Archive for January, 2012

School expenses eligible for Louisiana state income tax deductions

BATON ROUGE – Education expenses paid during the 2011 tax year may be eligible for Louisiana state income tax deductions.  The Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Tax Deductions apply to tuition, school supplies, uniforms and home-schooling expenses.

There are three separate deductions:

  • Elementary and Secondary School Tuition (La. R.S. 47:297.10) – Applies to 100 percent of eligible expenses paid during the tax year, limited to $5,000 per dependent child enrolled in a nonpublic elementary or secondary school.  Eligible expenses include tuition, fees, uniforms, textbooks and other supplies required by the school.
  • Education Expenses for Home-schooled Children (La. R.S. 47:297.11) – Applies to 50 percent of eligible expenses paid during the tax year, limited to $5,000 per dependent.  Eligible expenses include amounts paid for the purchase of textbooks and curricula necessary for home-schooling.  To qualify for the deduction, you must be approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) for home-schooling.
  • Educational Expenses for a Quality Public Education (La. R.S. 47:297.12) – Applies to 50 percent of eligible expenses paid during the tax year, limited to $5,000 per dependent child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school, including Louisiana Department of Education-approved charter schools.  Eligible expenses include uniforms, textbooks and other supplies required by the school.

To claim any of these deductions, you must be able to claim the student as a dependent on your Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return.  You must also be able to provide documentation of expenses paid. 

Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/schooldeduction for more information.

Comments off

‘Get your tax return quicker’

From WBRZ-TV:

If you file by paper, the Louisiana Department of Revenue estimates it will take between 12 and 16 weeks to get your return. E-file on the state’s website here, and you could get your return in ten business days, according to Byron Henderson with the Department of Revenue.

Comments off

LDR Video: File electronically for the fastest refunds

Comments off

Top tip for faster tax refunds: file electronically

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) encourages all taxpayers to file electronically when they submit their 2011 state individual income tax returns.

“Electronic filing is the best way to ensure error-free returns and speedy income tax refunds,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.

LDR began accepting 2011 Louisiana Individual Income Tax Returns on January 17.  The state filing deadline is May 15.

In addition to electronic filing, a careful review of your tax return can help to avoid unnecessary delays.  Many refunds are delayed because of common errors and omissions. 

Steps to avoid delayed refunds include:

  • File electronically.  The average processing time for refunds is ten business days when using electronic options such as Louisiana File Online, the state’s free tax filing web application.  For paper returns, the processing time is 12 to 16 weeks.  Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.
  • Double check the accuracy of your return.  Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct.  Math errors and incorrect tax table information are leading causes of delayed refunds.
  • Include all supporting documentation such as W-2s.  Use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return.
  • Don’t forget to sign the return.
  • Update your mailing address with the United States Postal Service and the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
  • For paper returns, be sure to attach the proper label to the mailing envelope.

To avoid the potential for late fees and other penalties, taxpayers needing additional time to file must request filing extensions in a timely manner.  This year’s deadline for a state filing extension request is May 15, 2012.  Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/extensions.

If a tax payment is due, include the remittance coupon with paper returns to ensure proper posting.  Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.  Do not send cash. 

Do not include copies of the federal return with the state return.

Comments off

Update mailing address for tax filing season

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) advises all taxpayers to ensure their mailing addresses are up to date in their LDR records and with the United States Postal Service. 

“One of the most common causes of delayed income tax refunds is an incorrect mailing address,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.  “Any refund sent to an incorrect address is returned to the Department of Revenue, resulting in a substantial delay to the taxpayer.”

Taxpayers who have moved since their last tax filing should submit a change-of-address form at the post office.  In addition, they can update their addresses with the Department of Revenue at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/AddressChange.

The Department of Revenue will begin accepting 2011 individual and corporate state income tax returns on January 17, 2012.

For more information, call the LDR Customer Service Center at 225-219-7462.

Comments off

Department of Revenue announces new staff appointments

BATON ROUGE – Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges announced on Friday two appointments to the management team of the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR).

Jane Smith joins LDR as Deputy Secretary, assisting the Secretary with administrative and legislative matters.  Smith is a former state lawmaker first elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1999.  Her legislative experience includes tenure as vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee, in addition to assignments on House and Governmental Affairs, the House Executive Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay, and the Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs.  She is a former school superintendent who earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Northwestern State University.

Joseph Vaughn will serve as Assistant Secretary with supervisory authority over the Department of Revenue’s tax audit programs.  Vaughn is a veteran tax administrator with over 20 years’ experience at LDR, having served as director of the Alexandria regional field office for 12 years, and most recently as Assistant Director over the newly re-organized North Louisiana District.  Mr. Vaughn has also worked in the private sector in various audit management positions for the Roy O Martin organization and the Revenue Recovery Group, Inc.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from LSU.

Comments off

Department of Revenue to begin accepting state income tax returns on Jan. 17, 2012

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) will begin accepting 2011 Louisiana individual and corporation income tax returns on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, including electronic returns filed with commercial tax preparation software and LDR’s electronic tax filing applications, Louisiana File Online and LaTAP.  Income tax forms and booklets for the 2011 tax year will also become available on that date.   Forms will be available at all LDR offices and at public libraries throughout the state, with the exception of those in Jefferson Parish.

LDR recommends all taxpayers file their taxes electronically.  Electronic filing ensures the fastest income tax refunds and is the only way to enjoy the benefits of direct deposit.  The average refund processing time for electronic returns is 10 business days. For paper returns, it is 12 to 16 weeks.

The Department of Revenue encourages all taxpayers to ensure their mailing addresses are up to date.  If you have moved since your last tax filing, please update your address with the United States Postal Service.  In addition, you can change your address with the Department of Revenue at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/AddressChange.  Failure to update a changed mailing address can result in delayed income tax refunds and correspondence.

Comments off

WBRZ-TV: ‘Tax refunds available as debit cards’

Comments off