Archive for February, 2012

New RIBs

New Revenue Information Bulletins (RIBs) from the Louisiana Department of Revenue include:

12-001 – 2012 Interest Rate Collected on Unpaid Taxes

Effective January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, interest on unpaid taxes will be collected at the annual rate of 7.00 percent as provided by R.S. 47:1601(A)(2)(a)(v), which states that interest shall accrue at an annual rate of three percentage points above the judicial interest rate provided for in R.S. 9:3500(B)(1).

12-002 – 2012 Judicial Interest Rate to be Paid on Refunds

The judicial interest rate, which is the rate the Department uses to pay interest on refunds and credits, has been set by the Office of Financial Institutions at four percent effective January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

12-003 – Exclusion from State and Local Tax Collection for Event Providing Louisiana Heritage, Culture, Crafts, Art, Food, and Music

Act No. 372 of the Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacted La. R.S. 47:301(10)(hh) and (14)(k) to exclude certain transactions from the definitions of “sale at retail” and “sales of services.” It also amended La. R.S. 47:305.14. Under the Act, sales of tangible personal property by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation Inc. at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are excluded from state and local taxation. Also excluded from sales and use tax – when payment is made to or for the benefit of the Foundation – are admission charges to the Festival, outside gate admissions to the Festival, and parking fees association with the Festival.

12-004 – Exclusion for Alternative Substances Used as Fuel by Manufacturers

La. R.S. 47:301(10)(z) and (18)(l) provide a state tax exclusion on the sale, use, consumption, distribution, storage for use or consumption in this state, or the exercise of any right or power over an alternative substance used as fuel by a manufacturer.

12-005 – Exemption for the Fore!Kids Foundation

Act 374 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacts La. R.S. 47:305.68 and 337.9 D(31) to exempt the Fore!Kids Foundation from sales and use tax imposed by the state or any political subdivisions. The effective date of the Act was June 30, 2011.

12-006 – Exemption for Parish Councils on Aging

Act 53 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacts La. R.S. 47:305.66 to exempt parish councils on aging from state sales and use taxes. The effective date of the Act was October 1, 2011.

12-007 – Exemption on Purchases Made by Qualifying Radiation Therapy Facility

La. R.S. 47:305.64 provides a state sales and use tax exemption on the amount paid by qualifying radiation therapy treatment centers for the purchase, lease, or repair of capital equipment. The statute defines “capital equipment” as tangible personal property eligible for depreciation for federal income tax purposes that is used in the diagnosis or treatment of cancer patients. The following examples are listed: linear accelerators, PET/CT scanners, imaging devices, and software necessary to operate the capital equipment. In the case of the Biomedical Research Foundation in Shreveport, “capital equipment” shall mean a PET/CT scanner and related equipment for medical diagnosis and installation of the same.

12-008 – Changes to Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction

Act 121 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (La. R.S. 47:297.10(A)) amends existing language in the statute to allow a deduction equal to the actual amount of eligible expenses paid on or after January 1, 2011 for a student’s enrollment in a nonpublic elementary or secondary school that complies with the criteria set forth in Brumfield et al v. Dodd, et al, 425 F. Supp. 528 and Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) or to any public elementary or secondary laboratory school that is operated by a public college or university. The deduction is limited to $5,000 per dependent and cannot exceed the total taxable income of the taxpayer. The deduction can be claimed by the parent or guardian who paid the eligible expenses during the tax year and claims the student as a dependent for the current taxable year or who claimed the student as a dependent for the prior year’s return.

12-009 – Angel Investor Tax Credit, Application of R.S. 47:6020

Act 414 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (La. R.S. 47:6020) amended the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program to establish a $5 million annual cap relative to the tax credit granted or awarded under the program. The Act changes the tax credit from refundable to a nonrefundable and transferrable tax credit. Under the program, individuals or entities that invest in a Louisiana Entrepreneurial Business as defined in La. R.S. 51:2303(5) may earn, apply for, and if qualified, be granted or awarded a nonrefundable transferrable tax credit. The amount of the tax credit is thirty-five (35%) percent of the amount of the investment with the credit divided in equal portions for five (5) years. The credit available in the first year is deductible from tax liability of a taxpayer in the income tax year of the taxpayer that occurs twenty-four (24) months from the date the Department of Louisiana Economic Development certifies the amount to the investment. The tax credit granted or awarded under the Angel Investor Program expires and has no value or effect on tax liability beginning on the eleventh tax year after the tax year in which the tax credit was originally granted.

12-010 – Act 171 Sampling and Managed Audits

Act 171 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended RS 47:1541(B) which authorizes the Secretary of Revenue (or his designee) to enter into binding agreements to use sampling procedures as a basis for projecting audit findings. The Act sets forth the criteria to be considered when determining whether sampling audit methods are appropriate.

