Archive for April, 2012

Louisiana taxpayers receive more than half-billion dollars in state individual income tax refunds

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has distributed more than half a billion dollars in individual state income tax refunds to Louisiana taxpayers for the 2011 tax year.

As of Friday, April 20, the total of individual income tax refunds was $534,031,761.11.  The average refund amount was $438.12.

“We’re processing returns faster, getting taxpayers their money back faster, and doing it at less cost to the state than ever before,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges. “This is due, in large part, to the growing use of electronic and online filing.”

To date, LDR has processed more than 1.5 million individual income tax returns that were filed electronically.  This is ten weeks earlier than the same benchmark was reached in 2011.

Electronic filing methods include LDR’s free online filing system, Louisiana File Online, and a variety of commercially available software applications.

Seventy percent of this year’s refunds, $374.6 million, have been distributed via direct deposit.  Direct deposit is available only to taxpayers who file their taxes electronically.  It is the fastest, most secure method of refund distribution.

The next largest amount of refunds went out via the Louisiana MyRefund Card, a pre-paid debit card used to distribute refunds mostly to taxpayers who file paper returns.  Taxpayers have received $134.2 million through the MyRefund Card program.

Taxpayers receiving paper checks have received $25.1 million in refunds for this tax season.

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Request state tax filing extensions before the May 15 filing deadline

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana taxpayers who need more time to file their 2011 state individual income tax returns must request an extension on or before the May 15, 2012, due date.

Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/extensions to request a filing extension electronically.  This is the fastest and most convenient method of requesting an extension.  It requires only your name and Social Security Number, along with a valid e-mail address if you would like to receive confirmation.

An extension request applies only to an extension of time to file a Louisiana individual income tax return.  An extension does not grant additional time to pay any taxes due.  Payments received after the return due date are subject to interest and late payment penalties.

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New RIBs

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The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued the following new Revenue Information Bulletins (RiBs):

RIB 12-019 - Annual State Sales Tax Holiday for Purchases of Hurricane-Preparedness Items Scheduled May 26 and 27, 2012:

Louisiana Revised Statute 47:305.58 provides for an annual state sales tax holiday on sales made on the last Saturday and Sunday of each May for hurricane-preparedness items or supplies. The sales tax holiday for 2012 will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2012, and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, 2012. The sales tax holiday applies only to the four percent state sales tax and is not applicable to local sales tax as provided in La. R.S.47:337.8(B)(1).

RIB 12-020 - Repeal of Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-005:

The Department is repealing Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-005, which addresses Individual Income Tax Filing Extensions, and is replacing it with Revenue Information Bulletin 12-021 which sets forth the new provisions for requesting a state individual income tax filing extension. Revenue Information Bulletin 12-021 is available on the Department’s Website.

RIB 12-021 – Individual Income Filing Extensions:

Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file their Louisiana individual income tax returns will need to either request a specific state individual income tax filing extension or request an extension via an electronic application.

Regardless of which option is used, all extension requests must be made on or before the return’s due date. The return’s due date is May 15th for calendar year filers, and the 15th day of the fifth month following the close of the taxable year for fiscal year filers.

RIB 12-022 – Repeal of Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-055:

The Department is repealing Revenue Information Bulletin No. 09-055, which addresses Corporation Income and Franchise Tax Filing Extensions, and is replacing it with Revenue Information Bulletin 12-023 which sets forth the new provisions for requesting a corporation income and franchise tax filing extension. Revenue Information Bulletin 12-023 is available on the Department’s Website.

RIB 12-023 – Corporation Income and Franchise Tax Filing Extensions:

Beginning with corporation income and franchise tax returns due on or after January 1, 2012, corporate taxpayers who need additional time to file their Louisiana corporation income and franchise tax returns will need to request a specific state filing extension, or request an extension via an electronic application.

Regardless of which option is used, all extension requests must be made on or before the return’s due date. The return’s due date is April 15th for calendar year filers, and the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the taxable year for fiscal year filers.

Click the links to read the full texts of these RIBs.

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Office of Group Benefits does not ask for members’ financial information

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The Louisiana Office of Group Benefits (OGB) is alerting its members to fraudulent phone calls from parties who claim they are asking for personal financial information on behalf of OGB partner organizations.

OGB says neither it nor its partners will ever ask members for financial information.  OGB sent the following e-mail to state agencies:

Subject: FW: OGB and our partners do not ask for members’ financial information

April 11, 2012

OGB and our partners do not ask for members’ financial information The Office of Group Benefits has learned that some OGB members have received fraudulent phone calls from someone stating they are a Medco representative and asking for the member’s banking information.

These calls are a scam to find out personal and financial information. Companies contracted by OGB do not ask for banking information from our members.

If a member encounters this situation, here are the steps you should take.

• Never give out the information requested.

• Check your caller ID to see if the call location can be identified. (For instance, if it were Medco calling, the caller ID should say “Medco” or “Medco Pharmacy.”)

• Report any suspicious phone calls to OGB.

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Louisiana taxpayers receive $420 million in state income tax refunds; Over 1 million refunds issued through MyRefund Card and Direct Deposit

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has issued more than 1 million individual income tax refunds for income tax returns submitted for the 2011 tax year.  

As of Thursday, April 05, 2012, LDR had issued 1,012,143 individual income tax refunds for a total amount of $419,965,483.23.  The average refund amount is $414.93. This is one week earlier than the department crossed the million-refund threshold in 2011. “We are pleased that we have been able to process refunds more quickly this year. This is due in large part to an increasing number of taxpayers who have taken advantage of our electronic filing options,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.

Ninety-one percent of Louisiana individual income tax refunds processed so far were submitted electronically via methods such as Louisiana File Online and commercial tax preparation software.  The remaining nine percent were filed with the printed state income tax return.

So far, 65 percent of this year’s refunds were distributed via direct deposit and 35 percent via the Louisiana MyRefund Card or check. 

“Although the majority of recipients seem to be embracing the MyRefund Card, direct deposit still remains the fastest and most popular method for Louisiana taxpayers to receive their refunds,” Secretary Bridges said.

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