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FYI's on Louisiana's Refunding of Sales Taxes for Flood Victims

Aug 29, 2016

Louisiana has had this law on the books for quite a while. In fact, the state even put out a special packet for Hurricanes Gustav/Ike that includes all forms necessary to file this type of claim. We have uploaded the PDF file to our "Files>>As Seen In our Blogs/Newsletter" section of our website, so check it out: http://www.larrysincometax.com/forms/folder/as-seen-in-our-blognewsletter-most-recent-listed-first

Basically, if you're a Louisiana resident whose tangible property (clothes, furniture, electronics, utensils, etc.) has been destroyed by a natural disaster in a parish that is located in a presidentially declared disaster area, the state will actually refund the amount of state sales tax that you originally paid on those items.

We feel this is a nice gesture on the state's part--especially since they don't place any time or dollar limits on your claim. You could've purchased the item 5 months ago or 5 years ago, and they'll still give you a refund on that sales tax you originally paid.

Of course, you will need to submit a very detailed report listing all the items that were lost (you can't just say, "Yeah, I lost $100K of stuff, send me a $4K refund, ASAP!"); submit proper documentation of said losses (adjuster report, receipts, pictures, etc); sign the return and notarize it (under penalties of perjury, of course); definitely wait a long time for processing; and then your check for a few $100's will eventually arrive in the mail--probably once you've completed all your renovations!

Hey...it's not supposed to make you whole again, but like I said--it's a nice gesture on the part of our state.

Things to note:

*There are three forms you must use: forms R-1362, R-1362D and R-1362S

*You have until Dec 31st of the third year following the calendar year the disaster occurred to submit your claim. For 2016 flood victims, we're talking 12/31/2019.

* The refund is for losses not covered by insurance. You must subtract any reimbursements from your calculated loss grand total.

*You must attach documentation to form R1362D. This can be the insurance adjuster's report or any available receipts if you had no insurance. If you don't have any documentation attached, the state will make a reasonable estimate based on your prior tax filings and other available info. In cases like these, pictures help tell the story, so definitely take some--especially if you're talking pricey items like furniture, appliances and electronics.

*Things that aren't eligible for the tax refund include:
Titled assets (vehicles, ATVs boats, etc)
Food or other perishables
Immovable property (sheds, plumbing, electrical,flooring,etc)
Recreational equipment generally used outside of the home (golf clubs, tennis racquets, jetskis, etc)

The address currently listed to mail the claim forms is:

Office Audit Division
Post Processing Unit
PO Box 91138
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9138
(some forms show an incorrect ZIP code of 70812)

A little thing to note is that sales tax was 4% for the longest time I can remember and changed to 5% on 4/1/16. I noticed that at the time I wrote this blog, form R-1362S was unavailable, so they may be revising it to account for that change in rates.

Good luck to you.

Category: Taxes