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The recently enacted Louisiana Tax Delinquency Act of 2009 establishes a tax amnesty program for a period not to exceed two consecutive months, set for July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. The amnesty program will apply to all taxes administered by the Department with the exception of motor fuel taxes. The legislation introduces post amnesty collection penalties. If, following termination of the tax amnesty period, the secretary issues a deficiency assessment for a period for which amnesty was taken, the secretary shall have the authority to impose penalties and institute civil or criminal proceedings as authorized by law only with the respect to the difference between the amount shown on the amnesty application and the correct amount of tax due. The legislation also provides a 20% cost of collection penalty on any deficiency assessed for any taxable period due on or after July 1, 2001 and ending before January 1, 2009 (H.B. 720, Regular Session 2009).


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed legislation for a Tax Amnesty program. The program would take place in the fiscal year 2009-2010 for a two month period which would be determined by the Secretary of Revenue. Amnesty would apply to all tax periods beginning July 2001 and ending December 30, 2008. If a taxpayer pays all unpaid taxes and 50% of accrued interest, then the state will waive all penalties owed, as well as half of the interest. Taxpayers will be eligible for the program if they have an existing tax liability, did not file a required return or report, or who have understated or omitted any tax liability on a filed return. Amnesty would not be granted for motor fuel inspection fees, inspection and supervision fees, or motor fuel taxes. (Press Release, Office of Gov. Bobby Jindal, February 18, 2009)


In a recent Louisiana Supreme Court ruling, the Court agreed that the state’s Department of Revenue did not have binding permission to waive the taxpayer’s statute of limitations. The Louisiana Department of Revenue had obtained permission to review records from expired periods, but the taxpayer argued that the specific employee did not have the authority to do so. The high court of Louisiana agreed. (Bridges v. Hertz Equipment Rental Corp., Louisiana Supreme Court No. 08-C-0400)


Louisiana has issued a letter ruling on two types of bundled transactions that involve the sale of equipment and wireless internet service. The letter ruling discusses two scenarios that involve a wireless internet service provider that requires customers to sign a one year contract and purchase certain equipment. In both scenarios the wireless provider purchases equipment from a supplier and issues a resale certificate. The provider, in turn, sells the equipment to an authorized dealer, who also issues a resale certificate, at a below market price. In the first scenario, the customers make the purchase through the dealer and pay the same below market price. This below market price is contingent upon the customer signing the one year agreement. Therefore, in essence, the monthly payments over time represent partial payment for nontaxable internet service and partial payment for the cost of taxable equipment. In this scenario, the dealer should collect and remit tax on the below market price paid by the customer, which leaves the service provider liable for use tax on the remaining cost of the equipment. In the second scenario, the customer makes the purchase directly from the service provider. In this scenario, a credit memo is issued to the dealer on the purchase of the equipment. This leaves the provider liable for collecting the sales tax on the below market price from the customer and paying use tax on the remaining cost of the equipment. So in both scenarios tax is due on the entire cost of the equipment, but the person liable for the tax is different. (Private Letter Ruling No. 08-010, Louisiana Department of Revenue, August 15, 2008)


Louisiana issued a bulletin to remind taxpayers that effective July 1, 2008, newspapers will be excluded from the definition of tangible personal property. The sales tax exemption for newspapers has also been repealed. This exemption had been suspended since July 1, 2004, making newspapers subject to state sales tax. (Revenue Information Bulletin No. 08-017, Louisiana Department of Revenue)



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