Archive for June, 2010

Revenue Information Bulletin 10-015: Sales Tax Treatment of Transactions Involving Pay-per-view and On-demand Movies

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Revenue Information Bulletin No. 10-015 concerning the state sales taxability of transactions for the furnishing of pay-per-view and on-demand movies leased by viewers from cable television and satellite television providers.

Louisiana Revised Statute 47:305.16 provides a sales and use tax exemption for necessary fees incurred in connection with the installation and service of cable television. This exemption applies only to funds collected from the subscriber for regular service, installation and repairs. Rentals of pay-per-view and on-demand movies and programs are not considered part of a regular subscription purchase by a cable or satellite customer. There is an extra fee for pay-per-view movies and for some on-demand movies over and above the regular subscription service fee charged to each customer.

Read the full text of RIB 10-015 at www.revenue.louisiana.gov.

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Revenue Information Bulletin 10-014: Collection of Oil Spill Contingency Fee to Resume July 1, 2010

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has published Revenue Information Bulletin No. 10-014 concerning the resumption on July 1, 2010, of collection of the oil spill contingency fee imposed by R.S. 30:2485-2486.  This fee is imposed on owners of crude oil at the time that the crude oil is transferred to or from a vessel at a marine terminal in the State of Louisiana.

The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, La. R.S. 30:2451 et seq., provides for a per barrel oil spill contingency fee on crude oil at the time that it is transferred to or from a vessel at a marine terminal within the state. Collection of the fee has been suspended since January 1, 2008.

The Department of Revenue received notice from the State Treasurer certifying that conditions exist to resume collection of the fee. Therefore, collection of the oil spill contingency fee will resume July 1, 2010, at the rate of two cents per barrel. Returns must be filed quarterly on or before the last day of the month following the calendar quarter to which the fee applies. The first return, covering the third quarter of 2010, will be due by October 31, 2010.

Read the full text of RIB 10-014 at www.revenue.louisiana.gov.

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LDR announces Audit Protest Bureau for dispute resolution

A new forum for audit dispute resolution is available to Louisiana taxpayers beginning July 1, 2010, the Louisiana Department of Revenue announced Thursday.

The Audit Protest Bureau (APB) is an independent unit of the Department of Revenue staffed and managed by legal and tax administration experts who are trained in dispute resolution.  APB staff will work with the parties to resolve audit protests in a timely manner.

“APB’s purpose is to resolve tax-related disputes at the earliest opportunity,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.  “This is the first step in a process to find an equitable solution for both parties without resorting to costly and time-consuming litigation.”

The audit-protest process works in three steps:

  1. When a proposed tax assessment is issued but before formal assessments, APB will have control of the audit-protest process;
  2. Taxpayers wishing to dispute an assessment must file a protest with APB;
  3. APB determines the facts, identifies unresolved issues and renders a written determination.

Any taxpayer who wishes to dispute a tax assessment issued because of an audit must file a written protest with APB within 30 days.  The protest petition form is available effective July 1, 2010, on the Tax Forms page at www.revenue.louisiana.gov.

For more information, please contact:

Audit Protest Bureau

Louisiana Department of Revenue

617 North Third Street

Baton Rouge, LA 70802

225.219.1641

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Revenue Information Bulletin No. 10-012: ‘Regarding Sales Tax Treatment of Hotel Accommodations for Employees of the Federal Government’

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has released Revenue Information Bulletin (RIB) No. 10-012 regarding the sales tax treatment of hotel accomodations for employees of the federal government.

Louisiana Revised Statute 47:302(C), 47:321(C), and 47:331(C) impose an aggregate 4% state sales tax on the sale of certain enumerated services. Under R.S. 47:301(14) the term “sale of services” includes the furnishing of sleeping rooms, cottages, or cabins by hotels. A “hotel,” as defined by La. R.S. 47:301(6)(a), means any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing sleeping rooms, cottages, or cabins to transient guests, where such establishment consists of six or more sleeping rooms, cottages, or cabins at a single business location.

Under La. R.S. 47:301(8)(a) a “person” includes any “individual, firm, co-partnership, joint adventure, association, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, this state, any parish, city and parish, municipality, district or other political subdivision thereof or any board, agency, instrumentality, or other group or combination acting as unit, and the plural as well as the singular number.

Visit revenue.louisiana.gov to read the full text of RIB 10-012.

