Louisiana tax credit, rebate, and deduction opportunities

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Rebate

1. What is the Citizens rebate?

The Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation assessment is paid as part of the property insurance bill each year by property owners. The dollar amount of the assessment is found on the declaration page of the policy. This amount is payment for a bond issued by the Corporation to cover the large amount of damages caused by Hurricane Katrina. The assessment was passed on to property and casualty policyholders by insurance companies who are responsible for paying the cost of the bond. This amount is refundable to those who paid the assessment with their property and casualty insurance premium once it is paid.

2. How many people have not yet claimed the rebate?

Sixty percent of available money was not claimed in 2008, almost $59 million.

3. Who pays the rebate to me?

The Louisiana Department of Revenue pays the rebate.

4. How do I get my rebate?

If you paid a Citizens Assessment in 2009 and haven't filed a claim form with the Department of Revenue to recoup the amount paid, you can claim the rebate due on your State Tax Return due May 17, 2010. Fill out the Department of Revenue's Louisiana Citizens Insurance Tax Credit form for the year in which you paid the assessment. This is found at http://www.rev.state.la.us/sections/general/calac/default.aspx. Or you can go to the Department of Insurance's web site home page and find a link that directs you to this page. Include with this form the declaration page of your insurance policy that contains the assessment amount. Also attach evidence that you paid your insurance premium and mail these documents to the Department of Revenue.

5. How long have I been paying this additional assessment?

This assessment has been charged on the property insurance policies since 2005.

6. Can I get a rebate for prior years' assessments?

Yes, you can still obtain a rebate going back as far as assessments paid in 2005 and 2006.

7. How do I obtain the rebate for the prior years' assessments?

You can also claim assessments paid with insurance premiums in prior years by filing an amended tax return or by obtaining the proper form for the year in which the assessment was paid.

8. Is there a deadline for claiming my rebate?

Yes, the deadline for claiming the assessment paid in 2005 and 2006 is the end of December, 2010. Assessments paid in 2007 must be claimed by the end of 2011, assessments paid in 2008 must be claimed by the end of 2012 and assessments paid in 2009 must be claimed by the end of 2013 at the latest. The best plan is to obtain the rebate as soon as you pay the assessment or plan to claim it on your state tax filing each year. It's not too late to secure the rebate on assessments you paid with your previous years' insurance premiums.


Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Home Retrofit State Tax Deduction

1. What is the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Home Retrofit State Tax Deduction?

Act 467 of the 2007 Regular Session allows a tax deduction for a taxpayer to voluntarily retrofit an existing residential structure to bring it into compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code. The retrofitting must not be a construction, reconstruction, alteration, or repair of an existing structure. Retrofitting means improvements to a previously constructed structure with regard to the following areas:

• Roof deck attachment

• Secondary water barrier

• Roof Covering

• Gable ends bracing

• Roof-to-wall connections

• Opening protection

• Exterior doors, including garage doors

This construction code home retrofitting deduction is an amount equal to 50 percent of the cost paid or incurred for the retrofit on or after January 1, 2007, less the value of any other state, municipal or federally-sponsored financial incentives for the cost paid, limited to $5000.

2. Who is eligible for this Louisiana tax deduction?

Any taxpayer who claims a homestead exemption for the home being retrofitted may claim the construction code home retrofitting deduction. The home cannot be rental property.

3. What amount may I receive with this tax deduction?

The tax deduction can be no more than $5,000 per retrofitted residential structure.

4. When do I claim the tax deduction?

The tax deduction is claimed on the tax return for the year in which the work is completed.

5. What proof do I need to qualify for this tax deduction?

Proof that the retrofit complies with the State Uniform Construction Code and that the improvements were made to those areas noted above (keep receipts for purchased items installed and labor costs for retrofit - no inspection is required), documentation of the cost of the project, and assurance that the project was voluntary as defined by the law, must be retained by the taxpayer.

6. When did this tax deduction become effective?

The tax deduction was effective in the 2007 tax year.

7. What if I completed retrofits to my home in 2007 or 2008 - can I claim a tax deduction for qualifying work in those years?

Yes, just amend your tax return for the year in which the work was completed to include this deduction.

8. Where can I find additional information on the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Home Retrofit State Tax Deduction?

A brochure on the state tax deduction is found at the Department of Insurance web site at: http://www.ldi.state.la.us/consumers/misc_pubs/Residential_Property_Storm_Mitigation.pdf The Department of Revenue Bulletin No. 09-077 Construction Code Voluntary Retrofitting Deduction information is found at: http://www.rev.state.la.us/forms/lawspolicies/RIB09007.pdf


Insurance Premium Discounts for State Uniform Construction Code Home Retrofit or New Home Construction

1. Who is eligible for insurance premium discounts?

Any owner who builds or retrofits a one or two-family owner occupied home or modular home to comply with the requirements of the State Uniform Construction Code, and/or any owner who installs damage mitigation improvements or retrofits their one or two-family owner occupied home or modular home utilizing construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss from a windstorm or hurricane.

2. What building techniques qualify for an insurance premium discount?

Discounts are granted based on damage mitigation improvements and construction techniques listed on the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form. Your insurance company or agent will have this information. These damage mitigation improvements and /or construction techniques include, but are not limited to:

* building design

* roof bracing

* secondary water barriers

* opening protection

* roof-to-wall strength

* roof deck attachment

* roof covering and roof covering performance

* wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength

* window, door and skylight strength

* other mitigation improvements and/or construction techniques that the insurer may

determine to reduce the risk of loss due to wind.

3. Why are insurance premium discounts now available to me as a homeowner?

Act 323 of the 2007 Regular Session provides insurance premium discounts for homeowners.

4. How much savings can I expect in insurance premium discounts?

Each insurance company has established savings amounts allowed to homeowners for the various storm mitigation building techniques that are incorporated into a home as either a retrofit or new construction. Contact your homeowners insurance company or agent for these details and any necessary forms.

5. Is a home inspection required?

Yes, Inspection and certification must be performed by a building code enforcement officer, registered architect or engineer, or a registered third-party provider authorized by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council to perform building inspections. For a list of registered third party providers, visit http://www.dps.louisiana.gov/lsuccc/ or call (225) 922-0817.

6. What documents are needed for proof of eligibility for insurance premium discounts?

The insurer may require completion of the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form or other documentation to demonstrate compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code such as permits, certificates of occupancy, inspection reports or receipts. If deemed necessary, the insurer may also perform its own independent inspection.


2008 Federal HurricaneTax Deduction for Uncompensated Damages from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav

1. What is the 2008 Federal Hurricane Tax Deduction for Uncompensated Damages from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav?

A federal Hurricane Tax Deduction was allowed in 2008 for uncompensated damages from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike via Public Law (PL) 110-343. This allows hurricane victims to claim more of their hurricane damages on their taxes for 2008. The tax deduction compensates for the additional expense due to named storm deductibles many homeowners faced with damages from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

2. How much can I claim in this federal hurricane tax deduction?

Taxpayers may claim uncompensated damages that exceed $100 on their federal taxes for 2008; even if repairs were completed in 2009.

3. How do I claim the federal hurricane tax deduction?

If property owners had uncompensated damages from Hurricanes Ike or Gustav, they may still amend their federal tax filing for 2008. Consumers can refer to IRS Pub 547 for tax year 2008 to get the details on the Federal Hurricane Tax Deduction: