Archive for LDR News Release

State offers filing extensions to businesses affected by severe weather

BATON ROUGE – Filing extensions are available on a case-by-case basis to Ouachita Parish businesses affected by severe weather on October 13, 2014, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Wednesday.

The extensions apply to the following tax filing and remittance dates for the month of October:

Tax Due Date Extension Date
Semi-monthly Withholding Remittance October 15, 2014 November 14, 2014
Alcoholic Beverage Tax Return October 15, 2014 November 14, 2014
Sales Tax Return October 20, 2014 November 14, 2014
911 Service Fee October 20, 2014 November 14, 2014
Statewide Hotel/Motel Sales Tax Return October 20, 2014 November 14, 2014
Hazardous Waste Tax Return October 20, 2014 November 14, 2014
Beer Tax Return October 20, 2014 November 14, 2014
Withholding Returns & Remittances October 31, 2014 November 14, 2014
 To apply for an extension, taxpayers in the affected area must submit to the Department of Revenue a written statement explaining why the return or remittance cannot be submitted on time by attaching it to the tax return or mailing it to:

Louisiana Department of Revenue

Post Office Box 201

Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0201

For more information, call the LDR Customer Service Center at 855-307-3893.

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Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 begins, gives delinquent taxpayers a chance to settle up

BATON ROUGE –A one-month amnesty program is underway for individuals and businesses who have fallen behind on their taxes.

Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 begins today and continues through 11:59 p.m. on November 14, 2014. During the amnesty program, delinquent taxpayers and non-filers can bring their accounts up to date by paying 100 percent of taxes owed, all applicable fees and 50 percent of applied interest. The Louisiana Department of Revenue will waive the remaining half of the interest along with 100 percent of any penalties.

“This is the perfect opportunity for noncompliant taxpayers to bring their accounts up to date,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “If you’ve fallen behind on your obligations, this is your chance to make it right.”

Taxpayers can apply for amnesty online at www.ldrtaxamnesty.com. An application can be completed in about five minutes.

New this year is the opportunity for eligible taxpayers to pay their overdue taxes in installments over a six-month period. Installment agreements require a down payment of at least 20 percent of the amount owed, with final payment due no later than May 1, 2015.

According to LDR records, there are about 450,000 noncompliant tax accounts in Louisiana owing $1.8 billion.

Noncompliant taxpayers have a limited amount of time to take advantage of amnesty. According to Act 822 of the 2014 legislative session, after the conclusion of an amnesty period scheduled for 2015, there will be no new amnesty program administered by the Department of Revenue until at least 2025.

For more information, visit www.ldrtaxamnesty.com or call 866-782-9241.

#LATaxAmnesty

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Tax preparer sentenced to prison for fraud

John Labee

John Labee

BATON ROUGE – A Slidell tax preparer who pled guilty to defrauding his clients and the State of Louisiana will spend three-and-a-half years in prison.

John Labee (Booking Photo) admitted to 6 felony counts of issuing worthless checks to the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). East Baton Rouge Parish District Judge Bonnie Jackson sentenced him on Tuesday, September 23, to 46 months in prison at hard labor, five years of post-release supervised probation, and ordered him to pay restitution to LDR in the amount of $50,000. Failure to pay restitution will result in Labee serving an additional 14 months behind bars.

Labee was arrested in September 2011 on charges that included filing more than 500 fraudulent state individual income tax returns on behalf of clients of Innovative Professional Financial Services, a tax preparation business he operated in Slidell. The returns contained fabricated income tax withholding statements, overstated withholdings, and incorrectly reported tax deductions. In addition, Labee was charged with submitting worthless checks to the Department of Revenue for the payment of his clients’ tax debts.

A joint anti-fraud initiative between the Department of Revenue and the state Attorney General’s Office targets a wide range of felonies including but not limited to computer fraud, mail fraud, filing or maintaining false public records and issuing worthless checks.

