News and Insights

Louisiana Tax Amnesty Starts September 23, 2013

Tax Development Jul 24, 2013

Louisiana revenue officials have announced that the state’s 2013 Tax Amnesty Program (“Program”) will begin on September 23, 2013 and end on November 22, 2013. The Program applies to all taxes administered by the Louisiana Department of Revenue (“Department”), except motor fuels taxes, and provides taxpayers an opportunity to avoid all penalties and to get a waiver of half of the interest that would otherwise be owed on the unpaid taxes. Taxpayers must apply to participate and be approved by the Department to meet the Program’s qualification criteria. In announcing dates for the 2013 amnesty period, Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield said all qualified taxpayers accepted into the Program will receive a letter from the Department accompanied by information about the tax periods and amounts owed, as well as payment instructions that the taxpayer should follow to ensure payment is made before the amnesty ends on November 22, 2013. Barfield also announced that the agency has created a website——to provide and update information to taxpayers about the Program.

The previously announced Program was authorized by House Bill 456 (“H.B. 456”), which lawmakers passed, and Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law in June 2013. The bill established parameters for the Program, including the criteria for participation, and directed the Department to offer amnesty in 2013, 2014, and 2015 during periods to be set by the agency.

Amnesty is available for the following taxes:

  • Taxes for periods that began prior to January 1, 2013;
  • Taxes due prior to January 1, 2013, for which the Department has issued a proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2013; and
  • Taxes for which a taxpayer and the Department have agreed to interrupt and suspend the running of the statute of limitations until December 31, 2013.

The Department may not enter into installment agreements for Program payments. Taxpayers also are precluded from protesting or initiating an administrative or judicial proceeding with regard to any tax paid under the Program. Taxpayers involved in field audits or litigation may participate in the Program but must abide by the Department’s interpretation of the law with respect to issues resolved through the Program for the succeeding three years. In addition, the Department will not pay interest on refunds for amounts paid under the Program.

Amnesty is not available for the following:

  • Motor fuels tax;
  • Penalties that are not based on an underpayment of tax but that are assessed for failure to submit information reports; and
  • Taxpayers who are parties to any criminal investigation or criminal litigation that is pending on August 1, 2013 in any court in the United States or the State of Louisiana for nonpayment, delinquency, or fraud in relation to any tax administered by the Department.

The Department has not announced dates for the one-month 2014 amnesty period that H.B. 456 requires it to conduct sometime between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. During the 2014 amnesty, the Department will offer a 15% penalty waiver and no interest waiver. A third, one-month long amnesty in 2015 will occur sometime between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 and provide qualified taxpayers a 10% penalty waiver.


Susan Traylor Bittick