Question: What is the Board of Tax Appeals?
Answer: The Board of Tax Appeals is Louisiana's constitutionally created trial court for tax disputes, it is composed of three attorney members appointed by the Governor. The board was created to resolve appeals from decisions of various taxing officials and administrative agencies.
The mission of the Board of Tax Appeals is to provide taxpayers and taxing authorities with an accessible, fair and efficient appeals process and to resolve appeals in a timely and judicious manner by facilitating settlement or by issuing comprehensive written decisions consistent with Louisiana Law.
Question: Where is the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals located and what are its business hours?
Answer: The Board's office is located on the first floor of the Iberville State Office Building, 627 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802. The Board's office will be open each business day, except for legal State and Federal holidays. All pleadings will be accepted and stamped filed between the office hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Question: Do I need an attorney?
Answer: Individuals may represent themselves in appeals before the board. Certain restrictions apply when an individual attempts to represent another individual or certain entity. (See Rule 1)
However, given the complex nature of tax law and litigation, an attorney might be advisable in some cases.
Question: Will the Board provide me with advice regarding my appeal?
Answer: No, the Board does not give legal advice regarding an appeal. However, the board's staff may be able to answer procedural questions. In order to gain a better understanding of the board's role in the tax appeals process, parties may review the FAQs and decisions of the board on this website.
Question: How much does it cost to file an appeal with the Board of Tax Appeals?
Answer: Please see Rule 16 for information on fees and costs.
Question: Must I use a specific form when filing an appeal with the Board of Tax Appeals?
Answer: The petition shall be comprised of numbered paragraphs of facts, and end with a prayer for the relief sought. If the petition is an appeal for a redetermination of an assessment, a copy of the assessment shall accompany the petition and all copies of the petition. If the petition is for a determination of an overpayment, and the secretary has denied the request for a refund of the overpayment, then a copy of the secretary's denial shall accompany the petition and all copies of the petition.
All appeals must have an original, signed petition and six (6) copies of all pleadings and memoranda must be provided to the Board. Additionally, the petitioner's contact information, including telephone number, mailing address and e-mail address (if any) must be found in the petition of appeal.
All pleadings shall have the following caption:
BOARD OF TAX APPEALS STATE OF LOUISIANA
VS. Department of Revenue
B.T.A. Docket No.....
Question: How can I file my petition of appeal with the Board and on what date will it be considered "filed"?
Answer: A signed original and six (6) copies can be sent to the Board's office by personal delivery, mail, or by other delivery services (Federal Express, UPS, etc.). Each petition of appeal will be date stamped on the day the signed original is delivered to the Board's office. The date stamp indicates the date of filing. Only four (4) copies are required for a local case.
The board does follow a limited mail-box rule, otherwise your petition must actually be received by the Board before an applicable deadline. The mail-box rule is only for official U.S. Postal Service postmarks (not courier services like Fed Ex or UPS and not self-metered mail). You must maintain official USPS proof of mailing if you intend to rely upon the mail-box file date. You must be able to prove the mail date if the US Postal Service or Office of State Mail fails to deliver your filing to our office.
Question: Can I file documents by FAX or by electronic filing?
Answer: The Board will not accept filings by electronic means, and pleadings may be faxed filed only by strictly complying with Rule 3.1.
Question: Will the board of tax appeals automatically receive or have access to information I already provided to the Louisiana Department of Revenue or other Louisiana State or Local Agency?
Answer: No, the Board does not generally have access to the records possessed by the Department of Revenue or other Louisiana State or Local agencies. Therefore, you should include copies of any and all documents that you feel support your petition of appeal.
Question: What happens after I file my notice of appeal?
Answer: Once your petition of appeal is filed with the Board it will be assigned a docket number and a preliminary status conference may be set. You will receive notice of the docket number and date of the preliminary status conference (if set) by U.S. Mail.
Question: Is a hearing always necessary?
Answer: The vast majority of appeals filed with the Board are resolved without the necessity of a hearing, however, if the dispute cannot be resolved a hearing date will be set and notice will be sent to the parties by registered mail.
Question: Must I attend a hearing?
Answer: Generally attendance at a hearing by the petitioner or petitioner's representative is mandatory; however, a hearing can be attended by telephone with leave of the Board.
Question: What will my hearing be like?
Answer: A hearing before the board is identical to a trial in court, with witnesses, exhibits, and rules of evidence and procedure. The Board is composed of the Board Chairman and two Board Members, which will act as the finder of fact. The Board Members are free to question witnesses, request additional information and to inquire about facts not otherwise brought to the Board's attention.
At the discretion of the Chairman, each party may make a brief opening statement, or the appellant may immediately proceed with the presentation of its case. Each party then offers relevant evidence in support of its position. Evidence may be the sworn testimony, or the introduction of documents. Witnesses are subject to direct questioning as well as cross-examination. At the conclusion of the hearing and at the discretion of the Chairman, parties have an opportunity to make closing statements.
Question: Are there any types of cases that the Board does not have authority to hear?
Answer: The Board has plenary jurisdiction over most tax dipsutes.
Also, the Board only reviews formal assessments. Proposed assessments issued by DOR or a local sales tax collector must be reviewed internally by the respective collector.
Question: Can I appeal the board's decision?
Answer: A judicial review of a decision or judgment of the Board shall be in accordance with LSA-R.S. 47:1434. There is no suspension or interruption of the time for appeal by a party filing a motion for new trial.
The Board is an independent quasi-judicial entity that comprises three attorney members who are tax law experts appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.
It is our top priority to provide taxpayers with an equitable, expeditious, and cost effective forum for the review of their appeals.
The Board hears and decides appeals concerning State and Local taxes.