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Tax preparer arrested for fraudulent tax credit claims

BATON ROUGE – A Tallulah woman faces more than 30 felony counts related to a $60,000 tax fraud scheme, the Louisiana Department of Revenue reported Monday.

Investigators say Chetoria Tyler (Booking Photo), of 216 Allen Street in Tallulah, submitted fraudulent income tax returns on behalf of clients of her tax preparation business, TC Enterprises. She is the 33rd person arrested under a joint anti-tax fraud initiative of the Department of Revenue and the state Office of the Attorney GeneraChetoria Tyler - 216 Allen Street, Tallulahl.

Tyler is charged with filing 2012 and 2013 Louisiana Individual Income Tax returns containing false claims for state child care tax credits. Ten of her clients told investigators they did not have any dependents and did not provide Tyler with information claiming they did.

The phony tax credit claims resulted in $61,447 in fraudulent income tax refunds issued to Tyler’s clients. False or inflated tax credit claims are a common technique among unscrupulous tax preparers who promise clients larger tax refunds than they would receive otherwise.

In addition to the false returns filed on behalf of clients, Tyler is charged with failing to report income she earned from her tax preparation work, and with inflating the withholding data on her own state individual income tax return. The Department of Revenue’s Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP) blocked $1,767 in fraudulent refunds that Tyler would have received due to the inflated withholding.

Tyler was arrested on Thursday, September 11 and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on 15 counts of computer fraud, 15 counts of filing or maintaining false public records and two counts of criminal penalty for evasion of tax.

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LDR News Release – Sec. Barfield names Payton as LDR Press Secretary

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Department of Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield announced today that he has named Kizzy Payton as press secretary for the agency.

“We are pleased to welcome Kizzy to the Department. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position, having successfully worked in the field in various capacities for many years,” said Barfield. “We’re looking forward to her helping to expand our communications efforts and ensuring that we continue to share important information with citizens and stakeholders throughout the state.”

Payton most recently worked in the Communications and Marketing Department with the Recreation and Parks Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge. Prior to that position, she served as the executive director of communications for the Recovery School District and director of public information for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. She graduated from Southern University and A&M College with a master’s degree in mass communication.

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State officials notified of JPMorgan Chase data breach

BATON ROUGE – JPMorgan Chase notified Louisiana officials yesterday that personally identifiable information it holds under contracts with state agencies may have been breached. The company said it does not know if or to what extent information on Louisiana citizens may have been exposed.

Through contracts with the Louisiana Department of the Treasury and Louisiana Department of Revenue, JPMorgan Chase issues pre-paid debit cards for certain state agencies, including for state income tax refunds distributed by LDR, unemployment benefits paid by the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Child Support Enforcement, STEP Supportive Services and Child Care Assistance provider payments paid by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

State agencies are working closely with JP Morgan Chase to keep Louisiana citizens apprised as more information about the breach becomes available.

In the interim, citizens, particularly those who have used pre-paid debit cards issued on behalf of these state agencies, are encouraged to monitor their credit statements and financial reports for any suspicious activities and to change the passwords on their respective accounts as a precaution.

For additional information, citizens can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.consumer.ftc.gov for general information about identity theft and to learn more about reporting suspected fraudulent activities.

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Hunting supplies free of state and local sales tax September 5-7

BATON ROUGE – Guns, ammunition and other hunting supplies are exempt from state and local sales taxes Friday, September 5 through Sunday, September 7.

The 2014 Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday applies to individual consumer purchases of a wide range of hunting gear, including:

  • Firearms that may be legally sold or purchased in Louisiana
  • Ammunition intended to be fired from a gun or firearm
  • Archery supplies to be used for hunting
  • Apparel such as  safety gear, camouflage clothing, jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, face masks and thermal underwear manufactured and marketed as being primarily for wear or use while hunting
  • Off-road vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles designed and intended primarily for hunting; the exemption does not apply to golf carts, go-carts, dirt bikes, mini-bikes, motorcycles, tractors, motor vehicles which may be legally driven on the streets and highways of Louisiana, or heavy equipment such as cranes, forklifts, backhoes and bulldozers

Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/secondamendment for more information, including the full list of eligible purchases, as well as those that do not qualify for the sales tax exemption.

