State income tax filing begins Jan. 31

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Revenue will begin processing 2013 state individual income tax returns on Jan. 31. On that date, 2013 state income tax forms will become available at

Louisiana File Online, the state's free electronic filing application, will begin accepting returns on that date as well. The state income tax filing deadline is May 15.

Taxpayers may also use commercial tax preparation software to file their state income taxes.

LDR recommends the following steps to ensure the fastest, most accurate tax return and refund processing:

The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 21 days; for paper returns, expect to wait 12 to 16 weeks.

Update your personal information if your name or address has changed during the tax year.

Ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct, and that all names and Social Security numbers are in the same order as previous years; math errors and incorrect tax-table information are leading causes of delayed refunds.

Include all supporting information such as W-2s; use paperclips, not staples, if filing a paper return.

Apply for extensions in a timely manner – Extension requests must be filed no later than May 15.

If additional tax is due, include the remittance coupon to ensure proper payment posting.

Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue; do not send cash.

If filing a paper return, attach the proper label to the mailing envelope.

Louisiana File Online is the state's free web portal for individual and business tax filers. With Louisiana File Online, taxpayers can:

File returns and pay taxes electronically.

Check the status of individual income tax refunds.

Amend tax returns.

View business tax information for current and previous years.