General Information

What is Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014?

The Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 is a one-month incentive period for individuals and business taxpayers to satisfy Louisiana state tax debts. It is a voluntary program. Each taxpayer must determine if participation in the program is right for them.

What are the dates of the tax amnesty program?

The tax amnesty program begins on October 15, 2014, at 12:00 AM Central Time and ends on November 14, 2014, at 11:59 PM Central Time.

What are the benefits of participating in the tax amnesty program?

Amnesty will be granted only for eligible taxes to eligible taxpayers who apply during the amnesty period and who pay or enter into an installment agreement for all of the tax, half of the remaining interest due, and applicable fees and costs for periods designated on the amnesty application. The Secretary of Revenue shall waive the remaining half of the interest and applicable penalties associated with the tax periods for which amnesty is approved.

How do I contact the Department of Revenue about the Fresh Start program?

If you have questions about the tax amnesty program call the Amnesty Customer Service line at 1-866-782-9241 Monday through Friday during business hours.

Why should a taxpayer pay taxes under amnesty?

After the tax amnesty period ends, the penalty will not be automatically waived. Additional charges will continue to accrue and the Department of Revenue will aggressively pursue collection of the entire liability, including but not limited to referring it to the Louisiana Office of Debt Recovery (ODR). Once debt is assigned to ODR, penalties of as much as 25 percent may be assessed to the amount owed.

INSTALLMENT AGREEMENTS/PAYMENTS

INFORMATION

To qualify to pay your tax liability balance in installments, you must fill out the amnesty application online and make a down payment of no less than 20 percent of the total amnesty amount due to the Department of Revenue at the time the installment agreement is approved. While online, you will also create an installment plan of equal electronic monthly payments that shall not exceed six months, with the final payment due no later than May 1, 2015.

  • • Taxpayers who cannot enter into an agreement to make payment by way of automated electronic transaction shall not be eligible for an installment agreement with the Department.
  • • The taxpayer must make timely payments of all installment payments. For the payment to be considered timely, all installment payments MUST be received no later than May 1, 2015. If the final installment payment is not submitted by May 1st, amnesty will not be granted.
  • • If for any reason taxpayers fail to fulfill their obligation under the agreement by remitting their last installment after May 1, 2015, no amnesty shall be granted and the installment agreement shall be null and void. All payments remitted will be allocated to the oldest outstanding tax period as a regular payment. The payment will be applied in the following order: tax, penalty and interest.
  • • Taxpayers in existing installment agreements with the Louisiana Department of Revenue, Performant or the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General may be eligible to participate in an installment agreement under the amnesty program. The original installment agreement will be cancelled in favor of the amnesty installment agreement. The taxpayer must contact the Department of Revenue to cancel the existing installment agreement, and if applicable the automatic bank debit before the amnesty installment agreement is established to avoid duplicate bank drafts.
  • • Taxpayers will not be allowed to use a tax credit from an eligible return as an amnesty credit nor a Financial Management Service (FMS) offset to make a 20 percent down payment or an installment payment.
  • • Taxpayers involved in field audits or litigation are not eligible to participate in installment agreements.

Can I qualify for amnesty by making installment payments?

Yes. For the first time, taxpayers will have the opportunity to pay their tax liabilities in installments. At the time of application, an electronic down payment of at least 20 percent of the total amnesty amount due is required. Taxpayers will then have six months to make the electronic payments, with the final payment due May 1, 2015.

Is the 20 percent based on the total Amnesty amount due or the total liability?

The 20 percent is based on the total amnesty amount due for each period in the installment payment plan.

When will the final amnesty installment payment be due?

The final installment payment MUST be received by May 1, 2015.

Will a taxpayer involved in field audits or litigation qualify for an amnesty installment payment plan?

No. Taxpayers involved in field audits or litigation may not participate in an amnesty installment payment plan.

Will a taxpayer involved in a criminal investigation or criminal litigation in any court of the United States or the State of Louisiana qualify for an amnesty installment payment plan?

No. These taxpayers are not eligible for amnesty.

If I don’t have a bank account, will I qualify for an amnesty installment payment plan?

No. Taxpayers who cannot enter into an installment payment plan to make payments by way of automatic electronic transaction will not be eligible for an amnesty installment agreement.

If I default on my installment payment plan will I still qualify for amnesty?

Any draft attempt which does not result in a successful payment will be considered a forfeiture of the amnesty installment agreement.

If I defaulted on my installment payment plan and I am unable to pay the full amnesty amount due by May 1, 2015, will I still be allowed to participate in amnesty?

No. The full amnesty amount due MUST be received by May1, 2015. There will be no extension or grace period.

How will interest be calculated?

Interest will be calculated through November 14, 2014, if full payment is remitted during the amnesty period of October 15, 2014, through November 14, 2014 (11:59 PM Central Time). Interest on an approved amnesty installment agreement will be calculated through May 1, 2015.

How will the interest be calculated if I decide to make full payment after the amnesty installment agreement is established?

Interest will not be recalculated if payment is paid in full before the end of the six-month amnesty installment agreement.

Is a taxpayer eligible for amnesty if they are currently in a Department of Revenue-approved payment plan through automatic bank debit?

Yes. Taxpayers in existing installment agreements with the Department of Revenue, Performant or the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General may be eligible to participate in an amnesty installment payment plan under the amnesty program. The original installment agreement will be cancelled in favor of the amnesty installment agreement.

The taxpayer must pay no less than a 20 percent down payment. Some or all of the liabilities included in the installment agreement may qualify for amnesty. Any penalties and interest that have already been paid will not be refunded. The taxpayer must notify the Department of Revenue at 1-855-307-3893 to cancel the automatic bank debit.

