Archive for September, 2012

Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission announces new chairman

BATON ROUGE – Steve Windham is the new official chair of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping (LTFS) Commission.  He replaces the late Eugene Schreiber, who held the chairmanship from the inception of the tax free shopping program in 1989 until his death in July 2011.  Mr. Windham had served as acting chair since that time.

The LTFS Commission oversees the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors, created in 1989 to attract international tourists to Louisiana.  It offers refunds on sales taxes paid by international visitors at participating retailers.  Visitors can receive sales tax refunds at six LTFS Refund Centers in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Metairie, New Orleans, Shreveport, and at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Mr. Windham serves on the LTFS commission as the designee of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.  The Lt. Governor is one of four statutorily-appointed members of the commission, along with the Governor, the Secretary of Revenue, the State Treasurer and an appointee of the New Orleans World Trade Center. 

Mr. Windham works as Executive Director of the Encore Commission within the Office of the Lt. Governor, which works to make Louisiana an attractive home for people in retirement.  He is a graduate of LSU with a degree in accounting.  He worked previously as Marketing Director for the Port of South Louisiana and as Deputy Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.

In addition to Mr. Windham’s appointment as commission chair, Lisa Ponce de Leon was appointed the commission’s representative from the New Orleans World Trade Center.  Ms. Ponce de Leon works as Community Relations Manager for BP.  She is a former executive director of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors.

Visit www.louisianataxfree.com for more information about the tax free shopping program.

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Louisiana Department of Revenue offers relief to taxpayers affected by Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane-Isaac(8_12)_7in

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) is granting filing and payment extensions to taxpayers whose homes, principal places of business or critical tax records are in parishes or counties affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Excise, sales & severance taxes

LDR will waive late filing penalties, late payment penalties and interest on returns and payments due on or after August 26, 2012, and on or before September 30, 2012.  The extended deadline is October 15, 2012.

Income

The extension is available for individual income, corporation income, franchise, fiduciary and partnership taxes, and estimated tax payments with original or extended dates on or after August 26, 2012, and on or before January 11, 2013.  The extended deadline is February 11, 2013.

Withholding

The extension is available to employers whose principal place of business or critical tax records are located in any of the Louisiana parishes or Mississippi counties listed below.  It applies to withholding payments due on or after August 30, 2012, and on or before September 30, 2012.  LDR will waive penalties and interest on withholding returns and payments received by October 31, 2012.

PARISHES AND COUNTIES ELIGIBLE FOR HURRICANE ISAAC-RELATED LOUISIANA FILING EXTENSIONS
LOUISIANA PARISHES MISSISSIPPI COUNTIES
Ascension Hancock
Assumption Harrison
East Baton Rouge Jackson
East Feliciana Pearl River
Iberville  
Jefferson  
Lafourche  
Livingston  
Orleans  
Plaquemines  
Pointe Coupee  
St. Bernard  
St. Charles  
St. Helena  
St. James  
St. John the Baptist  
St. Mary  
St. Tammany  
Tangipahoa  
Terrebonne  
Washington  
West Baton Rouge  
West Feliciana  

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

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LDR Net Collections – August 2012

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IRS: Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana

More details from the IRS:

LA/MS-2012-15, Sept. 5, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Victims of Hurricane Isaac that began on Aug. 26, 2012 in parts of Louisiana may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

Following recent disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in Louisiana will receive tax relief, and other locations may be added in coming days based on additional damage assessments by FEMA.

The President has declared the parishes of Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany a federal disaster area. Individuals who reside or have a business in these parishes may qualify for tax relief.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Aug. 26, and on or before Jan. 11, 2013, have been postponed to Jan. 11, 2013. This includes the quarterly estimated tax payment due on Sept. 17, 2012.

In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 26, and on or before Sept. 10, as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 10, 2012.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

Covered Disaster Area

The parishes listed above constitutes a covered disaster area for purposes of Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(2) and is entitled to the relief detailed below.

Affected Taxpayers

Taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts are those taxpayers listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1), and include individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief. In addition, all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.

Grant of Relief

Under section 7508A, the IRS gives affected taxpayers until Jan. 11, 2013, to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns), or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after Aug. 26 and on or before Jan. 11, 2013.

The IRS also gives affected taxpayers until Jan. 11, 2013, to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388 (Aug. 20, 2007), that are due to be performed on or after Aug. 26 and on or before Jan. 11, 2013.

This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56. The relief described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56, pertaining to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.

The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. The IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 26 and on or before Sept. 10 provided the taxpayer makes these deposits by Sept. 10.

Casualty Losses

Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.

Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684 and its instructions.

Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on last year’s return should put the Disaster Designation “LOUISIANA/HURRICANE ISAAC” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.

Other Relief

The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.

Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.

Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the official IRS website, IRS.gov, or order them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.

Related Information

Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses

Recent IRS Disaster Relief Announcements

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IRS Provides Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Isaac; Return filing and Tax Payment Deadline Extended to Jan. 11, 2013

IR-2012-70, Sept. 5, 2012

WASHINGTON –– The Internal Revenue Service is providing tax relief to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Following recent disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in Louisiana and Mississippi will receive tax relief, and other locations may be added in coming days based on additional damage assessments by FEMA.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred on or after Aug. 26. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 11, 2013 to file these returns and pay any taxes due. This includes corporations and businesses that previously obtained an extension until Sept. 17, 2012, to file their 2011 returns and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until Oct. 15. It also includes the estimated tax payment for the third quarter of 2012, normally due Sept. 17.

The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. In addition, the IRS is waiving failure-to-deposit penalties for federal employment and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Aug. 26 and before Sept. 10, if the deposits are made by Sept. 10, 2012. Details on available relief, including information on how to claim a disaster loss by amending a prior-year tax return, can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by the hurricane and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, individuals should visit disasterassistance.gov.

So far, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities:

  • In Louisiana: Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes;
  • In Mississippi: Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl counties.

IRS YouTube Videos
Help for Disaster Victims: English | Spanish | ASL

How to Request a Copy of Your Tax Return: English | Spanish | ASL

Podcast
Disaster Assistance: English | Spanish

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