisiana businesses from unfair competition with online retailers and other out-of-state vendors who don’t charge sales tax. And it helps to provide the money for vital state services such as education, health care and public safety.

Shoppers can report the Consumer Use Tax on their state individual income tax returns, or they can use the Consumer Use Tax return, available at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/taxforms.

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Louisiana tax amnesty program reaches $200 million goal

BATON ROUGE – The 2013 Louisiana Tax Amnesty program that concluded on Friday has reached its goal of $200 million in collections.

“Based on applications and payments processed as of this morning, we have met the $200 million goal included in the budget for fiscal year 2014,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said Monday. “We expect that number to grow as we receive and process applications and payments submitted in the final days and hours of the amnesty program.”

LA Tax Amnesty 2013: A Fresh Start offered noncompliant taxpayers an opportunity to settle their accounts with the state by paying all taxes due, with a waiver of all penalties and 50 percent of the interest. Eligible taxpayers could apply for amnesty online, by mail, or in person at Department of Revenue offices. Applications submitted by mail are valid as long as they were postmarked no later than Friday, November 22. As those applications and payments are received and processed, the amnesty total is expected to increase.

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