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On December 16, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, for sales and use tax purposes. The Act includes a provision that extends the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) until October 1, 2015 with all provisions unchanged.

 

On January 9, 2015, the House of Representative introduced a bill (un-numbered) that would permanently extend the ITFA, banning states and local jurisdictions from imposing any new tax on internet access. The proposed bill removes the current effective dates of November 1, 2003 through October 1, 2015 and changes the effective date to be effective for new taxes imposed after the date of the enactment.  It is not clear if states that have been grandfathered under the existing provision could retain their current tax on internet access but it appears that may be the case.  No formal legislation has been introduced that would incorporate the Marketplace Fairness Act into this bill. The bill is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, among others.

 

For our previous news item on this topic, see Internet Tax Freedom Act is Extended Through December 11, 2014.

 

For an update on this news item, see Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until December 11, 2015.

 

(Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015; H.R. 235)

(02/12/2015)

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has announced the dates for the state’s 2014 tax payment amnesty program. The amnesty program will take place October 15, 2014 through November 14, 2014. The amnesty program applies to all taxes administered by the department, except for motor fuel taxes and penalties for failure to submit information reports that are not based on an underpayment of tax. The amnesty program applies to taxes due prior to January 1, 2014, for which the department has issued an individual or a business proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2014. If qualified taxpayers pay all delinquent taxes, all penalties and 50% of the interest owed will be waived. Individual and business taxpayers now have the option to pay overdue tax through installment payments over six months. Taxpayers identified as noncompliant can expect to receive a letter and/or a recorded telephone message before the start of the amnesty program with instructions for submitting applications and payments online. For our further details on the program view our previous news item Louisiana Amends Tax Amnesty Program. (News Release, Louisiana Department of Revenue, August 13, 2014; Act 822 (H.B. 663), Laws 2014, effective August 1, 2014)

(09/29/2014)

President Barack Obama has signed federal legislation extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) through December 11, 2014 as part of the joint resolution which made continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015. The ITFA was previously set to expire on November 1, 2014. The ITFA bars state and local governments from imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce and taxes on Internet access.

 

For an update to this news item, see Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until October 1, 2015, Permanent Extension Introduced.

 

(P.L. 113-164 (H.J. Res. 124), 113th Congress, 2nd Session, Laws 2014)

(09/26/2014)

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation that amends the Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act of 2013, which requires the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) to develop and implement a tax amnesty program for taxes administered by the LDR. Dates for the 2014 and 2015 Amnesty have not yet been announced.  Louisiana had an amnesty program in 2013 from September 23, 2013 to November 22, 2013.  The new legislation expands the scope of the amnesty program to include:

  • taxes for taxable periods that began before 2014 (previously, before 2013);
  • taxes for which the LDR and the taxpayer have entered into an agreement to toll the statute of limitations until the end of 2014 (previously, until the end of 2013);
  • for the 2014 amnesty program, taxes due prior to 2014 for which the LDR has issued a proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2014; and
  • for the 2015 amnesty program, taxes due prior to 2015 for which the LDR has issued a proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2015.
     

The new legislation permits 100% of penalties and 50% of interest to be waived during the 2014 amnesty period (previously, 15% of penalties and no interest). For the 2015 amnesty period, 33% of penalties and 17% of interest may be waived (previously, 10% of penalties and no interest). A taxpayer will be subject to double penalties if there is a final judgment rendered against the taxpayer by a court or if the taxpayer has exhausted all rights to protest taxes owed to the state 90 days prior to either the 2014 or the 2015 amnesty period, and the taxpayer then fails to submit an amnesty application before the end of the applicable amnesty period 90 days prior to which the final judgment was rendered or 90 days prior to which the taxpayer’s rights to protest taxes have been exhausted. A taxpayer who disputes a portion of the delinquent tax assessed by the LDR may now be eligible to apply for amnesty if the taxpayer remits a complete one-time payment of the portion of the tax that is not in dispute, plus applicable interest and penalties, to the LDR prior to the end of the applicable amnesty period. This payment is referred to as a "compromise amount." The LDR will then have 30 days to determine if the taxpayer should be granted amnesty based on the compromise amount paid. If the LDR approves the compromise amount paid by the taxpayer, the taxpayer will be granted amnesty. If the LDR rejects the compromise amount, amnesty will not be granted and the taxpayer will be responsible for the full amount of the delinquent tax, penalties, interest, and fees prior to the application for amnesty. The legislation authorizes the use of six-month installment payment agreements. Taxpayers who apply for amnesty by opting to pay in installments remain eligible to participate in the amnesty program only by making complete and timely payment of the entire amount due under the installment agreement. Taxpayers involved in field audits or litigation are not eligible for installment agreements under the amnesty program. All installment agreements must require the taxpayer to provide a down payment of no less than 20% of the total amount of delinquent tax, penalty, interest, and fees owed. Taxpayers who cannot enter into an agreement to make automated electronic payments are not eligible for an installment agreement. Additionally, under the new legislation, the LDR is prohibited from accepting tax credits as payment of any tax, interest, penalty, or fee paid as a result of participation in the amnesty program. The legislation also states that, after 2015, no new LDR amnesty programs are allowed before January 1, 2025. (Act 822 (H.B. 663) Laws 2014, effective August 1, 2014)

 

UPDATE: Louisiana has announced the dates for the 2014 tax amnesty program. The 2014 program will run from October 15, 2014 to November 14, 2014.

(09/26/2014)

In February 2013, Louisiana issued Revenue Ruling No. 13-003 regarding the taxability of repair parts for rental equipment.  The ruling stated that the Louisiana sales tax exclusion for items of tangible personal property that are sold for the purpose of lease or rental does not apply to repair parts or materials that are purchased and necessary for the repair or maintenance of lease or rental equipment covered by the exclusion. The ruling stated that repair parts and materials for lease or rental equipment do not qualify for the exclusion regardless of whether the the items are purchased and installed by the owner of the lease or rental equipment or installed as a repair service that is separately billed by a third party.

 

Effective July 18, 2013, Louisiana has temporarily suspended the implementation of Revenue Ruling No. 13-003. (Revenue Ruling No. 13-003, Louisiana Department of Revenue, February 27, 2013;Revenue Information Bulletin No. 13-014, Louisiana Department of Revenue, July 18, 2013)

(04/10/2014)

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