BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The state Department of Revenue (LDR) will start accepting individual income taxes on Monday, Jan. 27, which is the same day the IRS begins collecting federal taxes.
Updated printed forms will not be available prior to Jan. 27, according to an LDR press release.
The due date for all income tax returns and payments is May 15, 2020, one month after the deadline for federal taxes.
“LDR has implemented enhanced security measures to protect Louisiana taxpayers from identity theft and other types of tax fraud,” stated the release. “If returns do not trigger any fraud indicators, taxpayers due refunds can expect them within 45 days of the filing date if they file electronically and within 14 weeks if they file paper returns.”
LDR encourages taxpayers to file electronically through the state’s tax portal on the LDR website.
Tips for Taxpayers
Steps to Insure Fast, Accurate Return & Refund Processing
- File electronically. The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 45 days; for paper returns, expect to wait up to 14 weeks.
- Taxpayers should update personal information if their name or address changed during the tax year.
- Double-check return information. Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct. Math errors and incorrect tax-table information are leading causes of delayed refunds.
- Include all supporting information such as W-2s. Use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return.
- Apply for extensions in a timely manner. Extension requests must be filed no later than the May 15 income tax filing deadline.
- Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Do not send cash.
- If filing a paper return, attach the proper label to the mailing envelope.
Tips for Choosing a Reputable Tax Preparer
- Try to find a preparer who will be around to answer questions after the return has been filed.
- Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund or who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers without first reviewing your returns.
- Review and ask questions before signing a return.
- Ask others that you know who have used that preparer if they were satisfied with the services that they received.
- Ask any preparer that you are considering for references.
- Ask and verify if the preparer belongs to a professional organization that requires its members to pursue continuing education and also holds them accountable to a code of ethics.
- Always question entries on your return that you don’t understand.
- Never sign a blank return.
- Insist that the preparer sign as the paid preparer of the return and provide his/her appropriate information on the return.
- The preparer should meet with the taxpayer and go over the return before it is filed.
- Taxpayers should be provided a copy of their return before it is filed.
- Pay attention to media reports of persons who have been convicted of tax fraud.
- Taxpayers should be aware that the information that they provide to their preparer could be used to commit identity theft by an unscrupulous preparer.