Issues with website delay Dept. of Revenue's tax applications

(WAFB) - People hoping to file their taxes through the state's free online website will be disappointed.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue says the site needs more testing, so it will not be up and running until February 6. 9News asked secretary Kimberly Robinson why the system was not tested earlier.

"Actually all of our systems were tested pretty much at the same time," replied Robinson. "We test for over 30 third party vendors as well as our paper return processing. This system is one segment of that and it's being tested and we found an issue so we're going back to correct that."

This is not the first time taxpayers in Louisiana have faced delays. From debit card problems in 2014 to refund delays in 2016 due to fraud cases, taxpayers are becoming frustrated. The department says this delay only affects around 2 percent of all taxpayers. That's the average number of people who file their returns through the state's site. They're encouraging people who don't want to wait to use the other filing options.

"It's only going to delay some of the users of that system," Robinson said. "They're gonna have to wait for that system to be up, but they can still file electronically through third party vendors. They can also file paper returns."

However, third party vendors can sometimes come at a cost. One popular website charges $36-99 for state filings for those with certain deductions. Another charges $25 for state returns if you are a homeowner, for example. The other option, paper returns, takes a longer time to process.

"If you're filing paper, expect longer delays in processing," Robinson said. "If you're filing electronically, we're working very hard to get those processed very
quickly and the turnaround time our soon."

The deadline to file your state taxes in Louisiana is Monday, May 15.

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