Important Changes Coming to LDR Tax Refund Options

BATON ROUGE – Due to J.P. Morgan Chase eliminating its debit card services, taxpayers will no longer be able to choose the MyRefund Debit Card as an option to receive their tax refund from the Louisiana Department of Revenue, effective Friday, October 2.

Taxpayers will continue to have the option of receiving their tax refund through direct deposit or by a paper check. The department strongly urges taxpayers to choose the direct deposit option to ensure the fastest and most secure means to receive their refunds.

Any refunds approved and processed by LDR after October 2, where taxpayers have requested a MyRefund Debit Card for their refund option, will default to a paper check and will be mailed to the taxpayer’s address on file.

Existing MyRefund Debit Card holders with funds currently available on their cards will still be able to use them after October 2; however, once funds are depleted, they will not have the option to request that future refunds be placed on a card.

For additional information about tax refund options, visit or call 1-855-307-3893.


LDR to Begin Issuing Refunds the Week of March 2

BATON ROUGE – In response to the recent increase and still unfolding developments centered around fraudulent tax returns filed across the country, the Louisiana Department of Revenue announced today that the Department is taking extra precautions to verify the filings and refunds of taxpayers and will extend the date to begin issuing refunds by one week, until the week of March 2.

“Given the increase in the filing of fraudulent tax returns around the country, where criminals are stealing identities and claiming refunds in others’ names, we decided to implement additional security measures this year to ensure we detect any suspicious activity, and to protect the identities of our taxpayers,” said Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield.

The extended period will provide the Department with more time to closely review returns and to utilize its identification verification process for individual taxpayers when and if inconsistencies in returns are identified.

While identity-based tax refund fraud is still a relatively new problem for revenue departments in the 43 states where taxpayers file tax returns, the Department of Revenue is ahead of the curve. Over the past two years, LDR has prevented over $11 million in fraudulent tax refunds from going out the door. Also, through a joint anti-fraud initiative with the state Attorney General’s office, 40 people have been arrested for fraudulent activity.

“We recognize that this situation places an undeserved burden on the thousands of taxpayers who consistently do the right thing. It is unfortunate that at this time the good taxpayers will suffer for those who have chosen to be criminals,” added Barfield. “This is the very reason why the Department of Revenue must do all that we can to safeguard our taxpayers against this type of fraudulent activity.”

Taxpayers who have concerns about the security of their personal information provided to any third party tax preparation software vendor should contact that vendor immediately.  Taxpayers who have a reason to believe they may be a victim of identity theft can contact LDR’s Criminal Investigations Division on its fraud hotline at 1-866-940-7053. They can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at

LDR began accepting returns on January 20, and was originally scheduled to begin issuing returns on Tuesday, February 24. To date, the Department has received 664,956 electronic returns. On average, the Department processes 1.9 million electronic returns during the tax filing season. The backlog of refund requests received is expected to take a week to complete processing. Once the Department is current, normal processing times of 21 days for electronic returns and 10 weeks for paper returns can be expected.

Taxpayers can check the status of a refund by visiting


Louisiana taxpayers have choices for state income tax refunds

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana taxpayers can choose between three methods of payment for state income tax refunds. 

Taxpayers who file their state income taxes electronically can select direct deposit, a paper check, or the Louisiana MyRefund Card, a pre-loaded debit card that can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs or bank teller windows, shop and pay bills online, or make purchases and get cash back at retail registers.

New to the paper state income tax return (Form IT-540) this year is the option of selecting a paper check for your refund, in addition to the MyRefund Card.  Taxpayers who do not select a refund method on the paper form will receive the debit card.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) encourages electronic filing for all income tax returns.  It is the method that provides the fastest processing time for refunds.  Electronic filers receive their refunds within an average of ten business days.  Paper filers can expect to wait at least three months.  Electronic filing options include commercially-available tax preparation software and Louisiana File Online, the state’s free tax filing web application.  Visit


Your Money, Your Choice

If you’re expecting a state income tax refund, you can choose direct deposit, a paper check, or the Louisiana MyRefund Card.


Millions in income tax refunds headed for Unclaimed Property unless taxpayers take action


BATON ROUGE – Millions of dollars in state income tax refunds will become unclaimed property if taxpayers don’t claim them by August 24, 2012.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue issued letters to 7,462 taxpayers advising them to claim their refunds by August 24, or the funds will revert to the Unclaimed Property Division of the state treasurer’s office.  The total amount of unclaimed refunds is $4,439,963.38.

The advisory involves un-cashed state income tax refund checks dated June 30, 2011, or before, in the amount $50 or more.  These checks are no longer valid.  Taxpayers who want to claim these refunds before they revert to Unclaimed Property must submit a voucher to request a replacement.  The voucher accompanies the letters alerting taxpayers to the August 24 deadline.

If they miss the LDR deadline, taxpayers can claim their refunds from the state treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division.


Check state income tax refund status online

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) encourages taxpayers to go online to check the status of their state individual income tax refunds.  The Where’s My Refund webpage is

“With Where’s My Refund, you have an instant answer about your refund,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges. “Just enter some basic information, such as your Social Security number and your filing status.”

Where’s My Refund is especially helpful to taxpayers during tax filing season due to extremely high call volume, Bridges said.

“It’s much faster than waiting for a customer service representative.”

If you filed your taxes electronically, information on your refund should be available in 7-10 business days.  If you filed a paper return, please allow 12 to 16 weeks before checking on the status of your refund.


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
  • 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

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.


IRS holding $20 million in refunds for Louisiana taxpayers, window to claim it closes April 18

The IRS owes more than $20 million to nearly 20,000 Louisiana taxpayers who failed to file federal tax returns for the 2007 tax year.  The average refund amount due Louisiana residents is more than $600. 

The money owed to Louisiana taxpayers is part of more than $1 billion owed to taxpayers nationwide.

“Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments,” the IRS announced in a press release.  “In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.”

The IRS says it owes $20,327,000 to 19,500 Louisiana taxpayers who failed to file 2007 federal returns.  The three-year window means these taxpayers have until April 18, 2011, to file those returns and claim their refunds.


‘Louisiana tax refunds timely while delays plague other states’

While some cash-strapped states are delaying their residents’ income tax refunds, Louisiana taxpayers are receiving their refunds back at a faster pace than ever.

This report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune explains that Louisiana File Online, LDR’s electronic tax filing application, gets much of the credit.

National media coverage in the past week has reported that some states are delaying tax refund checks to cope with cash-flow problems caused by the recession and declining government revenue. But Louisiana isn’t one of them. “We are not withholding or delaying refunds,” said Byron Henderson, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Revenue. In fact, the state’s refunds are moving faster than ever, thanks in part to increased use of electronic filing of tax returns. As of Friday, the state had issued 847,739 state tax refunds to individuals and joint filers totaling $426.4 million. That’s $503 per refund on average. About 85 percent of those refunds were for people who filed electronically. For those who file directly using the department’s Louisiana File Online system, the average wait for a refund is nine days. Paper filers will wait an average of six to eight weeks. The volume for electronic filers so far this tax season is as much as 30 percent ahead of last year, Henderson said. The department is expected to process about 2 million tax returns this year. Television and newspaper reports this week have identified Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New York and North Carolina as states holding back or considering a delay for refunds. Louisiana state tax returns are due by May 15.