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2013 Louisiana tax amnesty period underway - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

2013 Louisiana tax amnesty period underway

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Starting Monday, the Louisiana Department of Revenue gives those who owe the state money a chance to pay without any penalties.

LA Tax Amnesty 2013: A Fresh Start begins today and runs through November 22nd.

It does not happen often, but when the state has a tax amnesty program people take advantage. More than $450,000 in debts was paid off during the last program in 2009.

"The goal that the legislature set for the program [this year] is $200 million," said Tim Barfield, State Secretary of Revenue. "I feel like that is very doable."

The amnesty period allows tax payers to pay what they owe the state at half the interest rate and with no penalties.

"Many people have gone through some hardship because of the economic recession," said Barfield. "So we are confident that this is going to generate the money that the state needs."

The money collected during the amnesty program will go into the state's general fund, but State Senator Greg Tarver said the money is already part of the budget.

"When we voted for this, we had doubts about it at that particular time," said Tarver. "We hope and pray that it comes in because all the money goes to higher education. And if the money does not come in, that means higher education will be cut."

It's a sector of state government that has already seen a major decrease in funds over the last four or five years.

Letters went out to those who qualify for the tax amnesty. To apply for amnesty and make your payment click here.

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