Individual Income Tax

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Who must file

  1. Louisiana residents, part-year residents of Louisiana, and nonresidents with income from Louisiana sources who are required to file a federal income tax return must file a Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return.
  2. Taxpayers who have overpaid their tax through withholding or declaration of estimated tax must file a return to obtain a refund or credit.
  3. Military personnel whose domicile (home of record) is Louisiana and who is required to file a federal income tax return must file a return and report all of their income regardless of where they were stationed.

Due Date of Returns and Payments

Returns and payments are due on or before May 15 of the following year. For fiscal year taxpayers, returns and payments are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of the fiscal year.

Determination of Tax

The tax is determined using tax tables furnished by the Department of Revenue. The tax rate is applied in a graduated scale using the taxpayer’s filing status and the taxpayer’s Louisiana taxable income. Recent changes to the tax rate are reflected as follows:

Rate of tax 2008 Tax Year and Prior Years Effective January 1, 2009
Single, married filing separately, or head of household:    
   2 percent   First $12,500   First $12,500
   4 percent   Next $12,500   Next $37,500
   6 percent   Over $25,000   Over $50,000
Married filing jointly or qualified surviving spouse:    
   2 percent   First $25,000   First $25,000
   4 percent   Next $25,000   Next $75,000
   6 percent   Over $50,000   Over $100,000

Requesting an Extension of Time for Filing a Return

Revised Statute 47:103 allows a six-month extension of time to file the individual income tax return to be granted on request. The extension request must be made electronically before the state tax filing due date, which is May 15 for calendar year filers or the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of a fiscal year.

In the past, taxpayers were allowed to request a state income tax filing extension by filing a paper state extension. Beginning with the 2012 income tax year, taxpayers will be required to electronically request a state individual income tax filing extension on or before the May 15 due date. Paper state extension request will not be accepted.

This new requirement is the result of changing technologies and processing procedures within the department.

The three options for requesting an extension are as follows:

  1. Filing an extension request electronically via the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s Individual Income Online Tax Filing application or the Online Extension Filing application;
  2. Filing an extension request electronically via LDR’s IVR phone system by calling 225-922-3270 or 888-829-3071. For an extension request, select option #3, then select option #1. Taxpayers will need the social security number of the primary account holder to request the extension; or
  3. Submitting a state extension to LDR by “checking the state extension box” included in the tax preparation software for an electronically-filed return.

Tax preparers can also utilize the bulk extension filing application to submit multiple extension requests. This application can be used by any firm who has an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) registered with LDR or any taxpayer who has a current Louisiana Account Number listed with LDR.

Taxpayers seeking a waiver of the electronic filing of an extension due to a hardship can request an extension via LDR’s IVR phone system (option #2 above) or can request a waiver by calling the Special Programs Division at 225-219-2200.

An extension does not allow an extension of time to pay the tax due. Payments received after the return due date will be charged interest and late payment penalty.

Options for When an Payment Needs to be Made with the Extension Request

Payments cannot be made through the bulk extension filing application on LDR’s website. If you need to make a payment, you must submit an extension request electronically and:

  1. Mail in a check or money order with the electronically filed extension payment voucher, Form R-2868V;
  2. Make a payment using either a bank account or a credit card through LDR’s Individual Income Online Tax Filing application;
  3. Print an extension payment voucher through LDR’s Online Extension Filing application; or
  4. Requesting the extension and make the payment electronically through tax preparation software that supports this option.

Please do not use Form R-540V, Individual Income Tax Electronic Filing Payment Voucher, to submit an extension payment. Form R-540V is to be used only by tax filers that have filed their tax returns through electronic filing and need to make a payment.

An extension does not allow an extension of time to pay the tax due. Payments received after the return due date will be charged interest and late payment penalty.

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Resident Individual Income Tax

Resident taxpayers who are required to file a federal individual income tax return are required to file a Louisiana income tax return, IT-540 reporting all of their income. If a Louisiana resident earns income in another state, that income is also taxable by Louisiana. A temporary absence from Louisiana does not automatically change your domicile for individual income tax purposes. As a resident taxpayer, you are allowed a credit on Schedule G for the net tax liability paid to another state if that income is included on the Louisiana return.

Residents may be allowed a deduction from taxable income of certain income items considered exempt by Louisiana law. For example, Louisiana residents who are members of the armed services and who were stationed outside the state on active duty for 120 or more consecutive days are entitled to a deduction of up to $30,000. In each case, the amount of income subject to a deduction must be included on the Louisiana resident return before the deduction can be allowed.