If I currently have an established installment agreement and I am making payments by automatic bank debit, what should I do to qualify for amnesty?

You must contact LDR to cancel the existing installment agreement and automatic bank debit before the amnesty installment agreement is established to avoid duplicate bank drafts.

Will 2014 amnesty installment agreements be all or nothing?

Amnesty will only be granted for the periods where the amnesty amount is paid in full. For example: If a taxpayer applies for amnesty and an installment payment plan for three tax periods, and as of the May 1, 2015, deadline only two periods were paid in full, amnesty will be approved for those two periods paid in full and denied for the third period. The payments on the tax period denied will be posted as general period payments.

Eligibility

What taxes and tax periods are included in Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014?

After the tax amnesty period ends, the penalty will not be automatically waived. Additional charges will continue to accrue and the Department of Revenue will aggressively pursue collection of the entire liability, including but not limited to referring it to the Louisiana Office of Debt Recovery (ODR). Once debt is assigned to ODR, penalties of as much as 25 percent may be assessed to the amount owed.

Are New Orleans Hotel/Motel, Statewide Hotel/Motel and New Orleans Exhibition Hall (NOEH) taxes eligible for the 2014 amnesty program?

Yes.

The following taxes and tax periods are included in the 2014 amnesty program:

  • • Taxes due prior to January 1, 2014, for which the Department of Revenue has issued an individual or a business proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2014; or
  • • Taxes for taxable periods that began before January 1, 2014; or
  • • Taxes for which the taxpayer and the Department of Revenue have entered into an agreement to interrupt the running of prescription pursuant to La. R.S. 47:1580 and said agreement suspends the running of prescription until December 31, 2014.

Who is eligible to participate in the 2014 amnesty program?

A taxpayer is eligible for amnesty under any of the following circumstances:

  • • The taxpayer has received a notice for the failure to timely file a return or for the failure to remit the amount owed;
  • • The taxpayer has an outstanding tax liability but has never filed a Louisiana return;
  • • The taxpayer has an outstanding tax liability but has not been billed by the Department of Revenue;
  • • A lien has been issued against the taxpayer’s property pursuant to La. R.S. 47:1577;
  • • The Department of Revenue has initiated proceedings under the assessment and distraint procedures pursuant to La. R.S. 47:1569 through 1573;
  • • The Department of Revenue has entered into an installment agreement with the taxpayer;
  • • The taxpayer has filed for bankruptcy protection;
  • • The taxpayer is involved in a field audit;
  • • The taxpayer is involved in litigation;
  • • The taxpayer’s liability consists of interest and penalty;
  • • The taxpayer’s liability consists of interest only; or
  • • The taxpayer’s liability consists of penalty only.

Can Amnesty be denied?

Amnesty will be denied to anyone who:

  • • Does not qualify as previously described;
  • • Who fails to make full payment of the amnesty amount due; or,
  • • Who fails to submit an online amnesty application
  • • Who fails to make the final amnesty installment payment by May 1, 2015.

I have never filed a Louisiana tax return and I owe business taxes. Can I participate?

Yes. You must file all outstanding tax returns and contact LDR’s Amnesty Customer Service Line at 1-866-782-9241.

Amnesty – Penalties/Fees

What penalties/fees WILL be waived during Amnesty?

  • • Delinquent Penalty
  • • Late Payment Penalty
  • • Negligence Penalty
  • • Non-EFT Filing Penalty
  • • Non-EFT Payment Penalty
  • • NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds)Penalty
  • • Warrant Penalty
  • • UET Penalties
  • • No Account Number Penalty
  • • LDR Collection Fees

What fees WILL NOT be waived during amnesty?

  • • Lien Fees
  • • Attorney General (AG) Collection Fees
  • • Performant (DCS) Collection Fees
  • • Financial Management Services (FMS) Collection Fees
  • D.A. NSF Fees

Amnesty – Payments/Credits

When is the last date for submitting payment and returns under Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014?

The returns, application and payment must be submitted by Friday, November 14, 2014. If the application and payment are submitted electronically, the deadline is no later than Friday, November 14, 2014, at 11:59 PM Central Time.

Will my payment be processed if I submit a payment prior to the amnesty period?

Payments submitted to the Department of Revenue before the amnesty period begins or payments submitted during the amnesty period without an application will be applied as a period payment to the oldest outstanding tax period in the following order:

  • • Tax
  • • Penalty, and
  • • Interest

TAX CREDITS

Can an overpayment on a tax period be applied as a payment to apply for amnesty?

No. Taxpayers will not be allowed to use a refundable tax credit from an eligible return as an Amnesty credit (i.e. Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit, Wind and Solar Energy System Credit, etc.).

FMS/TOP CREDIT

My federal tax refund (TOP) was taken (offset) to pay my state tax liability including interest and penalties. Can I receive a refund for the penalties and one-half (50%) the interest paid?

No. Any tax period paid in full does not qualify for amnesty. If you owe liabilities on other tax periods, you may qualify for amnesty.

I paid my tax liabilities, interest, penalties, and fees before the amnesty program began. Can I be refunded one-half of the interest and penalties that I paid?

No. Any tax period paid in full does not qualify for amnesty. If you owe liabilities on other tax periods, you may qualify for amnesty.

If I am denied amnesty, will my payment be refunded?

No. If amnesty is denied, any payments received will be applied as a regular payment to open tax periods. The payment will be applied to tax, penalty and interest in that order.

Note: The Louisiana Taxpayer Access Point (LaTAP) will not be operational from October 28, 2014, through November 5, 2014, due to scheduled system maintenance.