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Recent News

LDR Releases Statement Regarding Legislative Audit Report ...Continue Reading

BATON ROUGE - Today, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) released a news release and summary of the results of a recent financial audit performed on the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). The Auditors Office issued a list recommendations to LDR based on its findings.

“For the most part, we agree with the recommendations made by the Louisiana Legislative Auditors Office,” said Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield. “It is also important to note that none of the findings resulted in any loss of revenue for the state or agency and prior to the LLAs findings, the Department had already proactively begun taking actions to address the matters.”

Below is a list of the topics noted in the Legislative Auditors report and LDRs responses regarding each matter:

Internal Audit Function

In late 2013, the Department recognized the focus of the Internal Audit Division was disproportionately weighted toward compliance. In February 2014, LDR applied to the Louisiana Department of State Civil Service to split compliance and internal audit functions into two divisions. Approval was received from Civil Service and on March 6, 2014 the split into two divisions was implemented, followed by the subsequent hiring of two directors – a director of internal audit and a director of compliance. In May 2014, the new director of internal audit restructured the division and started working with the Institute of Internal Auditors to perform a quality assurance review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Departments internal audit activities and develop a reasonable internal audit plan for 2014. All of these actions took place prior to the LLAs review, but we believe these actions will address the LLA's concerns.

Preparation of the Annual Fiscal Report

This finding did not include any financial loss to the state or agency. LDR has implemented a corrective action plan to address these types of errors and has already begun additional review processes for monthly and quarterly reports. Additionally, LDR has introduced new procedures, allowing more time for review and analysis of the final report.

LaCarte Card Purchases

LDR believes that none of the matters identified represent any misappropriation. LDR recognizes the importance of controls over the LaCarte Card Program, and has implemented a corrective action plan, including training sessions for card holders and approvers to improve overall compliance. Additionally, LDR has instituted a monthly reporting process to identify non-compliant employees and will reduce, suspend and/or eliminate spending authority as needed. In August 2014, LDR hired an assistant director of the Controllers Division who oversees the LaCarte Card Program.

Refunds from Legal Settlements

The settlements involved complicated matters that included multiple tax periods, issues and types and occurred during the 2013 Amnesty period, which required the refunds to be calculated manually instead of through the use of the Departments systems. Through working with the taxpayer, LDR became aware of the refunds immediately after the incident occurred, corrected the taxpayer’s account, and in January 2014 swiftly moved forward in implementing greater controls and procedures for these extremely rare types of settlements. Going forward, the Department has mandated review and approval by both the Audit and Litigation Divisions of settlement reconciliations before any refunds are issued. 

2014 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program to deliver $142 million to the State...Continue Reading

BATON ROUGE - The 2014 Tax Amnesty Program has processed more than 41,000 applications and settlements, which is projected to deliver more than $142 million for the Amnesty Fund, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

“I was pleased with the response that we received from taxpayers fulfilling their obligations to the state during this year’s Amnesty period,” said Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield. “In the coming weeks, we will continue to process applications that were submitted by the deadline, and we expect some additional upside as the mail comes in.”

In total, the Department is projecting over $169 million in Amnesty collections, of which $142 million will go into the Amnesty Fund and, as provided under the Amnesty statute, $27 million will be retained by LDR to pay an estimated $4 million of expenses for administering this year’s Amnesty Program and provide $23 million of self-generated funds to replace penalties and fees waived.  Of the $169 million, the Department has received $136 million in payments, is awaiting receipt of $10 million relating to settlement payments mailed prior to the deadline, and projects $23 million through installment payments to be made by May 1, 2015. 

“The increase in amnesty funds is welcome news for the state budget as we work to create a plan to eliminate the shortfall created by declining oil prices,” said Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols. “Some of these payments may be used to reduce the impact of expenditure cuts on state agencies and taxpayers.”  

Of the $169 million collected, approximately $112 million relate to resolutions of audit and litigation cases, which generally are contested matters involving businesses, and $57 million relate to delinquent tax collections which generally involve individuals and small businesses.

The 2014 Tax Amnesty Program gave eligible taxpayers the chance to bring their accounts up to date by paying all taxes due, with a waiver of all penalties and 50 percent of the interest. 

 

Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 ends today...Continue Reading

BATON ROUGE – In the remaining available hours, the Louisiana Department of Revenue encourages individuals and businesses who have fallen behind on their taxes to take advantage of Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 before it expires.

“This amnesty period should be very attractive to those behind on their taxes.” Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said. “Not only are we waiving applicable penalties and 50 percent of accrued interest, we are also providing a payment plan option. We encourage individuals to apply before it’s too late.”

Also, for taxpayers involved in audit and litigation discussions who haven’t had a chance to resolve their disputed matters, they can take advantage of amnesty by paying the undisputed portion (“compromise amount”) of their assessments by today’s amnesty deadline. Within 30 days from the end of amnesty, the Secretary will determine if amnesty is granted for the compromise amount paid. 

“Under the Secretary’s direction, the agency will consider if the compromise amount paid, reflects serious doubt as to: (1) the taxpayer’s liability for the judgment or assessment; (2) the collectability of the entire amount in dispute; or, (3) whether the administration and collection costs involved would exceed the amount of the dispute, judgment or assessment.” said, Shone Pierre, LDR General Counsel.

For delinquent taxpayers, the 2014 tax amnesty program also offers the opportunity for eligible taxpayers to pay their overdue taxes in installments over a six-month period. Installment agreements require a down payment of at least 20 percent of the amount owed, with final payment due no later than May 1, 2015.

The 30-day tax amnesty program ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 gives delinquent taxpayers and non-filers the opportunity to bring their accounts up to date. The Louisiana Department of Revenue will waive all applicable penalties, along with 50 percent of accrued interest, when taxpayers pay 100 percent of their tax balance and the remaining 50 percent of the interest.

Taxpayers can apply for amnesty online at www.ldrtaxamnesty.com. An application can be completed in approximately five minutes.

There are approximately 450,000 noncompliant tax accounts in Louisiana owing $1.8 billion, according to the Department of Revenue’s records.

Noncompliant taxpayers have a limited amount of time to take advantage of amnesty. For more information, visit www.ldrtaxamnesty.com or call 866-782-9241.

Important Dates

12/20 Saturday
Sales and Use Tax
Prepaid Wireless Telecommunications 911 Service Charge
Hotel Occupancy Tax
Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Food and Beverage Tax
Beer Tax
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Terminal Operator Monthly
Distributer/Exporter/Blender
12/22 Monday
Supplier/Permissive Supplier
12/28 Sunday
Terminal Operator Annual

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