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Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Individual Income Tax

Nonresident and part-year resident taxpayers who are required to file a federal individual income tax return are required to file a Louisiana income tax return, IT-540B reporting all income earned from Louisiana sources. The calculation for the IT-540B requires that a taxpayer report all income from all sources in order to determine a ratio of Louisiana adjusted gross income to Federal adjusted gross income. Only income earned from Louisiana sources, however, is taxed.

Gambling winnings earned in Louisiana is considered to be Louisiana sourced income. A nonresident who received gambling winnings from Louisiana sources and who is required to file a federal income tax return must file a Louisiana return reporting the Louisiana income earned. If the amount withheld is overpaid, a refund of the difference will be issued or credited to the tax liability for the following year, based upon the taxpayer’s return.

Military personnel whose domicile (home of record) is not Louisiana are not required to file a Louisiana income tax return on the wages earned from the military. Military personnel who earned nonmilitary income from Louisiana sources or whose spouse earned income from Louisiana sources are required to file a Louisiana income tax return reporting the amount of Louisiana income.

Nonresident and part-year resident taxpayers use the Tax Computation Worksheet to calculate the amount of Louisiana tax due based on the amount of their Louisiana taxable income. The Tax Computation Worksheet allows a deduction for a Personal Exemption based on filing status. A credit of $1,000 for each dependent and for each taxpayer and/or spouse whose age is 65 and over, or who is blind, is applied in determining the amount of tax.

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Nonresident Athlete Individual Income Tax

A nonresident individual who is a member of the following associations is considered a professional athlete and is required to electronically file a Louisiana income tax return, IT-540B-NRA reporting all income earned from Louisiana sources:

  • Professional Golfers Association of America or the PGA Tour, Inc.
  • National Football League
  • National Basketball Association
  • National Hockey League
  • East Coast Hockey League
  • Pacific Coast League

Income from Louisiana sources include compensation for the services rendered as a professional athlete and all income from other Louisiana sources, such as endorsements, royalties, and promotional advertising. The calculation of income from compensation is based on a ratio obtained from the number of Louisiana Duty Days over the total number of Duty Days. Duty Days is defined as the number of days that the individual participated as an athlete from the official preseason training through the last game in which the individual competes or is scheduled to compete.

Nonresident professional athlete taxpayers use the Tax Computation Worksheet to calculate the amount of Louisiana tax due based on the amount of their Louisiana taxable income. The Tax Computation Worksheet allows a deduction for a Personal Exemption based on filing status. A credit of $1,000 for each dependent and for each taxpayer and/or spouse whose age is 65 and over, or who is blind, is applied in determining the amount of tax.

A resident individual who is a member of the associations listed above is considered a professional athlete and is required to electronically file a Louisiana income tax return, IT-540 reporting all of their income.

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Declaration of Estimated Tax

Taxpayers must make a declaration of estimated income tax and pay estimated tax payments if their estimated Louisiana income tax after credits and taxes withheld is expected to exceed $1,000 for single filers and $2,000 for joint filers as required by Revised Statute 47:116. To calculate the estimated tax, resident taxpayers should use the current year’s Income Tax Tables to estimate their income tax liability based on the expected amount of Louisiana taxable income. Taxpayers who are nonresidents or part-year residents should use the Tax Computation Worksheet to calculate the amount of Louisiana estimated tax. For general information concerning calculation and payment of estimated tax, see the estimated payment instructions, Form IT-540ES(I). Calendar year taxpayers can pay the estimated tax in full with the declaration, or in equal installments, on or before April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15.

Special Provisions for Farmers or Fishermen Revised Statute 47:117(B) provides that if at least two-thirds of an individual’s estimated gross income is from farming or fishing, the declaration and estimated tax payment may be made any time on or before January 15 of the succeeding taxable year without being assessed underpayment of estimated tax penalty. Revised Statute 47:116(F) allows an the exception from the estimated tax payment requirement if the taxpayer files their individual income tax return by March 1 of the succeeding taxable year and pays the total amount due.

Exception To Estimated Payment Declaration Requirement—Revised Statute 47:116(F) allows an exception from the estimated tax payment amendment requirement or original declaration requirement due January 15 of the succeeding year if the taxpayer files their individual income tax return by January 31 of the succeeding year and pays the total amount due. Filing a declaration, amended declaration, or paying the last installment by January 15th, or filing an income tax return by January 31st, will not relieve you of the underpayment penalty if you failed to pay the estimated income tax that was due earlier in the year.

