Archive for December, 2015

Lafayette business owner arrested for felony tax evasion

Alan J. Bernard

Alan J. Bernard

BATON ROUGE – A Lafayette man faces multiple felony charges for failing to report and pay taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.

Alan J. Bernard, of 721 W. Gloria Switch Road in Lafayette, is the 54th person arrested under a joint anti-fraud initiative of the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) and the state Attorney General’s office.

Investigators with the LDR Criminal Investigation Division say that as the owner of A-Team Home Improvements, LLC, Bernard filed state tax returns reporting no income from that business in 2012 and 2013. But banking records obtained by subpoena and Bernard’s federal tax returns show the business produced income of $144,036.97 in 2012 and $324,396.75 in 2013. Bernard failed to pay any state corporate, sales, or income tax on those amounts.

Bernard was booked Tuesday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of criminal penalty for evasion of tax, criminal penalty for failing to account for state tax monies and filing or maintaining false public records.

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LDR Resumes 2015 Tax Amnesty Program Today

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2015 resumes today. The program, which gives individuals and businesses that have fallen behind on their taxes an opportunity to make a fresh start, will run from Tues., December 1 through Thurs., December 31.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue suspended the program last month after discovering a mistake with the information included in some of the original amnesty invitation letters. At that time, the department determined it was in the best interest of the state and taxpayers to suspend the program until corrected letters were mailed.

Impacted taxpayers were mailed updated letters from the department during the week of November 23 – 27. The revised letters either informed taxpayers of the new amnesty amount that is due or instructed them to disregard the previous letter that they received because the referenced account reflected a zero balance due.

“The department has addressed the errors that originally occurred and we are ready to get the tax amnesty program underway. We mailed corrected letters to the taxpayers last week, and we sincerely apologize to them for this mistake and for any inconvenience that we have may have caused,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said.

During the amnesty period, individual and business taxpayers are offered a fresh start to bring their delinquent tax accounts up to date by clearing unpaid tax bills and filing overdue state tax returns.

Amnesty will be granted for eligible taxes to qualified taxpayers who apply during the amnesty period and who agree to settle their accounts with the state by paying 100 percent of delinquent taxes, 83 percent of the remaining interest and 67 percent of the remaining penalties due. Once approved, the Secretary of Revenue shall waive the remaining 17 percent interest and 33 percent penalties.

The goal for the 2015 Tax Amnesty Program is $73 million, net of administrative costs and funds retained by LDR as self-generated revenue.The 2015 Tax Amnesty Program is the third and final effort permitted by the Louisiana Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of 2013. After the conclusion of the 2015 amnesty period, there will be no new amnesty program offered by the Department of Revenue until at least 2025.

For more information about the amnesty program, taxpayers can visit www.ldrtaxamnesty.com or call 1-866-782-9241.

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