Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2009

Louisiana recently announced a tax amnesty period beginning September 1, 2009 and ending October 31, 2009. The tax amnesty will apply to all taxes “administered and collected by [the Louisiana Department of Revenue], except for motor fuel taxes.” The state will forgive all civil penalties and half the interest otherwise due.

In general, the taxes must have been due on or after July 1, 2001 and before January 1, 2009. Both nonfilers and tax debtors are eligible for the amnesty, so this isn’t solely a voluntary disclosure program. To be expected, there are several requirements for the program, including: filing the past due returns, paying during the amnesty period the tax and half-interest due, and completing an amnesty application issued by LDR. The amnesty participant waives appeals rights.

Do note that portions of Louisiana’s sales and use tax are “administered and collected” both by the state and the local parishes. From discussions with Jefferson Parish, that parish does not intend to match the state’s amnesty program, but continues to offer voluntary disclosure and other penalty abatement programs.

Taxpayers with tax liabilities should take advantage of this rare opportunity. In particular, out-of-state businesses not currently filing in Louisiana should contact an advisor to resolve any possible Louisiana tax issues.

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