DALLAS Louisiana’s sixth state tax amnesty in the last 30 years may have given taxpayers expectations of an easy out on a regular basis, revenue secretary Tim Barfield said ahead of the latest forgiveness period.
The state collected $439 million from 40,000 taxpayers during an amnesty period in 2009. Barfield said $412 million of the 2009 collections came from 600 taxpayers, with just six businesses or wealthy taxpayers accounting for $140 million.
“This is the bulk of the opportunity, the biggest opportunity for amnesty,” he said.
“The issues we have on the table today may not be as black and white.”
Taxpayers may get lax about making the proper their filings due to the frequency of state tax amnesties, Barfield said at a presentation to the Press Club of Baton Rouge Sept. 9.
“This is relatively soon (after the 2009 grace period),” Barfield said
A large percentage of the 2009 payments came from settlements with taxpayers over audit issues.
At least $200 million needs to be generated in this year’s effort to balance the state’s $25 billion budget for fiscal 2014.
“I feel good about the $200 million, but I don’t have $200 million in the bag today,” Barfield said.
More than 400,000 delinquent taxpayers who owe a total of $700 million in back taxes will receive letters this month with details on who is eligible and how to apply for the amnesty.
Taxpayers must agree with the state’s interpretation of their situation and pay in full.
The state will waive all the penalties and half the accrued interest if delinquent taxpayers pay up during the period that begins Sept. 22 and ends Nov. 22.
Less-generous one-month amnesties are scheduled in 2014 and 2015 under the law passed by the 2013 Legislature. None of the interest will be waived in the second and third years, with 15% of the penalties waived in 2014 and 10% in 2015.