BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is ramping up efforts to get employers with long-term, unpaid unemployment tax bills to settle their debts, including taking any federal income tax refunds due to the employer.
Letters will go out by the end of October to an estimated 8,000 employers with delinquent Louisiana unemployment taxes that are at least one year old and total more than $100. These letters serve as notifications of the LWC’s intent to submit their debt for offset through the federally mandated Treasury Offset Program (TOP). Employers have 60 days to pay the balance due, plus penalty and interest; request a review of LWC documentation of the unpaid taxes due; or provide the LWC with bankruptcy documentation, if applicable.
Reimbursable employers (i.e. non-profit and government employers who do not pay unemployment taxes but instead reimburse the Unemployment Trust Fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all unemployment benefits charged to the employer’s account for former employees) are not part of this effort. LWC is also excluding employers who are currently in compliance with an existing installment agreement, have a documented bankruptcy, or have a pending appeal regarding their tax debt.
TOP allows the LWC to take any of the following to help settle an employer’s tax debt:
• Income tax refunds
• Federal compensation, including military retiree pay
• Federal retirements
• Contractor and/or vendor payments
• Federal benefit payments, such as Social Security (excluding SSI) and Railroad Retirement (excluding tier 2) and Black Lung Part B benefits
The LWC has also enhanced its monthly delinquent tax notices mailed to employers to provide full details on all past due taxes, including those older than five years. Previously, the tax notices instructed employers to contact the LWC for the total amount due for years-old delinquent tax amounts.
Starting in November, the monthly delinquent tax notices will provide actual dollar amounts by quarter and year of the past due amounts, providing full disclosure to the employer of their tax responsibility. State law prohibits any type of forgiveness or amnesty of unpaid unemployment taxes, no matter how old the taxes date back.
“We took advantage of programming advancements to provide this greater transparency to employers in regard to their delinquent taxes,” explained Ava Dejoie, LWC executive director. The enhanced delinquent tax notice includes:
• Instructions on payment options
• Guidance on how to submit missing tax and wage notices, which will then be computed for an updated total of taxes due
• Contact information for LWC assistance
• Details on state statutes governing the payment of delinquent taxes and subsequent penalties and interest
• Itemized tax notice listing tax due, penalty, interest and total due by each year and quarter
“We at the Louisiana Workforce Commission take very seriously our responsibility to protect the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that all employers subject to paying unemployment taxes are held accountable,” said Dejoie.
Employers with questions about the federal TOP effort or the detailed delinquent tax notices can contact the LWC’s Employer Call Center at 225-326-6999 or toll-free at 1-866-783-5567, option 2, after selecting your preferred language.
About The Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.