EDITORIAL: 'Tax amnesty is a sensible plan'

From the Lafayette Daily Advertiser:

Consider for a moment the scope of Louisiana’s problem with delinquent taxes.

This year, the Legislature fought over higher-education cuts and health-care cuts. Oil prices were half what they were the previous summer, and natural gas prices were barely a third. Unemployment was up. Revenue was down $1.3 billion and threatening to get worse.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue was owed $473 million in delinquent receivables, mainly past-due taxes that should have been filed by an estimated 242,000 filers and should-have-been filers. That number is equal to about one Louisiana household in seven.

But the Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program is offering many delinquent filers a way out. If it’s not exactly painless, it carries less pain than the other available remedies. The amnesty was passed in the last session and signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on July 10.

Read more.


Live Chat w/Gannett Newspapers

LDR Assistant Secretary Jarrod Coniglio will take your questions about the 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program this morning at 10 a.m. during a live chat with Gannet Newspapers.

Visit the website of the Lafayette Daily Adverstiser for more information.


2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program begins on Sept. 1

The 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program begins on September 1 and continues through October 31.  The amnesty program allows taxpayers to settle account balances, overdue audit assessments, and certain tax disputes with no penalties and only half of the interest on what they owe. 

“This is a two-month window of opportunity to settle accounts in a manner that is advantageous for taxpayers and for the State of Louisiana,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.  “Taxpayers who have fallen behind on their obligations have a chance to bring their accounts up to date, and the state has a chance to collect much-needed revenue.”

The 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program applies to resident and non-resident individuals, and in-state and multi-state businesses.

Tax amnesty can be applied to:

  • All taxes administered and collected by LDR, except for motor fuel taxes;
  • Taxes that became due on or after July 1, 2001 and before January 1, 2009;
  • Taxes due prior to January 1, 2009 for which LDR has issued a billing notice or demand for payment on or after July 1, 2001 and before May 31, 2009;
  • Taxes for which the taxpayer and LDR have entered into an agreement to suspend the running of prescription until December 31, 2009;
  • Taxes due on or before July 1, 2009, but were ineligible for an earlier amnesty program due to civil litigation.

A taxpayer qualifies for amnesty:

  • If they failed to file a tax return or report;
  • If they failed to report all income or all tax, interest and penalties that were due;
  • If they claimed incorrect credits or deductions;
  • If they misrepresented or omitted any tax due;
  • If they are under audit or in administrative or judicial litigation.

During the two-month amnesty window of opportunity, eligible taxpayers can submit applications and make payments online.

For more information, visit www.LDRAmnesty.com.

View the 30-second Window of Opportunity video clip on YouTube.


Secretary Bridges on LPB

Louisiana Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges discussed the 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program with Shauna Sanford, the host of LPB’s “Louisiana:  The State We’re In.”


Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program – FAQs

The LDR website now hosts a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Louisiana Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of 2009.

The FAQ page also includes a link to the official page for House Bill 720, the legislation creating the tax amnesty program, on the homepage of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Here you can read the current text of the legislation, as well as track its legislative history.