The Public Affairs Unit at Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base published the following article to make its readers aware of their responsibilities under state tax law. It is reprinted here in its entirety:
Know your local tax law
by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
9/27/2012 – BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — Military members are frequently stationed away from their home of record, which can create some unique tax problems that may not affect civilians.
Despite following all of the rules and regulations, several Airmen have gotten into financial hot water over one issue in particular, Louisiana state taxes.
As employees of the federal government, income from military pay and allowances is not subject to Louisiana state taxes. However, non-military income earned in the state is taxable, according to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Each state has different tax requirements, and military members are subject to the rules of their respective state of residence.
“Louisiana currently does not have a system in place to determine which members are exempt,” said Capt. Anna Magazinnik, 2nd Bomb Wing Assistant Staff Judge Advocate.
The problem arises when people file their federal tax return. Even though the member may not be a legal Louisiana resident, they still must list a current physical address. The LDR then receives a list from the Internal Revenue Service of all physical addresses that did not file state taxes, this is called the Federal-State Match Program.
Once an individual is identified as delinquent, the LDR sends them a notice.
“A major issue is that the program is a few years behind,” said Magazinnik. “Members who have moved to their next duty station have notices sent to their former residence.”
An Airman may not even be aware of a collection attempt until the LDR garnishes their federal return, she added.
The 2 BW legal office is working with LDR to come up with a program to ensure local military members are taxed in accordance with the proper state laws, but in the mean time, any non-resident receiving a notice to file state taxes should contact the legal office immediately.
“The most important thing is to not ignore the notices,” said Magazinnik. “Bring a copy of your orders and a W-2 form to the legal office and we will handle the issue for you.”
The legal office has a process in place to notify the LDR of the error and prevent any future problems resulting in garnishment or legal action.
For more information regarding Louisiana tax law, contact the 2 BW legal office at 456-2562.