What are the Louisiana State Tax Filing Requirements?

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Failure to file Louisiana tax returns can result in significant financial penalties.
Failure to file Louisiana tax returns can result in significant financial penalties. (Image: Louisiana state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Louisiana collects a state tax on the income earned by residents and some non-residents as well. Special requirements exist for professional athletes, military personnel and residents with income earned in another state. However, as a general rule, if you lived or worked in Louisiana and are required to file a federal income tax return, you must also file a Louisiana return.

General Requirements

If you lived in Louisiana for all or part of the year or are not a resident but received income from a source within Louisiana and must file a federal return, you must file a state return. Residents must report all income to Louisiana regardless of the state in which the income was earned.

If a refund is due because payroll deductions exceed liability, file a Louisiana return to receive the credit or refund.

Returns should be postmarked no later than May 15 of the year following the calendar year end. If a fiscal year filer, returns are due on the 15th, five months after the fiscal year ends.

Military Service

Members of the armed forces who maintain Louisiana as their home of record and who must file a federal return must also file a Louisiana return. All income must be reported to Louisiana no matter where they are actually stationed.

Those who maintain another state as their home of record but are stationed in Louisiana are not required to file a Louisiana return on their earnings paid by the military. However, if he or his spouse earns income in Louisiana that is not paid by the military, a Louisiana return must be filed and the non-military wages reported.

Part-Year or Non-Residents

Those who move into or out of the state during the year or who reside in another state but received income from a source within Louisiana must file a Louisiana return if they also file a federal return. All income is reported and then prorated, with only the Louisiana income taxed. Money won gambling at a Louisiana casino, race track, or other venue is considered taxable Louisiana income regardless of the taxpayer's state of residency.

Professional Athletes

Professional athletes who are under contract to a Louisiana team or who play in tournaments in Louisiana must report income to Louisiana. Income includes not only salaries paid by the team but also earnings from endorsements, advertising or royalties. The calculation is derived by assessing a ratio of total days (from preseason through season end) to the number of days spent in Louisiana.

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