FOX 8 Defenders: Nearly twice as many LA tax returns placed unde - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

FOX 8 Defenders: Nearly twice as many LA tax returns placed under review

Some believe the delay has to do with solar tax credits. (FOX 8 Photo) Some believe the delay has to do with solar tax credits. (FOX 8 Photo)
MADISONVILLE, LA (WVUE) -

Madisonville resident Matthew Stewart filed his state and federal tax returns online and early in February. His federal refund came in right away, but more than three months later, he's still waiting for the state's refund.

"We got a letter from the state, stating that our return was going to be under review," Stewart said. He's one of more than $52,000 Louisiana taxpayers who's account is "under review" by the Louisiana Department of Revenue. The letter says the review detects errors and/or credits claimed, which require appropriate documentation. It goes on to say the process saves Louisiana taxpayers millions each year in refunds that should not be paid.

Stewart believes the delay has to do with solar tax credits. In addition to converting his a/c and heating and hot water heater from electric to gas, he installed a solar panel system last year that cost him thousands of dollars. "$25,000 for what we have on our house," explained Stewart.

Instead of the $167 energy bill he received last March, he paid only $18 for the same time period this year. "That was a really clear day, and it produced 31.7 kilowatts," Stewart said pointing out an online tracking system that details what his solar panel system generates each day.

While he's reaping the benefits of a more energy efficient home, he says he took out a loan to finance the $25,000 solar panel system, knowing tax credits eventually would cover 80-percent of the cost. The state credit equals 50-percent of the first $25,000of the cost of the system, including installation costs. The federal credit is 30-percent of equipment & installation

"I was concerned, what is the state doing, saying your tax filing is under review when, at the same time, we had gotten a letter from the IRS approving our refund of 30-percent from the federal government," Stewart said. Tax credits aren't the only reason your return could get a closer look. The Louisiana Department of Revenue says it places accounts "under review" for a variety of reasons from suspected fraud, which has become a big concern, to name and address changes and to taxpayer related errors. To date it's mailed more than 52,000 "under review" letters to taxpayers this season, nearly double the amount of review letters mailed last year.

LDR says the status of the state's budget has no impact on when taxpayers receive refunds. A revenue department spokesperson tells FOX 8 the returns are delayed because "the process involves a manual review of the identified return in question, and it is no longer a part of the automated, electronic process."

Because of that, the state asks taxpayers to allot 90 days for an account to be reviewed. Dated the end of March, Matthew Stewart may have to wait another 30 days. "I guess it can be nerve racking knowing that you have this big bill out there that has to be paid," he said. Just this week, he says he received an email from a state revenue tax analyst requesting documents to support his tax return, claiming solar credits.

If you have a consumer complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders at 1-877-670-6397, fill out our online complaint form or email us at fox8defenders@fox8live.com.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • City announces bike share community workshops

    City announces bike share community workshops

    The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced today it will hold six community workshops to collect resident feedback on where to place the initial 70 bike stations before the fall 2017 launch of the City's bike share program.

    more>>

    The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced today it will hold six community workshops to collect resident feedback on where to place the initial 70 bike stations before the fall 2017 launch of the City's bike share program.

    more>>
  • Solar panels lighting up New Orleans East

    Solar panels lighting up New Orleans East

    Solar energy is blanketing one neighborhood even after state tax credits disappeared. In New Orleans East at least 2,150 homes have solar energy and several homeowners are landing the panels at little or no initial cost. At Mary Queen of Vietnam, the church installed a large solar system including a hot water heater panel. “One single panel like that we don't have to use any other energy from the roof to make the water heater work and so it's a big saving to us,” Anthon...

    more>>

    Solar energy is blanketing one neighborhood even after state tax credits disappeared. In New Orleans East at least 2,150 homes have solar energy and several homeowners are landing the panels at little or no initial cost. At Mary Queen of Vietnam, the church installed a large solar system including a hot water heater panel. “One single panel like that we don't have to use any other energy from the roof to make the water heater work and so it's a big saving to us,” Anthon...

    more>>
  • Car burglary suspects caught on surveillance video

    Car burglary suspects caught on surveillance video

    Surveillance cameras captured pictures of two men the NOPD says were seen burglarizing multiple vehicles in a downtown garage.  Investigators say the images from inside the garage in the 400 block of O'Keefe Street show one man wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jogging pants. The second suspect also had on a blue sweatshirt with white lettering on the front and red sweatpants.  Police say the men were seen leaving the garage in what appears to be a blue Chrysler ve...more>>
    Surveillance cameras captured pictures of two men the NOPD says were seen burglarizing multiple vehicles in a downtown garage.  Investigators say the images from inside the garage in the 400 block of O'Keefe Street show one man wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jogging pants. The second suspect also had on a blue sweatshirt with white lettering on the front and red sweatpants.  Police say the men were seen leaving the garage in what appears to be a blue Chrysler ve...more>>
Powered by Frankly