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The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) is committed to the fair administration of the tax laws of this state. This means that every taxpayer should pay no more and no less than they owe the State of Louisiana. We recognize that most taxpayers are honest and seek to pay their fair share for the services they receive from the state. Unfortunately, we know individuals and businesses that work hard to avoid paying what they owe. This is fraud and it is illegal.

The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is LDR’s primary criminal tax enforcement unit. Its function is to review alleged violations of the tax laws, to investigate those violations, and to recommend criminal prosecutions as warranted. CID also investigates alleged criminal violations and serious misconduct by LDR employees. In carrying out its role to identify willful noncompliance with the state's tax laws, the division relies on referrals from other divisions, as well as information from other governmental agencies and the public.

In the past, LDR has been successful in investigating tax fraud cases brought to our attention by concerned citizens. If you suspect a case of tax fraud, call us at 1-866-940-7053. The call is confidential.

What is Tax Fraud?

Tax Fraud Defined

Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced to secure unfair or unlawful gain. Another definition is the intentional misrepresentation of truth in order to obtain something of value by inducing another to rely upon false information.

Examples of Tax Fraud

  • Intentionally failing to file individual income tax returns.
  • A self-employed individual failing to report all income received.
  • Filing an individual income tax return and deliberately understating the amount of income that was earned during the tax year.
  • Overstating the number of children or other dependents on an individual income tax return.
  • Filing an individual income tax return claiming to be a resident of another state while residing in Louisiana.
  • Making false or fraudulent claims for refunds.
  • Filing a Louisiana General Sales Tax return deliberately omitting sales tax transactions on which sales tax was collected.
  • Failing to maintain records that show the true income and expenses of a business.
  • Preparing documents, books and records that understate the true income or overstate the expenses of a business.
  • Sales of imported cigarettes and other tobacco products without payment of the Excise Tax on these products.
  • Sales of imported beer, liquor or wine without the payment of the Excise Tax on these products.
  • Operating a business without registering with the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
  • Payment of cash wages to employees for the purpose of avoiding Louisiana Withholding Tax.
  • Avoiding the Excise Tax on diesel fuel by using "Off Road Diesel" in the fuel supply tanks of a motor vehicle for use on highways.
  • Ignoring the requirements to report and pay use taxes on goods imported into the state.
  • Opening and closing of new businesses to evade taxes.
  • Operating a business using someone else’s name to avoid business and income taxes.

How does tax fraud affect me?

When dishonest people fail to pay their fair share of taxes, it has a negative impact on businesses, consumers and on the performance of vital state services. Tax fraud often leads to higher prices, possible tax increases, inadequately funded school systems, poor roads, bridges and infrastructure and a reduction in other government supported programs. The burden of covering these shortages falls on honest taxpayers and the public in general.

Evasion or Avoidance?

Tax Avoidance:

  • Legal tax planning to minimize one’s tax liability.
  • Reduce, avoid, or minimize taxes by changing the nature of a transaction to comply with a tax exemption or exclusion. (Details of the transaction are disclosed).
  • Not concealed or misrepresented.
  • Shapes and preplans events to reduce or eliminate tax liability by taking advantage of favorable tax laws.
  • Prepares documents showing the details of the transactions and reports the transactions.

Tax Evasion:

  • Willful attempt to circumvent the tax laws through misrepresentation or deceit.
  • Involves deceit and deception, hiding the true nature or misrepresenting the facts to take advantage of a tax exemption or exclusion that doesn’t actually apply.
  • Intentional concealment and misrepresentation.
  • Structures events and transactions to hide the true nature of the transactions.
  • Fails to prepare, conceals, alters, or destroys the documents that show the true details of the transactions.

Frequently asked questions

1. Why should I file a tax fraud complaint?

Tax fraud is a crime that hurts all of us. Tax fraud decreases the revenue available to fund essential state and local services. These services include funds for police and fire departments, highway improvements, libraries, schools, parks, hospitals, courts and more. Plus, fraud hurts the honest business owner.

2. What information do we need?

Be as specific as possible. Include the who, what, how, where and when and as many details as possible in your complaint. Whenever possible please include:

  1. The suspected tax violation.
  2. Full name of the suspect.
  3. The period involved.
  4. Suspect's home address and phone number
  5. Suspect's corporation or business name.
  6. Suspect's business address, phone number, and years in business.
  7. Suspect's profession or job title and years at the job.
  8. Suspect's social security number or federal identification number.
  9. Suspect's bank name, address and account number if known.
  10. Vehicle ownership • Plate number, make, model, color • Location where car/van is kept overnight.
  11. Cigarette or tobacco products brand (e.g. Marlboro, Newport, etc.) • Tax stamp on pack of cigarettes (e.g. Louisiana only or no tax stamp.) • Location where the cigarettes or tobacco products are stored (under the counter, behind a door, warehouse, etc.)
  12. Does the store have a current Sellers Permit?
  13. Is the suspect involved in any other criminal activities?
3. Is there a monetary reward for reporting a tax crime?

