Louisiana state income tax filing begins January 31, 2014

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) will begin processing 2013 state individual income tax returns on January 31, 2014. On that date, 2013 state income tax forms will become available at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/taxformsLouisiana File Online, the state’s free electronic filing application will begin accepting returns on that date, as well.

The state income tax filing deadline is May 15, 2014.

LDR recommends the following steps to ensure the fastest, most accurate tax return and refund processing:

  • File electronically – The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 21 days; for paper returns, expect to wait 12 to 16 weeks
  • Update your personal information if your name or address has changed during the tax year
  • Double-check return information – Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct, and that all names and Social Security numbers are in the same order as previous years; math errors and incorrect tax-table information are leading causes of delayed refunds
  • Include all supporting information such as W-2s; use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return
  • Apply for extensions in a timely manner – Extension requests must be filed no later than the May 15 income tax filing deadline
  • If additional tax is due, include the remittance coupon to ensure proper payment posting
  • Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue; do not send cash
  • If filing a paper return, attach the proper label to the mailing envelope

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Louisiana File Online is the state’s free web portal for individual and business tax filers. With Louisiana File Online, taxpayers can:

  • File returns and pay taxes electronically
  • Check the status of individual income tax refunds
  • Amend tax returns
  • View business tax information for current and previous years

Louisiana File Online is a public service from the Department of Revenue. There are no fees associated with its use. Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.   

Taxpayers may also use commercial tax preparation software to file their state income taxes.

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Louisiana state income tax filing deadline is Wednesday, May 15

BATON ROUGE – The deadline for filing 2012 Louisiana Individual Income Tax returns is Wednesday, May 15.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) recommends all taxpayers file their returns electronically.  Electronic filing methods include commercially-available tax preparation software, and Louisiana File Online, LDR’s free tax filing web application. Through Louisiana File Online you can file a return, make a payment and upload scanned receipts and other supporting documentation. Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.

The average refund processing time for electronic returns is ten business days.  For paper returns it is 12 to 16 weeks.

Taxpayers needing more time to prepare their 2012 individual state income tax returns must submit an extension request by the May 15 filing deadline to avoid late-filing penalties.  An extension allows only more time to file a return. It does not allow more time to pay. Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/extensions.

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Department of Revenue encourages proper payment procedures, electronic filing

BATON ROUGE – As the May 15 state individual tax filing deadline approaches, the Louisiana Department of  Revenue (LDR) reminds taxpayers of procedures that can speed up their refunds and eliminate the possibility of late payment penalties.

“The most important thing you can do to ensure a speedy refund is to file your taxes electronically,” says LDR Executive Counsel Tim Barfield.

Taxpayers who file electronically can expect their refunds in an average of ten business days.  Paper filers can expect to wait as long as four months. Electronic filing methods include Louisiana File Online (www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline) and commercially-available tax preparation software.

Taxpayers who owe taxes are encouraged to pay electronically.  Electronic payments can be made through Louisiana File Online.

If paying by check or money order, taxpayers must use the proper payment vouchers to ensure that payments are posted to the correct account.  Failure to include the proper payment voucher can lead to penalties.

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Electronic filing surges past 1 million state income tax returns

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BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has received more than 1 million state individual income tax returns filed electronically, the earliest date during any filing season LDR has recorded this benchmark.  As of Thursday, March 15, taxpayers had filed 1,006,770 returns via electronic methods including Louisiana File Online, the state’s free web-based tax filing application and commercially available tax preparation software. This is more than a week earlier than the agency reached this milestone in 2011.

“This suggests growing enthusiasm for electronic filing, which is good news for taxpayers and for the State of Louisiana,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.  “Electronic filing saves time and money for Louisiana taxpayers and for state government.”

Taxpayers who file electronically receive their refunds in an average of 10 business days.  For paper returns, the processing time is 12 to 16 weeks. 

Also, electronic filing saves state government millions of dollars per year, as the cost of processing paper returns is $1.50 per transaction.

The acceleration of electronic filing represents a steady five-year trend. In 2008, it was April 16 before LDR crossed the one-million threshold:

2011 Returns 1,006,770 3/14/2012
2010 Returns 1,000,951 3/22/2011
2009 Returns 1,001,655 3/30/2010
2008 Returns 1,019,665 4/13/2009
2007 Returns 1,024,679 4/16/2008

 Additional 2011 tax-year filing facts:

  • 95% of 2011 individual income tax returns processed to date were filed electronically
  • Number of refunds issued: 779,508
  • Amount refunded to taxpayers: $307,686,303.76
  • Average amount of refund: $394.72

Visit Louisiana File Online at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.

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‘Get your tax return quicker’

From WBRZ-TV:

If you file by paper, the Louisiana Department of Revenue estimates it will take between 12 and 16 weeks to get your return. E-file on the state’s website here, and you could get your return in ten business days, according to Byron Henderson with the Department of Revenue.

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Top tip for faster tax refunds: file electronically

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) encourages all taxpayers to file electronically when they submit their 2011 state individual income tax returns.

“Electronic filing is the best way to ensure error-free returns and speedy income tax refunds,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.

LDR began accepting 2011 Louisiana Individual Income Tax Returns on January 17.  The state filing deadline is May 15.

In addition to electronic filing, a careful review of your tax return can help to avoid unnecessary delays.  Many refunds are delayed because of common errors and omissions. 

