Monday, May 2, 2016

Proposed regulation on hotel, sales taxes

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted a proposed regulation involving sales and hotel taxes and will hold a public hearing on it on May 31.

The agency proposes to update an existing regulation so that it reflects changes in the law enacted last year. Those changes extended the sales and hotel taxes to short-term residential rentals.

The proposed regulation discusses room rentals – by hotels, rooming homes, tourist camps, room resellers, and hosting platforms. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Penalty for falling behind on payments

The Division of Taxation today posted the latest Administrative Decision. At issue is a former cigarette dealer who fell behind on making certain payments to the Division under an installment plan. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Three new Administrative Decisions

The Division of Taxation has posted three new Administrative Decisions:

  • 2016-07 -- filing a personal income tax return after a federal change. 
  • 2016-08 -- whether a use tax refund should have been issued on a motor vehicle purchase.
  • 2016-09 -- whether a personal income tax refund claim was timely filed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tax credits for project in Olneyville

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted details about the rehabilitation of a building in the Olneyville section of Providence.

The project, at a former Imperial Knife Company manufacturing plant at 60 King St., involves Rhode Island historic preservation tax credits. The building will be converted to 60 affordable apartments.

The Division of Taxation's web page on historic tax credits shows details involving all applicants that have signed a contract and paid the required fee under the state's 2013 historic preservation tax credit program.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Practitioner Alert: New cyber threat

Rhode Island Acting Tax Administrator Neena S. Savage is providing the following announcement from the Internal Revenue Service to inform Rhode Island tax practitioners of a developing tax fraud scheme. 

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation is actively involved in responding to the IRS announcement, she said. “The Division of Taxation will continue to collaborate with its stakeholders to safeguard Rhode Island taxpayers and tax dollars,” she said.

(Please see IRS announcement below)

The Internal Revenue Service today warned tax professionals of a new emerging scam: Cyber-criminals obtain remote control of preparers’ computer systems, then complete and file client tax returns -- and redirect refunds to the thieves’ own accounts. 
Although the IRS knows of a handful of cases to date, this scam has potential to impact the filing of fraudulent returns in advance of the April tax deadline. The scam is yet another example of tax professionals being targeted by identity theft criminals.
The scam warning comes as the April 18 filing deadline nears. The IRS urged all tax preparers to take the following steps:
  • Run a security “deep scan” to search for viruses and malware;
  • Strengthen passwords for both computer access and software access;
  • Make sure your password is a minimum of 8 digits (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters;
  • Be alert for phishing scams: do not click on links or open attachments from unknown senders;
  • Educate all staff members about the dangers of phishing scams in the form of emails, texts and calls;
  • Review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and/or your IT support vendor uses to remotely troubleshoot technical problems and support your systems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine. 

The IRS also urged tax professionals to review Publication 4557, "Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business," which provides a checklist to help safeguard taxpayer information and enhance office security.

Latest edition of newsletter now posted

The latest edition of Rhode Island Tax News, a newsletter for tax professionals, has now been posted. Topics include:
  • The sales and hotel tax on short-term rentals
  • A tax break on Social Security benefits
  • Letters of good standing
  • Rhode Island’s Free File program
  • Refunds of TDI tax

 This edition also features a summary of recent tax cases, as well as questions and answers for practitioners.