Covering Louisiana

Dec 18, 2013 11:01 AM by AP

Businesses use tax credits as amnesty payment

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - In the latest tax amnesty period Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration added a twist that hadn't been involved in previous amnesty programs: The administration allowed companies to settle their back-owed taxes with unused tax credits, instead of paying cash.

It's an accounting trick that accounts for $67 million of the $435 million collected. It's raising questions about whether the maneuver will provide real money to spend.

Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield says the law allows use of credits to pay outstanding tax liabilities.

The Legislature's chief economist, Greg Albrecht, says it's not certain the state will have a dollar-for-dollar collection from the tax credits. He says companies may have applied credits in amnesty payments that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to use.

Barfield disagreed, saying tax credits are just like cash.

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