Archive for April, 2014

Revenue Information Bulletin 14-009: Natural Gas Severance Tax Rate Effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Revenue Information Bulleting 14-009: Natural Gas Severance Tax Rate Effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015:

The natural gas severance tax rate effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 has been set at 16.3 cents per thousand cubic feet (MCF) measured at a base pressure of 15.025 pounds per square inch absolute and at the temperature base of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

This tax rate is set each year by multiplying the natural gas severance tax base rate of 7 cents per MCF by the “gas base rate adjustment” determined by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources in accordance with R.S. 47:633(9)(d)(i). The “gas base rate adjustment” is a fraction, of which the numerator is the average of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Henry Hub settled price on the last trading day for the month, as reported in the Wall Street Journal for the previous 12-month period ending on March 31, and the denominator is the average of the monthly average spot market prices of gas fuels delivered into the pipelines in Louisiana as reported by the Natural Gas Clearing House for the 12-month period ending March 31, 1990 (1.7446 $/MMBTU).

Based on this computation, the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources has determined the natural gas severance “gas base rate adjustment” for April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, to be 232.34 percent. Applying this gas base rate adjustment to the base tax rate of 7 cents per MCF produces a tax rate of 16.3 cents per MCF effective July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. The reduced natural gas severance tax rates provided for in R.S. 47:633(9)(b) and (c) remain the same.

Questions concerning the natural gas severance tax rate should be directed by email to Policy.Publications@La.gov.

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New Orleans tax preparer arrested for fraud

BATON ROUGE – A New Orleans woman faces charges of defrauding the State of Louisiana of more than $900,000 through the filing of false tax returns, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

Kenshika Sade Jiles, of 5209 Spain Street in New Orleans, was arrested by investigators from the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 16 and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. She faces two felony counts of computer fraud and injuring public records.

Investigators say Jiles, owner of S&A Tax Service, prepared and submitted tax returns containing false information including phony business expenses, unreimbursed employee expenses and improper child care tax credit claims. Her alleged actions resulted in $923,751 in unpaid taxes and fraudulent refunds.

Jiles is the 17th person arrested since March 2013 under an anti-fraud initiative by the Department of Revenue and state Department of Justice.

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Revenue Information Bulletin 14-008: Partnership Composite Return Automatic Extension

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Revenue Information Bulletin 14-008: Partnership Composite Return Automatic Extension:

Act 580 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacted La. R.S. 47:201.1(F)(4) to require that all composite returns be filed electronically.  This change is effective for taxable periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013.

The filing date for partnership composite returns for the 2013 tax period is May 15, 2014.  Currently, the only method of electronically filing these returns is via third party software vendors.  As of this date, there are currently no third party software vendors who have been approved by the Louisiana Department of Revenue.  Several products are currently being tested, but such testing is not complete as of this time. 

Due to the uncertainty as to when electronic filing of partnership composite returns will be available, the Louisiana Department of Revenue has decided to provide for an automatic extension of six (6) months for the filing of said returns.  The returns will now be due on November 15, 2014. This extension grants additional time only to file a return. It does not grant additional time to pay taxes due.

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Bossier Parish tax preparer arrested on fraud charges

BATON ROUGE – A Bossier Parish tax preparer faces felony charges related to tax fraud, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Wednesday.

Marie Kemp, known also as Marie Devers, of 430 Kingston Road in Benton, was arrested in Bossier City on April 3, 2014, and transported to Baton Rouge on April 7, where she was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Kemp is the 16th person arrested under a joint anti-fraud initiative by the Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ). She faces 21 counts of identity theft, computer fraud, and filing or maintaining false public records.

Kemp is accused of falsifying tax returns filed through Marie’s Tax Service, a tax preparation business with two locations in Bossier City. She allegedly inflated income tax refunds for her clients by improperly claiming the state’s Child Care Expense Tax Credit. Investigators contacted the providers listed on the falsified returns, who denied providing the services.

“The abuse of state tax credits is fraud,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “This anti-fraud initiative helps to ensure valuable programs such as the Child Care Expense Tax Credit remain available for those who need them.”

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Alexandria business owner arrested for tax fraud

BATON ROUGE – An Alexandria business owner faces two felony fraud charges of failing to account for state and local tax monies, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Friday. It is the latest arrest to result from a joint effort by LDR and the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat fraud.

Linda Gayle Pettit, owner of Airbrush LA, LLC, was arrested at her place of business in the Alexandria Mall on Tuesday, April 1 and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

Pettit is accused of failing to remit sales taxes to Rapides Parish and to the State of Louisiana. The amount due Rapides Parish is $32,439.75 for sales taxes collected from March 2010 through February 2014. She owes the Louisiana Department of Revenue $17, 376.70 for the period September 2010 through September 2013.

“We are seeing great results from our efforts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of tax fraud,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “Fraud harms everyone, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with the Attorney General’s office and local authorities on this statewide anti-fraud initiative.”

Rapides Parish tax authorities supported LDR and DOJ in the investigation.

The joint anti-fraud initiative has resulted in more than a dozen arrests since it began in March 2013.

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