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Louisiana Citizen's Tax Credit...Don't Leave It on the Table!!!

Mar 20, 2014

Okay...there are way too many of you who are still forgetting to bring in the declaration page from the current year's homeowner's and renter's insurance policies. Chances are very good that if you have a homeowner's wind and hail policy, there is an amount on there that the state wants to refund to you. Flood policies don't usually have this assessment but review yours, just in case.

It's not too late to claim your credit--even if you've already filed your income tax return this year, so let's briefly go into what this is all about:

Right after Katrina, the state began adding an extra fee to most homeowner's--and even renter's--wind and hail policies. The surcharge should be clearly labeled on the declaration page or else they won't allow the credit. The state will refund that amount in full to you; and you only have three years to file for it if you forget to claim it with your tax return.

What you're looking for is one of these names: LA Citizen's Assessment, LA FAIR Plan Assessment, LA Coastal Assessment, and LA Market Equalization charge. If you have one of those cryptic policies with code numbers and amounts next to them, look through the code key included with the policy--it should be in there.

Anyway, whatever you paid for that fee, you will get back from the state--in full. Even if it's "only" $50-$60 per year, multiplied by four because you forgot to claim it from 2010-2013 now makes it a nice chunk of change!

We like you guys so much that we make it easy for you to get your money. These are the five steps you need to take:

1. Go to the "Files" menu across the top of this page.
2. Click on "Tax Forms-LA" and choose either form 540INS (for individuals) or form 620 INS (corporations, LLC's and LLP's).
3. Print it out and fill it by hand or complete it nice and neat on the screen and then print it. All you need is your name, your address, your SSN, your insurance co. name, and the amount of the fee that's on your policy.
4. Make a copy of the declaration page and include it with the form. Your insurance agent can fax or email you the sheets you need--you don't even have to dig through any paperwork. I'd highlight or circle the amount of the credit.
5. Put it in an envelope and mail it to the state in the address at bottom of the form. Processes in six to ten weeks.

Please note that if you're sending more than one year, do not staple the different years together. Staple each declaration page to its corresponding year form and then paper-clip all years together WITH A COVER LETTER stating something like:

"Dear Sirs:
We are sending in a form 540INS for each of the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. Please process the form for each year and send our refunds at your earliest convenience.
Thank you."

Now, who else is gonna give you these tips for free? Even the letter! Normally, you claim the credit when you complete your state income tax return. Next year, bring the insurance policy with you when you come see us and we'll do all the work to get you the credit!

You're welcome.

Category: Bookkeeping