Louisiana – State Legislature Passes Amnesty Bill

SALT Report 2595 – The Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill that, if enacted, would require the Department of Revenue to develop and implement a tax amnesty program. The amnesty program would apply to all taxes administered by the Department, with the exception of motor fuel taxes and penalties that are imposed for failure to submit information reports.

The amnesty program provided in this Bill is nontraditional, in that it creates three amnesty periods over three fiscal years as follows:

  • A period of at least two months prior to December 31, 2013,
  • A period of at least one month between July 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, and
  • A period of at least one month between July 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015

Eligibility

The following taxes and tax periods are eligible for the amnesty program:

  • Taxes due prior to January 1, 2013, for which the Department has issued a proposed assessment, a notice of assessment, a bill, a notice, or a demand for payment by May 31, 2013,
  • Taxes for taxable periods due prior to January 1, 2013, or
  • Taxes for which the taxpayer and the Department have entered into an agreement

Amnesty would only be offered to taxpayers who apply for amnesty during one of the amnesty periods and who pay all of the tax, fees, costs, and interest due when they file their application.  Failure to comply with all of the amnesty provisions will result in a negligence penalty or a $100 penalty, whichever is greater.

Penalties and Interest

If the taxpayer is accepted into the amnesty program, the Department will waive penalties and interest associated with the amnesty as follows:

  • All penalties and 50% of the interest owed if the amnesty application is approved during the 2013 amnesty period,
  • 15% of penalties owed, but no interest if the amnesty application is approved during the 2014 amnesty period, and
  • 10% of penalties owed, but no interest if the amnesty application is approved during the 2015 amnesty period

The amnesty program in this Bill is less restrictive than past amnesty offerings. As a result, the Department estimates that more than 300,000 taxpayers will be eligible to participate, which would result in approximately $700 million in previously uncollected taxes for the state.

House Bill 456 was sent to the Governor for his signature on June 7, 2013.

For Further Information

Louisiana State Legislature – House Bill 456