Louisiana State Income Tax Overview

Louisiana is one of the states that charges residents or anyone who earns income from a Louisiana-based source a state income tax.  The Louisiana Department of Revenue is responsible for governing state income tax collection, a separate process from the federal income tax return imposed by the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Following are some of the frequently asked questions about Louisiana state income tax.

Who has to file Louisiana state income tax?

You must file a Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return if any of the following are true:

  • You are a resident of Louisiana for part or all of the year or you have income from a source based in Louisiana and you must file a federal income tax return.
  • You had more tax withheld or you made estimated tax payments that were more than you actually owed and you want to obtain a refund or a credit of that money.
  • You are in the military, your permanent home on record is Louisiana, and you are required to file a federal income tax return.

What income is taxed under Louisiana state income tax law?

If you are a resident, Louisiana state income tax applies to all income you receive, even income from sources outside of Louisiana.  Louisiana allows a credit for any income tax paid to another state that is also income taxable in Louisiana, and certain income is exempt from taxation under Louisiana state income tax law.

If you are a part-year resident or a non-resident of Louisiana, Louisiana state income tax applies to all income earned from sources based in Louisiana.  Again, Louisiana allows exemption of certain income from taxation.

If you are a member of the military, Louisiana state income tax only applies to non-military income you earn from Louisiana-based sources.  Louisiana does not tax your military income.

What tax rate does Louisiana impose on individual income?

The Louisiana Department of Revenue uses a marginal tax rate of 2 percent, 4 percent, or 6 percent depending on your income level and your filing status.  The tax rate is based on the following table:

Tax Rate Taxpayer Income
Single, married filing separately, or head of household  
2 percent First $12,500
4 percent Next $37,500
6 percent Over $50,000
Married filing jointly or qualified surviving spouse  
2 percent First $25,000
4 percent Next $75,000
6 percent Over $100,000

What is the filing date for Louisiana state income tax?

Your Louisiana state income tax return and payment of any tax liability are due on May 15, which is one month after the federal income tax return filing date of April 15.

If you need additional time to complete and file your state income tax return, the Louisiana Department of Revenue allows you to request a six-month extension.  Prior to the 2011 tax year, the extension was granted automatically to anyone who received an extension on the filing of their federal income tax return.  Now taxpayers must request an extension using the appropriate paper or electronic form.

An extension of the state income tax return filing date does not extend the date when you must pay any state income tax liability, which remains at May 15.  The Louisiana Department of Revenue charges interest and a penalty on any tax due after May 15.

Who can provide me help in preparing my Louisiana state income tax return?

The information above is not legal or tax advice.  If you need help in preparing or filing your state income tax return, you should contact a tax attorney who knows Louisiana state income tax law and is familiar with preparing state income tax returns for Louisiana.

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.