By state law, the Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday is an annual event that takes place the first consecutive Friday through Sunday each September.

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New Orleans woman arrested for tax fraud, attempted theft

Melanie Donsereaux 3101 Rue Parc Fontaine, New Orleans

Melanie Donsereaux
3101 Rue Parc Fontaine, New Orleans

BATON ROUGE – A New Orleans woman faces felony charges connected to a fraudulent state income tax return she filed with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR).Melanie R. Donsereaux, of 3101 Rue Parc Fontaine in New Orleans, is the 32nd person arrested under a joint anti-tax fraud initiative of the Department of Revenue and the state Attorney General’s office.

Donsereaux is accused of filing a Louisiana Individual Income Tax return for the 2012 tax year that included a forged W-2 wage and tax statement. LDR intercepted a fraudulent refund in the amount of $894.00 before it was issued.

Donsereaux is a suspected member of a group of criminals using phony W-2s to get fraudulent refunds from the state.

The arrest warrant was issued for Donsereaux in October 2013 after she failed to appear for an interview with LDR investigators. She was arrested on Wednesday, August 20, and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of attempted theft and one count of filing or maintaining false public records.

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Rayville tax preparer booked on felony fraud charges

Donald Ray Jackson - 114 Spencer Street, Rayville

Donald Ray Jackson – 114 Spencer Street, Rayville

BATON ROUGE – A Rayville man faces 18 felony counts of suspected fraud in his work as a tax preparer.

Donald Ray Jackson, of 114 Spencer Street in Rayville, is accused of filing fraudulent income tax returns containing fabricated business losses. Seven of Jackson’s clients told investigators with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) that they did not own businesses. Two clients said they did own businesses, but that they did not sustain, or claim to have sustained, any losses.

Jackson’s alleged crimes cost Louisiana taxpayers more than $325,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds.

The fabrication of business losses is a common technique among unscrupulous tax preparers who guarantee their clients larger tax refunds than they would receive otherwise. It is one of the practices targeted by LDR and the state Attorney General’s Office in their joint anti-tax fraud initiative that has resulted in 31 arrests since it began in March 2013.

Jackson was arrested on Friday, August 15 and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on nine counts each of Computer Fraud and Filing or Maintaining False Public Records.

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Booking Photo

 

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2014 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program to run Oct. 15-Nov. 14

BATON ROUGE –Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 will be held from Oct. 15 through Nov. 14, 2014, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) recently announced. The 30-day tax amnesty program offers noncompliant taxpayers the opportunity to settle their accounts with the state by paying 100 percent of delinquent taxes, with a waiver of all penalties and 50 percent of the interest owed.

New to the amnesty program this year is the option for individual and business taxpayers to pay their overdue tax liabilities through installment payments over a six-month period of time.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 15 through 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 14, eligible taxpayers can apply online at www.ldrtaxamnesty.com. Or for more information, they can call 866-782-9241.

“Delinquent taxpayers have more options than ever to satisfy their obligations,” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “Hopefully, this will encourage everybody who has fallen behind to take this opportunity to make a fresh start.”

The Louisiana State Legislature has set a goal of collecting $100 million for the 2014 Tax Amnesty program.

Taxpayers identified as noncompliant in LDR’s records should expect to receive a letter and/or a recorded telephone message before the start of the amnesty program with instructions for submitting applications and payments online. Contact information is drawn from data taxpayers have submitted to LDR with their tax filings and other communications.

Delinquent taxpayers have a limited amount of time to take advantage of amnesty. According to Act 822 of the 2014 legislative session, after the conclusion of the amnesty period in 2015, there shall be no new amnesty program implemented by the Department of Revenue before Jan. 1, 2025.

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