Louisiana Tax Filing

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Filing Your Louisiana Taxes

It is tax season again – and for some new workers it’s a brand-new thing. Figuring out and filing your tax forms can be intimidating – but there is help for sure. Here you will find answers, forms and more that will make your paperwork easier, faster and less stressful. Information below will help you determine your residency status, find the forms you need and give you other information you need to get started.

State income tax returns for 2016 are due Sunday, May 15.

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Louisiana Tax Forms

Determine Your Resident Status so You File the Right Forms

Your residency status – where your official home address was during 2016 – is what determines which Louisiana income tax form you need to file. Louisiana uses four definitions for people who must file state income tax returns: Louisiana residents, part-year Louisiana residents, Louisiana residents who worked outside of the state, residents of another state who worked in Louisiana, and nonresidents who sold real estate or other property located in Louisiana.

Louisiana Resident

You are a resident of Louisiana if your legal home address was in Louisiana for the whole year. If you are a Louisiana resident and you file a federal income tax return or if you want a refund (for overpaid withholding for instance) you must also file a state return. Louisiana residents file Form IT-540.

Depending on your particular situation, Louisiana allows deductions on various types of income – income that could be exempt from Louisiana taxation. In order to qualify for any deductions, you first need to declare that income on your state income tax return. For example, you may be eligible for a deduction of up to $30,000 if you were employed by the U.S. military and on active duty for 120 days during 2016.

You can find more information in the Instructions for Preparing Your 2016 Louisiana Resident Income Tax Return Form IT-540 (available for download above) to help you file your Louisiana resident taxes.

Part-Year Louisiana Resident

You must fill out and send in a Louisiana income tax return if your official, legal home address was in Louisiana, but only for part of the year and you filed a federal tax return. You will file Form IT-540B.

You also will probably need to send Louisiana a copy of the income tax returns that you file with any other state you lived in last year. For example, if you moved your home from another state to Louisiana during 2016, you might have to file income tax returns in both states, in addition to your federal return.

Depending on your particular circumstances, information in the next section may also apply.

Louisiana Resident – But Worked in Another State

If were a Louisiana resident in 2016 and you worked and earned income in any other state, you must include that money on your Louisiana state tax return. This is true if your income-producing work was physically in another state or if your employer was based in another state. No matter where it was earned, all income to a Louisiana resident can be subject to Louisiana state tax.

However, while you likely will need to file state income tax returns for each state (where you worked and where you lived), you may not have to pay taxes on that income in both states. You may be eligible for a credit from Louisiana on the wages you earned in the other state (your “work state”) if the income was already taxed by the other state.

You are required to report all income from all states on Louisiana’s Form IT-5. Fill out Schedule G on Form IT-5 to claim the credit to avoid dual taxation. Fill out and file a tax return for the other state(s) and include a copy with your Louisiana return. You can find further information in the Instructions for Preparing Your 2016 Louisiana Resident Income Tax Return Form IT-540 (available for download above).

Worked in Louisiana – but not a Louisiana Resident

You are a nonresident of Louisiana if you did not live in Louisiana at any time during 2016 – if you did not have a legal home address there. However, you must file a Louisiana income tax return if you earned any wages or income from any Louisiana source(s) and you filed a 2016 federal tax return. Use Form IT-540B.

You will need to include all of your income from all sources on that document, both based in Louisiana and elsewhere, but Louisiana will only tax the money you received from the Louisiana sources. You can figure out the ratio of Louisiana income to all income that has been reported to the IRS and included on your federal income tax return on Form IT-540B. For more information about the Louisiana documents please see the Instructions for Preparing Your 2016 Louisiana Resident Income Tax Return Form IT-540 (available for download above).

The Louisiana Earned Income Credit Worksheet will help you figure out the amount of Louisiana tax that you will be liable to pay on your Louisiana-based income. Here you can also calculate your deductions and “person exemptions” (credits for dependents and husband/wife older than 65 are examples).

Do you gamble? If you participated in gambling in Louisiana and won, those winnings are taxed as Louisiana income.

If you are not a Louisiana resident and you were employed by the U.S. military and based in Louisiana during 2016, you do not have to file a state tax return for the military wages you earned in Louisiana. However, if you earned local wage income outside of your military pay while you were in Louisiana then you will need to file a Louisiana tax return on that Louisiana-based income.

Even if you did not keep a home residence in Louisiana, but during 2016 you sold real estate or other real property located here, the money you earned from that sale is taxable income in Louisiana and must be reported using a Louisiana state income tax return. You would also include this income on your federal tax return.