BATON ROUGE (WVUE) -The Louisiana Department of Revenue will begin accepting and processing 2020 state individual income tax returns on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The date coincides with the date the IRS begins accepting 2020 federal income tax returns.
On Feb. 12, Louisiana taxpayers can begin filing their state income tax returns electronically through Louisiana File Online, the state’s free web portal for individual tax filers. Louisiana File Online allows taxpayers to:
- File returns and pay taxes electronically
- Check the status of individual income tax refunds
- Amend current and prior-year tax returns
- Request a filing extension
Also on Feb. 12, LDR will begin accepting returns prepared for electronic submission using commercially available tax preparation software. Taxpayers can download 2020 paper tax forms from the LDR website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/Forms. LDR will not begin processing paper tax forms until Feb. 12, 2021.
2020 Louisiana Individual Income Tax returns and payments are due Monday, May 17, 2021.
Louisiana Tax Implications of Federal COVID-19 Relief
Louisiana taxpayers should be aware of the state tax implications of federal COVID-19 relief measures implemented in 2020.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefits for individuals out of work for reasons related to the pandemic. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, (CARES II) provides up to $300 in weekly supplemental unemployment benefits. These benefits are subject to Louisiana state income tax.
Economic Impact Payments
The CARES Act provided Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 for qualifying individuals and $2,400 for qualifying married couples, with an additional $500 per dependent child. Under CARES II, individuals will automatically receive a second round of Economic Impact Payments of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child beginning in December. The payments are refundable tax credits and are not considered taxable income for federal or state tax purposes. They are not subject to Louisiana state income tax.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the CARES Act, provides small businesses with funding for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. The PPP loans are forgivable under certain conditions and the loan forgiveness is not taxable income for federal tax purposes. The PPP loan forgiveness is not subject to Louisiana state income tax.
Frontline Worker Rebates
Act 12 of the 2020 First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature provided for a one-time $250 rebate for eligible workers earning $50,000 per year or less, who spent at least 200 hours responding to or mitigating the COVID-19 crisis from March 22, 2020, through May 14, 2020. The rebates, funded by the CARES Act, are subject to Louisiana state income tax.
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