Archive for June, 2014

Misuse of state childcare tax credits leads to fraud arrests

BATON ROUGE – Two Louisiana tax preparers face felony charges for filing tax returns that investigators say improperly claimed state tax credits for childcare expenses.

Gwana White, of 308 Devon Road in LaPlace, was arrested on Tuesday, June 17, and charged with computer fraud and filing or maintaining false public records.

In an unrelated case, Ericka Lewis, of 929 Starrett Street in Metairie, was arrested also on June 17, and charged with computer fraud and filing or maintaining false public records.

White worked as a tax return preparer for Quick, Fast and EZ Tax Service, LLC in LaPlace. Lewis worked for Quick EZ Taxes of Kenner, LLC.

Each is accused of preparing returns for clients containing false information on wages earned and false claims for tax credits for childcare expenses, resulting in fraudulent state individual income tax refunds.

Gwana White’s alleged fraud cost Louisiana taxpayers $13,647.

The alleged fraud in the Ericka Lewis case amounted to $12,643.


Booking Photos:

Gwana White

Ericka Lewis

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Revenue Information Bulletin 14-007-A: Louisiana Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit For Projects Less Than $500,000 of Eligible Costs and Expenses

The Louisiana Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit is a credit against income and corporate franchise tax for the amount of eligible costs and expenses incurred during the rehabilitation of a historic structure located in a downtown development or a cultural district.  Eligible structures must be nonresidential real property or residential rental property. (R.S. 47:6019(A)(2)(b))  The credit shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the eligible costs and expenses of the rehabilitation and no taxpayer, or any entity affiliated with such taxpayer, shall claim more than $5,000,000 of credit annually for any number of structures rehabilitated within a particular downtown development or cultural district. (R.S. 47:6019(A)(1)(a)) The credit is earned only in the year in which the property attributable to the expenditures is placed in service. (R.S. 47:6019(A)(1)(b))

After the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has certified the rehabilitation, LDR Secretary may deem an application for credit approved.  This Revenue Information Bulletin will set forth the guidelines for the approval of the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures Tax Credit by the SHPO and LDR for those projects that are less than $500,000 of eligible costs and expenses.

Visit revenue.louisiana.gov to read the full text of RIB 14-007-A.

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Protect tax records and financial documents during hurricane season

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to protect their tax records and other financial documents from flood damage and other weather-related threats during hurricane season.

“A little preparation goes a long way,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “A few common-sense precautions can make the recovery process easier in the aftermath of an emergency.”

Keep documents secure

Paper records are especially vulnerable to water damage. Protect these documents by placing them in airtight plastic containers or zip closure bags, and moving them out of harm’s way.

Use paperless media

Bank statements and other financial documents are available as electronic records from your financial institution. Preserve these records by saving them to portable memory drives or burning them to CDs. Store them in airtight containers.

Scan important records such as such as tax returns, W-2s and payroll records into an electronic format. Many commercially available home printers include scanning features.

Web-based email services such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Hotmail offer account holders free online data storage. You can upload electronic records from your home computer and retrieve them later from any device with Internet access. This can be helpful if you are evacuated from your home.

Document valuables and business equipment

Compile a room-by-room list of your belongings or business equipment. Photograph or videotape the contents of your home or business, especially items of high value. Having a visual record of your valuables can provide proof for an insurance claim. It can also help to verify a loss claim on state and federal tax returns.

In case of a disaster, the Department of Revenue can provide information on potential tax deductions or credits, filing extensions, and other tax-related information. Bookmark www.revenue.louisiana.gov.

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