Louisiana Tax Lawyers
In Louisiana "taxes" are monies taken from persons or corporations by the government, at a rate set by law.
The taxes that Louisiana collects pay for essential public services like roads, firefighters, police, courts, schools, and many other benefits that come with living in a modern society.
Everyone who legally resides in Louisiana is required to pay their taxes. If you don't pay the taxes assessed against you, you are committing a egregious criminal offense, punishable by jail time and large fines.
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Sources of Tax Revenue in Louisiana
Taxes in Louisiana can be derived from a large number of different sources, and in different amounts. The most common sources of tax revenue nationwide are Sales Tax, Income Tax, and Property Tax.
Sales Tax: Most states collect a tax on the sales of goods. In Louisiana, the sales tax is calculated as a percentage of the sale price of most (but usually not all) items. Technically, the tax is assessed against the sellers of goods. But, the vast majority of vendors pass this tax onto their customers, adding it to the marked price of a product at the point of sale.
Income Tax: In Louisiana, the "income tax" is exactly what the name implies: a tax on the income of individuals and corporations. Everybody in the United States has to pay the federal income tax. So, even if the state you live in doesn't have a personal income tax, you are liable for the federal tax. However, the majority of states have their own income tax, though it's usually much lower than the federal tax. Depending on how much money you make per year, your income will be taxed at a rate ranging from 10% to 33%.
Property Tax: The property tax in Louisiana is applied to every owner of real property (land and buildings). The state collects from every property owner a percentage of the property's value, on an annual basis. The state first calculates the value of every piece of property within its territory. It then notifies the owner of this assessment, and sometimes gives them an chance to contest it (obviously, people want their assessed property value to be as low as possible, so it will be subject to the lowest tax possible). Typically, the property tax is paid as a monthly payment, sometimes included in one's mortgage.
How Can A Louisiana Tax Lawyer Help?
If you engage in any economic or commercial activity in Louisiana, such as working, selling products, owning property, or something else, it's a near certainty that you are going to have some tax liability.
Tax law issues in Louisiana are never simple. In fact, most tax attorneys ONLY practice tax law in Louisiana, because tax law is so perplexing that an attorney pretty much has to specialize in it. This has the benefit of creating a situation where every competent tax attorney is practically an expert in tax law, because they have to be. If you have a problem with your taxes, whether state or federal, it is always a good idea to get some advice from a good Louisiana tax lawyer.
Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812. The territory was obtained from France through the Louisiana Purchase, for a total worth of $15 million at the time. The state has a cultural-linguistic atmosphere unlike any other area in the U.S., due to the French, Spanish, Native American, African, and Caribbean influences.
Much of Louisiana's laws and government structure are unique among U.S. states. For example, Louisiana is the only state to have government units called "parishes". These are equivalent to counties in other states. Another feature of Louisiana governance is its extensive system of civil law based on Spanish and French systems. The majority of countries use some form of civil law, which is based mainly on codified statutes. Most of American law is common law- that is, derived from judge-made court decisions.
Louisiana's court system is structurally similar to most states, with a Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Courts. However, because of the civil law influence, the Court of Appeals tends to have much broader discretion when reviewing trials. Also, the Louisiana state Constitution does not directly provide for the right to a jury trial for civil cases. The distribution of damages is also different in Louisiana.
Although Louisiana law is so distinct, lawyers in Louisiana understand how to interpret the state's legal code. Louisiana lawyers carefully review state laws when assisting clients. Depending on your legal dispute or issue, it may be necessary to obtain the expertise of an attorney in Louisiana.