By Louisiana Department of Revenue
BATON ROUGE - A few simple steps can help to avoid unnecessary delays for state income tax refunds, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Wednesday.
Many refunds are delayed unnecessarily because of common errors and omissions. One leading cause of a delayed refund is the taxpayer's failure to check the change of address box on the tax return. Any refund sent to an incorrect address is returned to LDR by the post office. If you have moved since you last filed your taxes, be sure to update your address.
Steps to avoid delayed refunds include:
1. File electronically. The average processing time for refunds is about ten days when you use electronic options such as Louisiana File Online, the state's free tax filing web application. For paper returns, the processing time is 12 to 16 weeks. Visit Louisiana File Online at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/fileonline.
2. Check and double-check the accuracy of your return. Ensure that all social security numbers and tax computations are correct. Math errors and incorrect tax table information are leading causes of delayed refunds.
3. Be sure to sign the return (spouses also, if applicable).
4. Include all supporting documentation, such as W-2s. Use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return.
5. Apply for extensions in a timely manner. This year's deadline for a state filing extension application is May 16, 2011. You must apply separately for a state filing extension. It will not be granted automatically with a federal filing extension request.
6. If additional tax is due, include the remittance coupon to ensure proper posting.
7. Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Do not send cash.
8. Update your personal information if you have moved or changed your name during the tax year.
9. Attach the proper label to the mailing envelope.
10. Do not include copies of the federal return with the state return.
To check the status of your Louisiana state income tax refund, visit "Where's My Refund? "at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/refund or call 888-829-3071.