Tuesday, January 19 is the day the Louisiana Department of Revenue begins accepting and processing 2015 state individual income tax returns. The filing deadline is Monday, May 16.
The department enters this tax season with a focus on safeguarding taxpayers against fraud.
During the past two years, LDR has saved taxpayers more than $25 million through its anti-tax fraud initiatives. Additionally, more than 50 individuals have been arrested under a statewide initiative to crack down on tax fraud in Louisiana.
The department has responded to increasing occurrences of tax fraud by implementing enhanced security measures to protect Louisiana taxpayers. This means it will take additional time to process refunds. The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 60 days. For paper returns, taxpayers should expect to wait 12 to 14 weeks.
LDR uses all available technology and resources to help protect and safeguard taxpayers against fraudulent activity. To protect taxpayers against fraud, including the suspicion of identity theft, a tax refund can be delayed while the department thoroughly reviews the suspicious tax return. When this occurs, the taxpayer is contacted through written correspondence with further instructions.
Taxpayers can also experience delays in receiving their refund if they fail to keep their most current contact information on file, including their name, address, and telephone number. If needed, taxpayers can visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov to update their contact information. To file taxes electronically, taxpayers can visit Louisiana File Online, the state’s free web portal for individual and business tax filers at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline. With Louisiana File Online, taxpayers can:
– File returns and pay taxes electronically
– Check the status of individual income tax refunds
– Amend tax returns
– View business tax information for current and previous years
There are no fees associated with the use of Louisiana File Online. Taxpayers may also use commercial tax preparation software to file their state income taxes.
Taxpayers can check the status of a refund by visiting: www.revenue.louisiana.gov/refund or by calling 1-888-829-3071. Taxpayers should note these applications are updated only once every business morning with the latest information on refunds. Taxpayers should only call LDR once their return has exceeded the expected processing times of 60 days for electronic returns and 14 weeks for paper returns.
Citizens needing 2015 state income tax forms will be able to download them on January 19 at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/taxforms. In addition, the Department provides important tips for taxpayers in selecting a preparer and operates a fraud hotline (1-866-940-7053).