The Louisiana Department of Revenue has lost round two in its fight against the refundable $3,000 income tax credit for the purchase of flex fuel vehicles (FFV). Judge Scott Gardner ruled for the taxpayers on December 22, 2014 at the 22nd JDC, affirming the decision granting the La. R.S. 47:6035 credit to FFVs in Bolotte v. LDR, 8007 (Bd. Tax App., May 14, 2014). While we wait for this lead case to complete its appeal process, anyone purchasing a FFV in 2010 has until December 31, 2014 to amend their 2010 tax return to claim the credit. 2011 purchasers have until December 31, 2013 to amend.
On May 14, 2014, the Board of Tax Appeals granted the first flex fuel credit in that matter Bolotte v. LDR, BTA #8007. The decision essentially states that because LDR interpreted La. R.S. 47:6035 as including flex fuel vehicles and that law did not change until July 2013, which was to specifically remove the flex fuel vehicle from qualifying, the credit must be allowed until the July 2013 amendement. One of the 3 board members dissented on the grounds that he does not think the flex fuel vehicle ever qualified for the credit and his opinion generally includes a concern about the overall cost of the credit to the state.
It is certain that the state will appeal.
Should the matter be fully resolved in favor of the taxpayers, those individuals with pending claims will be entitled to their refund. For those persons that purchases a flex fuel vehicle from 2010 through July 2013, your right to amend your tax return to claim the credit is still available. LDR will deny it and you would have to appeal within 60 days of the denial in order to preserve your rights. If you have already claimed your credit and did not appeal the denial, you may file a claim against the state. Louisiana income tax year 2010 will close on December 31, 2014.