Filing Your 2021 State Income Taxes in Louisiana

Filing Your 2021 State Income Taxes in Louisiana
••• Viktorcvetkovic

The world's jazz capital is about to gear up for tax season. Louisiana taxpayers are gathering their W-2s and 1099s to start preparing their tax returns. It's key to know what's needed to satisfy the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) as well as how to file your state tax return.

Who Must File Louisiana Income Taxes?

If you are a resident and are required to file a federal tax return, you are also required to file an LDR return. Leaving Louisiana temporarily doesn’t exempt you. You must still file a state income tax return.

Part-year and nonresidents must also file Louisiana state taxes if they have filed a federal return. In addition, filers must report all income from sources in Louisiana. Gambling winnings for nonresidents and part-year residents must also be declared.

If you are in the military and stationed in Louisiana but domiciled in another state, you don't have to file a Louisiana tax return. But if you or your spouse earned income from sources in Louisiana, you must file.

A nonresident professional athlete must file an individual income tax if income has been derived from Louisiana sources. Several groups are considered athletes:

  • National Football League
  • Professional Golfers Association of America
  • National Basketball Association
  • National Hockey league
  • East Coast Hockey League
  • Pacific Coast League

All members of these groups are considered professional athletes who must e-file a return. Income sources include endorsements, royalties and promotional advertising.

If you have overpaid your taxes and expect a refund, you must file a tax return to receive it.

What Are the Forms to Use?

Louisiana residents file Form IT-540. A nonresident or part-year resident files income tax Form IT-540-B and must report all income derived from Louisiana.

What Is the Tax Rate in Louisiana?

Louisiana individual income tax rates for 2021 are applied on a graduated scale based on gross income:

  • 2 percent​ on your first $12,500 if you are filing individually, married filing separately or as a head of household
  • 4 percent​ on your next $37,500 if you are filing individually, married filing separately or as a head of household
  • 6 percent​ on what you earn over $50,000 if you are filing individually, married filing separately or as a head of household

Married filing jointly income tax rates are also applied on a graduated scale based on gross income:

  • 2 percent​ on the first $25,000 earned
  • 4 percent​ on the next $75,000 earned
  • 6 percent​ on what is earned over $100,000

What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?

The due date for filing and paying taxes on an individual tax return is May 15 although in 2022 since that falls on a Sunday, tax returns will be due on ​May 16, 2022​.

If you are unable to file your state taxes by the due date, you can apply for an extension. To file an extension, a taxpayer must make the request electronically.

Even though you have an extension, you must still pay any owed taxes by the first due date. Payments received after the May 16 due date are subject to penalties and interest.

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?

The penalty for failure to pay or underpayment of taxes in Louisiana is ​12 percent.​ This penalty is charged until all owed taxes are paid.

There are penalty exceptions. Those taxpayers who think they qualify for an exception may request one with Form R-20128. You'll have to make the request within one year from the due date of your return including any applicable extensions.

Where Do I Mail/E-file My Louisiana Return?

When tax filing, you can mail in a return and payment. The address is: Louisiana Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 3440 Baton Rouge, La 70821-3550. If you have an amended return and it includes payment, mail it to: Louisiana Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 3550 Baton Rouge, La 70821-3550.

You can e-file your Louisiana state return. You can file online electronically if you have e-filed in 2004 or later or if you have a current Louisiana driver's license or I.D. issued by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. You’ll also need your Social Security number.

If you are a nonresident professional athlete and have not filed a Louisiana state return in the past, you must create a user account. All nonresident professional athletes must file electronically.

How Do I Pay Taxes Due?

If you file your Louisiana state taxes electronically you can use direct debit to pay your individual income taxes.

You can also make tax payments by mailing in a check or money order when you send in your print income tax return.

You may pay online with a credit card as well. The Louisiana Department of Revenue accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. You can also use a debit card or pay with a credit card over the phone at ​1-888-272-9829​ or ​1-888-2PAYTAX​. A ​2.49 percent​ convenience fee is charged per credit card transaction.

Where Can I Check My Louisiana Refund Status?

To check on your tax refund, go to the Louisiana Department of Revenue LaTAP website. Once you’re on LaTAP, you’ll need your Social Security number, filing status and refund amount. Make sure it’s the exact amount shown on your individual tax return. For joint returns, you’ll need the Social Security number of the primary taxpayer or spouse.

The processing time for returns that are electronically filed is ​45 days​. Paper returns take up to ​14 weeks​. If you haven’t received your refund after this time has lapsed, contact the LDR.

If you want to speed up the process of receiving your refund, you can request direct deposit at the time of filing. But, in order to request direct deposit, you must e-file.

What About Louisiana State Taxes if You’re Self-employed?

If you are self-employed, you are not subject to a corporate tax. You file on your individual tax returns but are expected to pay estimated tax on your taxable income if you don't choose to make voluntary withholdings.

What About Louisiana State Taxes if You’re a Business?

If you are a corporation or an entity taxed as a corporation on your federal income tax return and derive income from Louisiana sources, you must file a state tax return.

The corporate tax rates are applied on a graduated scale:

  • 4 percent​ on the first $25,000 of net income
  • 5 percent​ on the next $25,000 of net income
  • 6 percent​ on the next $50,000 of net income
  • 7 percent​ on the next $100,000 of net income
  • 8 percent​ on the excess over $200,000 of net income

If your company has been declared exempt by the IRS, a copy of the ruling must be supplied to the LDR.

Subchapter S-corporations and other pass-through entities must compute their net incomes as if they filed a C-corporation return at the federal level. They must also pay state tax. The rates are computed on a graduated scale:

  • 2 percent​ on the first $25,000 of net income
  • 4 percent​ on the next $75,000 of net income
  • 6 percent​ on the excess over $100,000 of net income

Corporations, S-corporations and other pass-through entities must file electronically.

Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. Check for any changes at the Louisiana Department of Revenue before you file.