12-011 – Act 327 Permits Direct Shipments of Alcoholic Beverages to Louisiana Consumers

During the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, Act 327 amended the provisions of Louisiana Revised Statute 26:359 related to wine being shipped from outside Louisiana direct to Louisiana consumers. More specifically, Act 327 increased the volume of wine that may be shipped directly to a consumer in Louisiana from forty-eight bottles per address to one hundred forty-four bottles by adult person per household. The bottles size allowed to be shipped is seven hundred fifty milliliter bottles. Act 327 is applicable to wine producers, wholesalers or retailers. Additionally, pursuant to La. R.S. 26:359 (B)(1)(i), a wine producer or manufacturer can only direct ship if they are not directly or indirectly subject to an agreement with a Louisiana wholesaler for any product they produce or supply.

12-012 – Tax Credit for Accessible and Barrier-free Constructed Home Application of La. R.S. 47:297(P)

Act 392 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (La. R.S. 47:297(P)) provides for all tax years beginning January 1, 2012, a tax credit against the tax liability of a taxpayer for the inclusion of accessible and barrier free design elements in the construction of a new one or two-family dwelling.

12-013 – 2012 Severance Tax Values for Timber Products

Louisiana Revised Statute 47:633 imposes a severance tax on timber and pulpwood based on the current average stumpage market value determined annually on the second Monday of December by the Louisiana Forestry Commission and the Louisiana Tax Commission.

12-014 – Taxable Value for Refinery Gas

Louisiana Revised Statutes 47:301(3)(f) and 47:301(13)(d) provide that the taxable value for refinery gas will be computed annually by multiplying 52 cents per thousand cubic feet by a fraction of which the numerator is the posted price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil on December 1 of the preceding calendar year and the denominator is $29.

The posted price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil on December 1, 2011, was $100.20, so the taxable value for refinery gas for 2012 is computed as follows:  $0.52 x ($100.20 ÷ $29.00) = $1.797 per MCF

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Louisiana earned income tax credit could be worth hundreds of dollars to working families

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue reminds Louisiana families preparing their 2011 state individual income tax returns about a refundable tax credit for working people with low to moderate incomes.  More than a half-million Louisiana families claimed the Louisiana Earned Income Tax Credit in 2011 for an average benefit of $91.

The Louisiana Earned Income Tax Credit is equal to 3.5 percent of the federal EITC. For the 2011 tax year, the federal EITC is worth a maximum of $5,751, depending on such factors as filing status, income level and number of children claimed as dependents. According to the IRS, the income thresholds for the federal EITC are:

  • $13,660 ($18,740 married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child
  • $36,052 ($41,132 married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child
  • $40,964 ($46,044 married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children
  • $43,998 ($49,078 married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children

The maximum amounts of the federal EITC are as follows:

  • $5,751 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,112 with two qualifying children
  • $3,094 with one qualifying child
  • $464 with no qualifying children

To calculate the amount of the Louisiana earned income credit, multiply the federal EITC amount by .035 (3.5 percent). Some examples:

  • If your federal EITC is $5,751, you would be entitled to claim a Louisiana earned income credit of $201.
  • If your federal EITC is $5,112, you would be entitled to claim a Louisiana earned income credit of $179.
  • If your federal EITC is $3,094, you would be entitled to claim a Louisiana earned income credit of $108.
  • If your federal EITC is $464, you would be entitled to claim a Louisiana earned income credit of $16.

Eligible Louisiana residents can claim the state earned income credit on line 21 of the Louisiana Resident Individual Income Tax Return in the section titled “Refundable Tax Credits.”

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New IRS Online Tool Helps Low- and Moderate-Income Taxpayers Find Locations for Help

R-2012-14, Feb. 6, 2012

WASHINGTON — As part of a continuing effort to improve service to taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced today the availability of a new online tool to help people easily find a location for volunteer tax preparation assistance.

The new tool, available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov, makes it easier than ever for qualified individuals to find free help through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Volunteers at VITA locations generally offer tax preparation for people with incomes of $50,000 or less free of charge.

Taxpayers can search the word “VITA” in IRS.gov and click on the option “Free Tax Return Preparation For You by Volunteers,” followed by ”Find a VITA site near you” to access the tool.

Once there, an easy-to-use locator prompts users to enter a zip code to search thousands of free tax preparation sites, narrowing the results to a selected radius. VITA sites are listed by location name, address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the language-assistance options offered. Finally, taxpayers select a specific tax preparation site to get a map to provide step-by-step directions.

The VITA program has enjoyed tremendous support since it was created in 1969. For example, more than 3 million tax returns were prepared during the 2011 filing season by volunteers working under either the VITA program or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program provides free tax service for all taxpayers with priority assistance to taxpayers 60 and older. A TCE locator is available on the AARP site at www.AARP.org.

The new VITA locator tool is part of a number of enhancements to IRS.gov. The IRS has updated the front page of its website to make it easier for people to get key forms, information and file tax returns. Additional improvements are planned for IRS.gov in the months ahead.

In addition to these resources, the IRS website has a wealth of free information and tax support. The official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Taxpayers are urged not to be confused by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or anything other than .gov.

IRS YouTube VideoFree Help Available Preparing Your Tax Return
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Free Help Available Preparing Your Tax Return

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