tax

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If you’ve gotten a phone call from someone identifying themselves as being with the IRS, threatening a lawsuit or instructing you to make a payment of some kind to them, there’s a 99.99% chance it’s a scam.

The IRS does not call, tweet, text, or use Facebook, Instagram, social media, instant messages or smoke signals to communicate with a taxpayer who owes money to the U.S. Treasury. They send letters (remember those?) via the U.S. postal service. And if the matter is weighty enough, the letter will come certified.

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Last week we looked at diversification of the assets that make up your investment portfolio. That’s what most folks think of when the term “diversification” is used. Think of it as your “investment recipe” and trying to get all the ingredients in there in all the right proportions.

But though less-often discussed, no less important is diversifying the tax treatment of your investments.

So once you have a general idea of the way you wish to position and diversify your assets, you need to determine where you want them to reside.

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Did you get a tax refund this year?

 

Maybe you look forward to getting a tax refund every year. Maybe you pay off some credit cards with it, other times you take a little vacation, do a small home renovation project or make another large purchase.

It’s almost like a savings account, right? Or better, an annual bonus payment!

But then you have this know-it-alI friend at work that says you’re giving the government a free loan. Are they right?

Well, back when savings accounts were paying 5%, your friends had a point.

elycefeliz / Flickr.com

$78.5 million in unclaimed property has been deposited to its rightful owners this year by the Louisiana Treasury Department. The success is the result of the department’s effort to upload 100,000 new names to the database that finds the heirs to property and other assets held by the state. Treasurer John Schroder says the big publicity push is finding the rightful owners of the money.

Follow this link to check the state database and claim your unclaimed money.

GotCredit / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Louisiana is taking more taxes out of workers’ paychecks. The state constitution allows for it, if the federal government lowers their tax brackets, which they did last month.  Baton Rouge area CPA Brandon LaGarde says it won’t be that drastic of a change.

 

The state tax wage adjustment is automatic as it is built into the Louisiana Constitution.  LaGarde says your employer has nothing to do with the change.

 

LaGarde says the federal tax break outweighs the state’s updated tax withholding tables, meaning you still take home more than you did last year.

house.gov

Congressman Ralph Abraham says a tax reform package will pass in the next few days. The Republican congressman explained that tax reform was passed by the Congress and now must be approved by the Senate. If approved, the two plans will be merged into a conference bill and will ultimately be sent to President Trump for approval. 

Abraham believes the tax overhaul could supercharge the economy and benefit most tax payers by doubling the standard deduction and lowering tax rates.

Delinquent Property Taxes List

Nov 27, 2017

The following link is to a list of businesses in the parish that have property taxes delinquent for one or more years. These taxes are for inventory, furniture and fixtures, and machinery/equipment. Owners of these businesses need to contact the tax collector at (318) 324-2436 to pay these taxes or make payment arrangements to avoid any possible legal actions.

Cell Phone Tax

Jun 20, 2017
Hamza Butt / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday that he has signed into law a bill enacting a new 4.5-cent monthly tax on cellphones.

The dollars will pay for technology assistance and services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Current law imposes a 5-cent monthly tax on landline phones, with the money deposited into the Telecommunications for the Deaf Fund. The bill will drop that rate to 4.5 cents a month but expand the tax to wireless services.

The tax change by Rep. Patricia Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat, takes effect Oct. 1.