Not at this time. Unlike the Internal Revenue Service, the Louisiana Department of Revenue does not pay a reward.

4. Will I be updated on the status of my complaint?

No. According to Louisiana confidentiality laws, the Louisiana Department of Revenue cannot disclose the status of its investigations.

5. Can I report tax fraud and remain anonymous?

Yes. If you wish to remain anonymous you should not give us your name or identifying information during the interview or when sending information. The Investigations Division will investigate all complaints, whether anonymous or not.

6. Where and how should I file a tax fraud complaint?

There are several ways to file a tax fraud complaint.

  1. You may call our Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-866-940-7053.
  2. You may call our Investigations Division at 225-219-2280.
  3. You may fax your complaint to us at 225-219-2287.
  4. You may e-mail us anonymously by going to Report Fraud ; or
  5. You may write us at:

    Louisiana Department of Revenue
    Attention: Criminal Investigations Division
    P.O. Box 2389
    Baton Rouge, LA 70821-2389

    or visit us at:

    617 N. 3rd Street, 2nd Floor
    Baton Rouge, LA 70802

How To Select A Tax Preparer:

  1. If you are going to pay someone to do your tax return, be sure to choose your tax preparer wisely. Remember that you are legally responsible for what is on your tax returns even if they are prepared by someone else. So, it is important to find a qualified tax professional.

  2. Be sure to:
    1. Try to find a preparer who will be around to answer questions after the return has been filed.
    2. Find out what the preparer’s service fees are before the return is prepared.
    3. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of your refund or who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers without first reviewing your returns.
    4. Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.
    5. Before signing your return, review it and ask questions.
    6. Ask others that you know who have used that preparer if they were satisfied with the services that they received.
    7. Ask any preparer that you are considering for references.
    8. Check to see if the preparer has any questionable history with the Better Business Bureau, the state’s board of accountancy for CPAs or the state’s bar association for attorneys.
    9. Check to see if the preparer belongs to a professional organization that requires its members to pursue continuing education and also holds them accountable to a code of ethics.
    10. Check to see if the preparer has a proper Preparer Tax Identification Number (“PTIN”) from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), which is required to file federal tax returns beginning in 2011.
    11. Check to see if the IRS has not obtained a permanent injunction prohibiting the preparer from preparing federal tax returns.
    12. Always question entries on your return that you don’t understand. Never sign a blank return.
    13. Insist that the preparer sign the return and provide appropriate taxpayer information on the return.

  3. Traits of a reputable preparer:
    1. They ask multiple questions to determine whether expensed, deductions and other items qualify and remind clients that they need to keep careful and complete records in order to substantiate information contained on their tax return. They do this with their client’s best interest in mind and are trying to help their client avoid penalties, interest or additional taxes.
    2. They provide their clients with a copy of their completed return for their records.
    3. They respond to contacts made by their clients in a reasonable period of time.

How Do I report fraud in State Government?

To report fraud in State Government you need to contact the Office of State Inspector General by one of the following methods:

  1. By calling the Fraud and Abuse Hotline at 1-866-801-2549, or
  2. By calling (225) 342-4262, or
  3. By fax at (225) 342-6761, or
  4. Via internet at http://doa.louisiana.gov/oig/inspector.htm
  5. By mail or in person at the following address:
    150 Third Street, Third Floor
    Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Press Releases:

  1. 2011
  2. 2010
  3. 2009

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when a person knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit or to aid or abet any unlawful activity (18 United States Code 1028 (a) (7)). It is one of the fastest growing segments of financial crime in America. The Better Business Bureau estimates that more than 9.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2004. Identity theft costs a staggering $48 billion a year to businesses and an additional $5 billion to consumers.

Effects of Identity Theft

Generally, identity thieves use someone’s personal data to steal his or her financial accounts and run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards. But it can affect your tax records as follows:

  • Undocumented workers or other individuals use your social security number to get a job. The employer then reports W-2 wages they earned under your social security number to us. When you file your return based on your real W-2 income, it appears that you failed to report all of your income on your return.
  • An identity thief may file a return using your social security number to receive a refund. If the thief already filed a return using your social security number, our records will show that you already filed, received your refund, and the return you just submitted is a second copy or duplicate.
  • If we send you a notice, or letter that leads you to believe someone may have used your social security number fraudulently, contact us immediately by phone or in writing as directed in the notice. Our representatives will work with you to help resolve the problem. For example, you should contact us if the notice shows one of the following:
    • More than one tax return was filed under your name and social security number.
    • Our records show that you received wages from an employer that you do not recognize.
  • Note: We do not send emails asking for personal taxpayer information. If you receive this type of request, do not respond. It may be an attempt from identity thieves to get your private tax information.

Avoid becoming an identity theft victim:

If you become an identity theft victim: