Archive for March, 2016

State tax changes take effect Friday, April 1

BATON ROUGE – Numerous changes to Louisiana’s tax laws, passed this year during a special session of the Louisiana Legislature, take effect on Friday, April 1.

Taxes affected by the changes include the state sales tax. Acts 25 and 26 of the 2016 First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature remove or restrict certain exemptions from the 4 percent state sales tax, make certain new transactions taxable, and add a penny of sales tax to certain taxable transactions.

Beginning April 1:

  • A new one-cent sales and use tax takes effect, increasing the state sales tax from four cents to five cents; the extra penny remains in effect until June 30, 2018, in most cases, but expires on July 1, 2016, for manufacturing equipment and machinery
  • Most current exemptions and exclusions on the 4 percent state sales tax are eliminated; all exclusions will be restored by July 1, 2018
  • An automobile rental tax, which had expired, is reinstated on gross proceeds at the rate of 2.5 percent (state) and 0.5 percent (local)
  • A hotel tax, with revenue flowing to local governments, is expanded to include residential locations such as houses, apartments and condominiums
  • Sales made in Louisiana by dealers outside the state (such as over the Internet) are subject to the collection and remittance of sales and use tax
  • The excise tax on cigarettes increases to $1.08
  • The excise tax on alcoholic beverages increases to:
    • Liquor – $0.80 per liter
    • Sparkling wine – $0.55 per liter
    • Still wines with 14-24 percent alcoholic volume – $0.35 per liter
    • Still wines with more than 24 percent alcoholic volume – $0.55 per liter
    • Malt beverages – $12.50 per barrel
    • Low alcoholic content beverages – $12.50 per barrel
  • A discount for accurately reporting and remitting excise taxes on certain tobacco products is reduced from 6 to 5 percent
  • A discount for accurately reporting and remitting excises taxes on alcoholic beverages and beer is reduced from 2 percent to 1.5 percent for low-content beverages; and from 3.3 percent to 2.5 percent for high-content beverages
  • Membership fees or dues paid to a nonprofit, civic organization which provides access to clubs or the privilege of having access to amusement, entertainment, athletic, or recreational facilities are subject to state sales tax

For more information, read:

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Tax filing extensions available for individuals and businesses in flood disaster areas

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana taxpayers in areas of the state affected by recent storms and flooding will receive filing extensions for returns for various taxes with due dates between March 8 and July 15, 2016. This includes individual state income tax returns due May 16.

The extended deadline for sales, severance and excise taxes is June 15, 2016.

The extended deadline for withholding taxes is June 30, 2016.

The extended deadline for individual income, corporation income & franchise and other income taxes is July 15, 2016.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue will waive any late filing penalties, late payment penalties and interest that would otherwise apply. This extension does not apply to any return or amount on which penalty and interest began accruing before March 8, 2016.

Extensions are available to taxpayers whose homes, principal places of business or critical tax records are located in the following parishes declared disaster areas by President Obama: Allen, Ascension, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu Caldwell, Claiborne, DeSoto, Grant, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Richland, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.

If additional parishes are added to the disaster declaration, they will receive the same relief.

For more information, including the complete list of taxes and due dates eligible for this filing extension, read Revenue Information Bulletin 16-010: Tax Relief to Individuals and Businesses Affected by Louisiana Severe Storms and Flooding.

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Don’t fall victim to tax-related scams

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue is warning taxpayers about scams from people attempting to steal their personal information.

Criminals across the country are contacting people and identifying themselves as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a state’s Department of Revenue. In some cases, the scam artists are threatening taxpayers with penalties for supposed offenses such as non-filing or delinquent taxes and demanding bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information.

These scams, known as “phishing,” often involve unsolicited emails with links to websites that pose as legitimate sites, but exist only to capture personal financial information.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue will never initiate contact with a taxpayer to request personal financial information. When LDR initiates contact with a taxpayer, by mail or by phone, it is often to request documentation to support claims on a tax return. The taxpayer is asked to submit the documentation to the department by mail or by fax.

Contact with taxpayers who are delinquent on their taxes is initiated through the mail. The correspondence explains in detail what is owed, and provides contact information for the department if the taxpayer has questions or wishes to contest the assessment. Contact regarding delinquent taxes is never initiated with a phone call.

When the department must verify a taxpayer’s identity to prevent fraud, notification takes place through the mail and the taxpayer is directed to the Identity Verification Quiz on the LDR website; or they are asked to mail identification information to the department.

For more information about phishing scams, visit IRS.gov.

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