On June 23, 2016, the Louisiana Society of CPAs (LCPA) issued a bulletin on recent developments involving tax return processing for taxpayers affected by the spring flooding. Their message was highlighted by the following information:
- Some taxpayers (residing in affected areas of Louisiana) who previously filed returns have received notices from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The notices erroneously assess penalty and interest for late filing and payment of tax, and
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) have clarified procedures for filing extensions related to the postponed deadline of July 15, 2016.
Erroneous IRS Notices
In addition to the erroneous notices, there have been reports of inaccurate information being communicated on calls to the IRS. The Revenue Service has notified telephone assistors that the notices are in error, and they are working to remedy the situation by correcting taxpayer accounts in disaster areas.
If you receive an erroneous notice, send a redacted copy to Stakeholder Liaison Sharon Evans at Sharon.M.Evans@irs.gov and contact her at (504) 202-9655. She will forward your information to the IRS’s Disaster HQ for correction.
Procedures for Federal/Louisiana Extensions
- Federal – The IRS has indicated it is best to paper-file with the notation “FEMA #4263” atop Form 4868 (see the instructions for Form 4868 to identify the appropriate mailing address).
- Louisiana – LDR reopened its online filing system and instructed taxpayers to electronically file Louisiana tax return extensions (see Revenue Information Bulletin 2016-032 for details).
The misleading guidance provided by LDR, coupled with invalid notices issued by the IRS, have somewhat eradicated the benefits intended by postponing the 2015 tax deadline. North Louisiana taxpayers should cautiously carry-out their responsibilities related to filing tax returns, just as they should carefully inspect any notice from the IRS/LDR assessing penalties or interest.