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Saving for college with START Saving Program has tax benefits

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana families can deduct thousands of dollars per year from their Louisiana taxable income when they use the state’s START Saving Program to save money for college.

START is the Student Tuition and Revenue Trust program, a qualified tuition plan under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Louisiana Department of Revenue is partnering with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) to make families aware that START account deposits are not subject to state taxes and START account earnings are not subject to state or federal taxes when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses which include tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, room and board and expenses for “special needs”.

START deposits may also be excluded from Louisiana taxable income. An account owner filing a single return can deduct up to $2,400 per year per beneficiary. Account owners filing jointly can deduct up to $4,800 per year per beneficiary.

The minimum deposit on a START account is only $10. Deposits can be made by payroll deduction, automatic debit, or direct payment.

For more information about saving for college with Louisiana’s START Saving Program, visit www.startsaving.la.gov or call 800-259-5626, ext. 1012.

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LDR announces Customer Service Saturday – Saturday, June 19

Regional offices of the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) will be open on Saturday, June 19, 2010 to provide walk-in customer service to Louisiana taxpayers.

“On Customer Service Saturday, individuals and businesses can receive general taxpayer assistance and answers to questions about issues such as delinquent billing notices,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.

LDR regional offices will be open on Saturday, June 19, from 9 AM to 2 PM.  Service is available on a first-come, first-served basis, no appointments necessary.

To make the customer service experience as fast and efficient as possible, taxpayers should bring all relevant records with them.

Business owners who cannot attend Customer Servicer Saturday are invited to make appointments with the LDR Mobile Tax Service (MTS).  MTS can visit them at their places of business to resolve issues using remote technology on tablet PCs.  Call your LDR regional office to make an MTS appointment.

LOCATIONS

Alexandria

900 Murray Street
Room B 100
Alexandria, LA 71309-7661
318-487-5333

Baton Rouge

617 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
225-219-0102

Lafayette
825 Kaliste Saloom Road
Brandywine III, Suite 150
Lafayette, LA 70508
337-262-5455

Lake Charles
1 Lake Shore Drive
Suite 1550
Lake Charles, LA 70629
337-491-2504

Monroe
122 St. John Street
Room 105
Monroe, LA 71201
318-362-3151

New Orleans
1555 Poydras Street
Suite 2100
New Orleans, LA 70112
504-568-5233

Shreveport
1525 Fairfield Avenue
Room 630
Shreveport, LA 71101
318-676-7505

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LDR Video – Parish E-File

Parish E-File.com is a free, secure web application that allows businesses to file multiple parish sales & use tax returns and remittances to the state and to local taxing authorities throughout Louisiana from one online location.

To learn more, visit www.parishe-file.com.

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IRS: ‘Open House Saturday June 5 to Help Taxpayers Solve Problems ‘

IR-2010-71, June 3, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will once again host a special nationwide open house on Saturday, June 5 to help taxpayers solve tax problems and respond to notices from the IRS.

Approximately 200 IRS offices, at least one in every state, will be open June 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. IRS staff will be available on site or by telephone to help taxpayers work through their problems –– especially recently received tax notices –– and walk out with solutions.

“We’ve helped thousands of taxpayers resolve their problems the same day at these open houses,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “If you have a question regarding a notice, a problem with your taxes or difficulty resolving a tough tax issue, we encourage you to come in and work with us.”

IRS locations will be equipped to handle issues involving notices and payments, return preparation, audits and a variety of other issues. At a previous IRS open house on May 15, close to 7,000 taxpayers sought and received assistance. About 97 percent of the taxpayers who came in for help had their issues resolved the same day.

At the June 5 open house, someone who has received a notice seeking additional information can speak with an IRS employee to get a clear explanation of what is necessary to satisfy the request. A taxpayer who cannot pay a tax balance due can discuss with an IRS professional whether an installment agreement is appropriate and, if so, fill out the paperwork then and there. Assistance with offers-in-compromise — an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s debt for less than the full amount owed — will also be available. Likewise, a taxpayer struggling to complete a certain IRS form or schedule can work directly with IRS staff to get the job done.

The open house on June 5 is the second of three events scheduled after tax season this year. The first was held on May 15. The next event, previously scheduled for Saturday June 26, will be held later this fall. Details regarding that event will be available later.

The following offices will be open in Louisiana:

Baton Rouge: 2600 Citiplace Centre
Baton Rouge, LA. 70808

New Orleans: 1555 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Shreveport: 3007 Knight Street
Shreveport, LA 71105

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