Does Louisiana Have Tax Amnesty?

As Benjamin Franklin once famously quipped, “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” It’s true that taxes are a part of life in this country, and often a stressful one at that, especially for those who have fallen behind on their taxes and are seeing the fees and penalties building up. When it comes to Louisiana tax resolution solutions for situations like this, though, there is tax relief help out there and possible solutions for every taxpayer’s situation.

When it comes to settling stressful tax resolution situations, whether they be unpaid back taxes or unfiled tax returns, knowing what options are available to you is the first step toward finding a solution to your situation and gaining a fresh start. In this article, we’ll introduce you to a few key topics when it comes to tax resolution, including tax amnesty and a few other tax resolution options that can help you gain control of your taxes and finances again!


What Is Tax Resolution and How Does it Work?

Tax resolution is a term used for the process of working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as well as with other tax professionals, to help find a solution to any tax-related troubles you might be experiencing. There are a few different situations in which you might find yourself in a tax resolution situation. One such situation would be that the IRS has chosen to audit you, to verify your income and the deductions you’ve claimed.

Another common reason people find themselves navigating the murky water of tax resolution is that they owe back taxes to the IRS from not having filed their taxes for several years. This situation can end up being serious enough that people find themselves seeking help from tax professionals and taking advantage of tax amnesties to help them clear up the situation without incurring expensive tax penalties and unpaid tax fees.

What Is Tax Amnesty?

A tax amnesty is a limited-time window of opportunity during which states will allow individuals with delinquent tax accounts (for example, people who owe several years of unpaid back taxes) to pay back all, or some, of their owed taxes without penalties or excessive interest charged on top of them. States will specify the time period during which there is a tax amnesty, and individuals owing back taxes will then be responsible for taking advantage of that opportunity.

In addition to specifying the time period of the amnesty, states will also set guidelines on the kinds of taxes covered by the amnesty during that time. Personal income tax is often covered, but there are occasionally tax amnesty programs for other types of taxes as well, including sales taxes and corporate taxes. Tax amnesties are considered a “win-win” by the state, as it gives taxpayers a chance to pay back taxes they might not otherwise be able to.

What Are the Benefits of Participating in a Tax Amnesty Program?

A period of tax amnesty in your state can be a great opportunity to get a fresh start on your taxes and finances by clearing your owed back taxes while getting a break when it comes to the fees and penalties often associated with unpaid taxes. Participating in tax amnesty programs can sometimes also allow you to remove tax liens and tax levies that are held against you due to unpaid taxes.

There are also cases in which, if you are known to owe the government taxes which you haven’t paid, you could incur further penalties for failing to participate in tax amnesties when they are available, which can create further financial problems and more stress for you further down the road.

Who Can Participate in a Tax Amnesty Program?

The exact specifications of who can participate in any given tax amnesty period will depend on the exact criteria and regulations set out by the state with each tax amnesty. For example, past tax amnesty programs in Louisiana have provided opportunities for individual taxpayers who owed back taxes, who have liens or levies held against them, who had filed for protection against bankruptcy, and who were involved in ongoing audits.

As the rules and specific procedures around each tax amnesty may be different from previous amnesties, it can be helpful to enlist qualified tax professionals to help navigate tax amnesties. And in fact, sometimes having a professional tax consultant on your side will give you more bargaining power within that tax amnesty to negotiate a better settlement for yourself, saving you money and clearing your tax obligations in the process.

Is There Tax Amnesty in Louisiana?

There is currently no tax amnesty available in Louisiana. The nature of tax amnesties is that they are set, limited periods of time, windows of opportunities for taxpayers with back taxes or other tax resolution troubles. This same principle of tax amnesties, though, also means that tax amnesty periods will often arise every couple of years, allowing for more individuals and taxpayers with recent tax resolution situations to take advantage of them.

In the meantime, in those periods between tax amnesties, there are plenty of other options for tax resolution available for taxpayers in Louisiana, as well as ample professional help available for individuals looking for help navigating their options! Some potential resolution options for navigating back taxes are listed below.

Tax Resolution: Creating a Payment Plan

One popular option for dealing with back taxes is working with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) or the IRS to create a payment plan. Payment plans give taxpayers the opportunity to pay their back taxes in monthly installments designed to work with their financial situation. The payment periods are often quite flexible; the LDR, for example, offers payment plans over periods of up to 36 months.

Tax Resolution: Offers in Compromise

For individuals who may not be able to pay the entirety of what they owe the state in back taxes, settling for the payment of an amount that is less than the total owed may be possible. Usually, this is only an option if you can make a case that the amount settled on is realistically the largest portion of your owed taxes that the state is likely to be able to collect from you, given your current financial situation.

Tax Resolution: Applying to Waive Penalty Fees

There is also an option in Louisiana to apply to the LDR to have any penalty fees incurred on your tax bill waived. This process usually requires that you file all previously unfiled returns and pay any owed back taxes and fees aside from the penalty fees that you are applying to have waived.

As you can see, there are options out there for dealing with your Louisiana tax resolution situation. We understand that navigating tax relief help can be a challenge and that knowing which option is right for you is not easy. That’s why we at Geaux Tax Resolution are here to help! Contact us at Geaux Tax Resolution, and our team of skilled tax consultants can help you get started on the road to a fresh start and a stress-free tax resolution plan today!

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