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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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Free Sales Tax Class in Baton Rouge – Friday, October 25

The Louisiana Department of Revenue offers a free seminar to help business operators understand sales tax and other important business issues. For details or to register, call (225) 219-5511.

What: Free Sales Tax Class
When: Friday, October 25

10:00 AM

Where: Griffon Room

LaSalle Building (LDR   Headquarters)

617 North Third Street

Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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Louisiana Sales Tax – Vendor’s Compensation Rate

Effective July 1, 2013, the vendor’s compensation rate has changed to .935%.  The change in vendor’s compensation is effective with the July sales tax return due August 20, 2013.

The line numbers for vendor’s compensation are:

  • Line 10 of the Louisiana Sales Tax Return (Form R-1029)
  • Line 13A of the Louisiana Hotel/Motel Sales Tax Return (Statewide Hotel/Motel sales tax returns, except Orleans and Jefferson parishes)
  • Line 11A of Column A and D  of the Louisiana Stadium and Exhibition District and Ernest N. Morial Exhibition Hall Authority Hotel/Motel Sales Tax Return.

Act 425 of the 2013 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended R.S. 47:306(A)(3) to change the vendor’s compensation rate allowed to dealers who remit sales tax from 1.1 percent to .935 percent.    The compensation is allowed only on returns which are timely filed and paid.   Questions concerning the vendor’s compensation rate should be directed to the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s Special Programs Division at (225) 219-7462, option 3, or by email to Sales.Inquiries@LA.gov.

Additional changes to the general sales tax form (R-1029) include:

  • Allowable deductions for sales to loggers and paper and wood manufacturers must be reported on Line 22 (Sales/purchases/leases/rentals of manufacturing machinery or equipment), instead of Line 23.
  • Allowable deductions for sales of gasoline, diesel, and motor fuel must be reported on Line 23.  Note: Sales of these items for resale must be reported on Line 31.

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Important changes to the Louisiana Sales Tax Return, effective July 1, 2013

Effective July 1, 2013, there are three changes to the Louisiana Sales Tax Return (Form R-1029):

  • The vendor’s compensation rate on Line 10 changed to .935%. Act 425 of the 2013 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended R.S. 47:306(A)(3) to change the vendor’s compensation rate allowed to dealers who remit sales tax from 1.1 percent to .935 percent. The change in vendor’s compensation will become effective with the July sales tax return which is due August 20, 2013. The compensation is allowed only on returns which are timely filed and paid. Questions concerning the vendor’s compensation rate should be directed to the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s Special Programs Division at (225) 219-7462, option 3, or by email to Sales.Inquiries@LA.gov.
  • Allowable deductions for sales to loggers and paper and wood manufacturers must be reported on Line 22 (Sales/purchases/leases/rentals of manufacturing machinery or equipment), instead of Line 23.
  • Allowable deductions for sales of gasoline, diesel, and motor fuel must be reported on Line 23. Note: Sales of these items for resale must be reported on Line 31.

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Louisiana MyRefund Card – Your money, your choice

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Penalty Relief for Estimated Tax Due Janary 15, 2013

Due to the delay in releasing tax forms and processing for the 2013 tax filing season, LDR will provide penalty relief to some taxpayers:

  1. Exception to Estimated Payment Declaration Requirement—Revised Statute 47:116(F) allows an exception for taxpayers who are required to pay estimated taxes. Under normal circumstances, if the taxpayer files their income tax return and pays the tax in full on or before January 31st, there is no Underpayment of Estimated Tax (UET) Penalty on the estimated payment due January 15th.  LDR has extended the January 31st deadline for the 2012 tax year to February 15, 2013.
  2. Exception to Estimated Payment Declaration Requirement for farmers and fishermen—Revised Statute 47:116(F) allows an exception for farmers and fishermen required to pay estimated taxes. Under normal circumstances, if the qualifying farmer or fisherman files their income tax return and pays the tax in full on or before March 1st, there is no Underpayment of Estimated Tax (UET) Penalty.  The IRS has already extended this date to April 15,2013 due to the fact that some schedules used by farmers & fishermen will not be ready prior to March 1st.  LDR will follow the IRS lead and extend the March 1st deadline to April 15, 2013.

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LDR Net Collections – July 2012

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LDR Statement on Louisiana Alternative Fuel Credit (Act 469 of 2009)

BATON ROUGE – On June 14, 2012, Governor Bobby Jindal rescinded an LDR emergency rule regarding alternative fuel tax credits (Act 469 of 2009). LDR has begun the rule making process to determine the proper scope of this tax credit.

LDR will honor any refunds already paid.

We will grant refund requests postmarked on or before June 14, 2012, the date the emergency rule was rescinded.

We will be able to address questions about future claims after we complete a thorough rule –making process.

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Office of Group Benefits does not ask for members’ financial information

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The Louisiana Office of Group Benefits (OGB) is alerting its members to fraudulent phone calls from parties who claim they are asking for personal financial information on behalf of OGB partner organizations.

OGB says neither it nor its partners will ever ask members for financial information.  OGB sent the following e-mail to state agencies:

Subject: FW: OGB and our partners do not ask for members’ financial information

April 11, 2012

OGB and our partners do not ask for members’ financial information The Office of Group Benefits has learned that some OGB members have received fraudulent phone calls from someone stating they are a Medco representative and asking for the member’s banking information.

These calls are a scam to find out personal and financial information. Companies contracted by OGB do not ask for banking information from our members.

If a member encounters this situation, here are the steps you should take.

• Never give out the information requested.

• Check your caller ID to see if the call location can be identified. (For instance, if it were Medco calling, the caller ID should say “Medco” or “Medco Pharmacy.”)

• Report any suspicious phone calls to OGB.

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Louisiana property owners urged to claim Citizens rebates

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Right to left: La. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, LDR Deputy Asst. Secretary Gary Matherne, LDR Customer Service Director Kent LaPlace

BATON ROUGE – Officials on Thursday urged Louisiana property owners to claim rebates from assessments from the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens).  Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon joined Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) Deputy Assistant Secretary Gary Matherne and LDR Customer Service Director Kent LaPlace in suggesting that those eligible for rebates claim them while filing their taxes for 2011.

“If property owners have not yet claimed their Citizens rebate,” Donelon said, “tax time is certainly a good time to do it.”

The best way to file a claim “is to claim the rebate as a tax credit on your Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return,” Matherne said.  He cautioned property owners not to claim the rebate on both the tax return and a Department of Revenue form that can be used for the same purpose, as it could delay the refund.

Matherne also recommended that those who pay the Citizens assessment on more than one property submit a single rebate form for all properties each year, rather than a separate rebate for each property.

It is still possible for property owners to claim rebates for assessments paid in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.  Over the past two years, $154 million in rebates, or 54% of the total available, went unclaimed, Donelon said.

For more information, visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/citizens.

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