Estimated Tax Payment Options— Taxpayers can pay the estimated tax using any of the following options:

  1. Electronically using the Louisiana File Online;
  2. By credit card using Official Payments;
  3. By mail using the Louisiana Estimated Tax Declaration Voucher For Individuals, Form IT-540ES. Payments by check should be made to the Department of Revenue. Do not send cash.

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Penalty For Failure To Pay Or Underpayment Of Estimated Tax

Revised Statute 47:118 authorizes a penalty for failure to pay or underpayment of estimated income tax. The penalty is 12 percent annually of the underpayment amount for the period of the underpayment.

Determination Of The Underpayment Amount

  1. The underpayment is the excess of the installment amount that would be required if the estimated tax was 90 percent (66.66 percent for qualified farmers and fisherman) of the tax due for the previous taxable year or, if no return was filed, 90 percent (66.66 percent for qualified farmers and fisherman) of the tax due for the current year, over the installment amount that was paid on or before the last date prescribed for the payment.
  2. For the purposes of determining the underpayment amount, the required installment amount is 25 percent of the required annual payment.

Determination Of The Underpayment Period—The underpayment period is from the date the installment was required to be paid to whichever of the following dates is earlier:

  1. The 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the taxable year; or
  2. The date on which any portion of the underpayment is paid limited to the payment amount.

Penalty Exceptions—The underpayment of estimated tax penalty will not be imposed on any installment if no declaration of estimated tax is required to be filed because the taxpayer did not reasonably expect for their taxes to exceed $1,000 for single filers and $2,000 for joint filers as required by Revised Statute 47:116(A), or if the total amount of all estimated tax payments made on or before the last date prescribed for the payment of the installment equals or exceeds the lesser of the following:

  1. The amount which would have been required to be paid on or before the date if the estimated tax were whichever of the following is the least.
    • The tax due on the preceding tax year’s return, if the individual filed a tax return for the preceding year and the year was a taxable year of 12 months;
    • The tax that would have been due for the preceding taxable year based on the taxpayer's status and personal exemptions and credits for dependents and facts shown on his return; or
    • Ninety percent (66.66 percent for qualified farmers and fisherman) of the tax due on an annualized basis for each quarterly period.
  2. Ninety percent of the tax computed at the applicable rates on the basis of the actual taxable income for the months in the taxable year ending before the month in which the installment is required to be paid.

Notification Of Underpayment Of Estimated Tax Penalty

When an individual income tax return is filed with a payment in excess of $1,000 for single filers and $2,000 for joint filers, the taxpayer will be notified of the requirement to file an estimated tax declaration and pay the estimated tax.

Based on the underpayment amount and the underpayment period, an assessment of underpayment of estimated tax penalty will be made.

Request for Penalty Waiver

Taxpayers may request that the penalty be waived. The request must be made within one year from the tax return’s due date including any applicable extensions. If it can be determined that the individual acted in good faith and the failure to make the estimated payments was attributable to extraordinary circumstances beyond the individual's control or that the individual made a declaration and paid estimated tax in accordance with R.S. 47:116, 117, and 117.1 before the due date of the return without regard to any extension of time.

If it is determined that the individual acted with intentional disregard for the state laws, the request for penalty waiver will be denied.

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Filing an Amended Return

If you file your income tax return and later become aware of any changes you must make to income, deductions, or credits, your must file an amended (corrected) Louisiana return. To file a paper amended return:

  1. Use Form IT-540 , Resident Return, or IT-540B , Nonresident and Part-year Resident Return, whichever is applicable. Louisiana does not have a separate form for amending a return.
  2. Use the correct form for the tax year you are amending.
  3. File the amended return as if the original return was not filed. Do not make any adjustments for refunds previously received or for payments previously made.
  4. The return should be clearly marked with an "X" in the "Amended Return" box.
  5. The amended return should be submitted along with an explanation of the change(s) and a copy of the federal amended return, Form 1040X, if one was filed.
    • Mail an amended return that includes a payment to the following address:

      Louisiana Department of Revenue

      P.O. Box 3550

      Baton Rouge, La 70821-3550

    • Mail all others to the following address:

      Louisiana Department of Revenue

      P.O. Box 3440

      Baton Rouge, La 70821-3440

You also have the option of filing the amended return electronically via Louisiana File Online, the free web application from the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

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