Steps to avoid delayed refunds include:

  • File electronically.  The average processing time for refunds is ten business days when using electronic options such as Louisiana File Online, the state’s free tax filing web application.  For paper returns, the processing time is 12 to 16 weeks.  Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.
  • Double check the accuracy of your return.  Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct.  Math errors and incorrect tax table information are leading causes of delayed refunds.
  • Include all supporting documentation such as W-2s.  Use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return.
  • Don’t forget to sign the return.
  • Update your mailing address with the United States Postal Service and the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
  • For paper returns, be sure to attach the proper label to the mailing envelope.

To avoid the potential for late fees and other penalties, taxpayers needing additional time to file must request filing extensions in a timely manner.  This year’s deadline for a state filing extension request is May 15, 2012.  Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/extensions.

If a tax payment is due, include the remittance coupon with paper returns to ensure proper posting.  Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.  Do not send cash. 

Do not include copies of the federal return with the state return.

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‘IRS urges tax professionals to prepare now for new e-file rules’

From the IRS:

IR-2011-100, Oct. 12, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today advised tax professionals and tax firms that do not have Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) to start the process to obtain EFINs now so they can meet new e-file requirements for 2012.

Starting in January 2012, any paid preparer or firm that reasonably anticipates preparing and filing 11 or more Form 1040 series returns, Form 1041 returns, or a combination of Form 1040 series returns and Form 1041 returns generally must use IRS e-file. Their clients who file these forms, however, may independently choose to file by paper.

To become an Authorized IRS e-file Providers, preparers must create an e-Services account, submit an EFIN application and pass a suitability check. The approval process can take 45 days or more. For a firm or an individual, only one EFIN is needed.

The 2012 requirement will mark the second and final phase of implementing a law that was intended to boost the electronic filing rate of income tax returns for individuals, trusts and estates. In 2011, the e-file mandate pertained to any paid preparer or firm that anticipated preparing and filing 100 or more returns. The e-file rate by paid preparers increased 12 percent in 2011.

Currently, nearly 80 percent of individual tax returns are filed electronically. The IRS has processed more than 1 billion individual tax returns safely and securely since the nationwide debut of electronic filing in 1990.

Preparers can review the process on IRS.gov at Become an Authorized e-file Provider or find additional guidance at the Frequently Asked Questions section.

If the requirement will cause undue hardship, preparers may seek a one-year waiver by submitting Form 8944, Preparer e-file Hardship Waiver Request. If a client wants to file a paper return, the preparer should include Form 8948, Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically, with the return. A taxpayer choice statement should be obtained and kept with the preparer’s records.

Form 8948 does not have to be submitted with returns that are not currently accepted electronically by the IRS or the IRS has instructed taxpayers not to file them electronically. These returns are exempt from the federal e-file requirement. Other limited exemptions may apply.

Go to www.irs.gov/taxpros for information.

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E-filing surges past 1 million for state tax returns

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has received more than 1 million individual state income tax returns filed electronically, the department announced Thursday.  It is the earliest point during a tax filing season that electronically filed returns have crossed the 1 million threshold.  By comparison, the state received 1.3 million electronically filed returns in all of 2010.  So far, 90 percent of all returns filed in 2011 were submitted electronically. 

‘This is a new record,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.  “It tells us that increasing numbers of Louisiana taxpayers appreciate the benefits of electronic filing. 

Taxpayers who file electronic returns receive their refunds more quickly than those who file paper returns.  The average processing time for electronic returns is 10 days.  For paper returns it is 12 to 16 weeks.

For state government, the benefits of electronic filing are significant.  The cost of processing paper returns is $1 per transaction.  This saves the state more than a million dollars a year. 

There are numerous ways to file individual tax returns electronically with the State of Louisiana.  The free web-based tax filing application Louisiana File Online is available on the LDR website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.  Many commercially available tax filing software packages also offer state filing options.

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LDR Emergency Rule: Electronic Filing Requirements for Oil or Gas Severance Tax

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued Emergency Rule LAC 61:III.1525 concerning the Electronic Filing Requirements for Oil or Gas Severance Tax.

Under the authority of R.S. 47:1511, which authorizes the secretary of revenue to prescribe rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 and the purposes of any other statutes or provisions included under the secretary’s authority, and in accordance with the provisions of the AdministrativeProcedure Act, R.S. 49:950 et seq., and specifically the emergency provisions of R.S. 49:953(B), the Department of Revenue, Policy Services Division, hereby issues the following Emergency Rule to amend LAC 61:III.1525 to mandate the electronic filing of the applications for reduced oil or gas severance tax rates, Forms 0-2 and G-2.

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LDR Statement on Electronic Filing of Extensions

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday that it will not require the electronic filing of corporate and individual income tax extensions and payments for 2010 tax returns due in 2011.

On November 20, 2010 notices of intent for LAC 61:III.1503, LAC 61:III.1505, LAC 61:III.2501 and LAC 61:III.2503 were published in the Louisiana Register. The proposed rules would have required electronic filing of corporate and individual income tax extensions and extension payments beginning with returns due on or after January 1, 2011. LDR will not proceed with rulemaking for these four notices of intent.

LDR does intend to mandate electronic corporate and individual income tax extensions and extension payments beginning with the 2012 filing season/2011 tax year. The department will publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the Potpourri section of the March or April 2011 issue of the Louisiana Register to allow stakeholders to participate in the rulemaking process well before the implementation date.

LDR encourages all taxpayers and tax professionals to take advantage of the benefits of electronic filing of extensions and extension payments.  For more information about electronic filing and payment options, including extensions and bulk filing, visit the LDR E-services page at revenue.louisiana.gov.

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