On March 19, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (the “Department”) released Revenue Information Bulletin No. 20-008 (“RIB”). The purpose of the RIB is to provide filing and payment extension relief for certain taxes due on March 20, 2020, and to share additional important information with Louisiana taxpayers.
February 2020 Sales Tax Return
Generally, the February 2020 sales tax returns and payments would become due on March 20, 2020. However, the RIB provides that the filing and payment deadline for the February 2020 sales tax period is extended to May 20, 2020. Please note that this is an automatic extension and no extension request is necessary.
The Department will waive delinquency penalties and compromise interest associated with delinquent sales tax remittances provided that the returns and payments are received by the extended due date of May 20, 2020.
Moreover, the RIB provides that Taxpayers cannot utilize the Parish E-File or Sales Tax Online filing systems to take advantage of this filing and payment extension relief. Specifically, sales tax returns and payments must be submitted via LaTAP or by paper filing. Further, all electronic filing and payment mandates contained within Title 61 of the Louisiana Administrative Code relative to sales tax are temporarily suspended. No penalties will be assessed for a taxpayer’s failure to file a sales tax return electronically or remit sales tax by electronic funds transfer.
Please note that for purposes of the RIB, February 2020 sales tax means and includes the following taxes: General Sales and Use Tax, Direct Marketer Sales Tax, Automobile Rental Excise Tax, Hotel Occupancy Tax, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Food and Beverage Tax, and Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Tour and Service Contractor Taxes.
Assessments, Audits, and Litigation
As provided by Section 5 of Proclamation No. JBE 2020-30, the prescription of all tax assessments issued by the Department pursuant to Part III entitled “Assessment and Collection Procedures” of Chapter 18 of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes is suspended effective March 16, 2020. The suspension of prescription of all Department tax assessments will remain in effect until April 13, 2020. This suspension of prescription is applicable to the time delay for a taxpayer’s petition to appeal for redetermination of an assessment with the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals and for the time delays for appeals in Louisiana courts filed by taxpayers and the Department.
Further, the Department will grant an automatic extension on any outstanding audit or litigation matter, including but not limited to, proposed assessments, protests, requests for information, discovery requests, and continuances. In addition, please note that except for system-generated assessments on self-assessed returns, the Department will take no action in issuing formal assessments on audited accounts until at least April 13, 2020.
Please note that for purposes of the RIB, audited accounts are those accounts in which a field or correspondence audit was conducted by one of the Field Audit Tax Divisions (Income, Sales, or Excise) and preliminary findings were issued. This does not include routine account adjustments issued by the Taxpayer Compliance Divisions or the Criminal Investigations Division.
In addition, the RIB provides that the Department is temporarily suspending collection activity by distraint and sale on delinquent taxpayer accounts. However, please note that delinquency interest and penalties will continue to accrue in accordance with statute on unpaid balances.
This notice does not pertain to sales and use taxes that are assessed by the cities or Parishes. Therefore, filing and payment may still be required for some sales and use taxes.