Friday, March 23, 2018

Recent developments

Security Summit

The Division of Taxation, the Internal Revenue Service, and other members of the Security Summit have issued a warning for tax professionals to be alert to taxpayer data theft in the final weeks of the tax filing season.

The Security Summit partners also urged tax professionals to enhance their data safeguards immediately. For details, click here.

Amnesty update

The Rhode Island Division today announced that the recently completed tax amnesty program has generated more than $21.5 million, which is well above the original budgeted estimate of $12.5 million.

The 75-day amnesty began in early December 2017 and ended on February 15, 2018. The Division continues to fine-tune amnesty totals and will include the finalized totals in its formal report on amnesty, which is due on or before April 30, 2018. 

Report on corporate tax changes

The Division of Taxation recently posted its report on the corporate tax changes that were enacted in 2014, including a corporate tax rate reduction and the switch to combined reporting, single-sales-factor apportionment, and market-based sourcing.

The Division delivered the report to legislative leaders by the statutory deadline of March 15 and put the report on its website. Click here to view.

Tax credits

The Division of Taxation recently posted details about a rehabilitation project in downtown Providence involving $1.25 million in Rhode Island historic preservation tax credits.

The project involves the Woolworth Building, a five-story commercial block at 185 Westminster St., Providence. The plan is to keep business and retail use on the first three floors, and establish apartments on the top two floors.

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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Deadline relief due to winter storms

Taxpayers who cannot file Form RI-7004 by the March 15 deadline because of the impact of the recent snowstorms may write to the Rhode Island Division of Taxation to request relief. In such cases, the Division will set the deadline as March 20, 2018. To learn more about this deadline relief, click here.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Division plans public hearing

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation will hold a public hearing on March 12 on six proposed regulations. 

Broadly speaking, the proposed regulations contain no substantive changes. Their format has been modified in accordance with the new Rhode Island Code of Regulations, and some of the proposed regulations include minor changes. 

The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 12, 2018, at the Department of Administration Building at One Capitol Hill, Providence, Rhode Island, diagonally across Smith Street from the State House.

The Division of Taxation has filed numerous proposed and final regulations of late, and will continue to do so as part of its months-long effort to streamline and re-codify its regulations. 

The Division intends to post from time to time, on this blog, brief descriptions of some -- but not all -- of the regulatory filings. However, all of the regulatory filings are available to view and to monitor at the following Department of State (Secretary of State) website:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Regulation on film tax credit

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation today posted, as final, its regulation on the motion picture production tax credit (also known as the film tax credit).

As posted, the regulation:

  • adds a requirement that costs be arms-length transactions in order to qualify as costs for purposes of the credit;
  • deletes video games from the definition of a motion picture;
  • changes the language involving the sunset provision so that it reflects a recent update in the underlying law; and
  • changes the regulation’s format so that it complies with the Rhode Island Code of Regulations, a uniform state code.

A public hearing on the proposed regulation was held earlier this year, but because of an inter-agency scheduling matter, the hearing had to be held again. With the hearings now complete, the Division was about to file the regulation as final with the Rhode Island Department of State (Secretary of State).

More postings

The Division of Taxation has filed numerous proposed and final regulations of late, and will continue to do so as part of its months-long effort to streamline and re-codify its regulations.

Most of the regulations as posted contain no substantive changes, but their format has been modified in accordance with the new Rhode Island Code of Regulations.

To view "Rules and Regulations for the Certification of Motion Picture Production Tax Credits," 280-RICR-20-20-5, click here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Amnesty deadline; new Administrative Decision

Tomorrow is the deadline for filings and payments involving Rhode Island's state tax amnesty program. For details, click here.

The Division of Taxation today posted the latest Administrative Decision. At issue: whether the taxpayer owes tax on her unreported income. Click here to view.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

IRS warns taxpayers and tax pros about evolving scam

The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers of a quickly growing scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into their bank accounts. The IRS also offered a step-by-step explanation for how to return the funds and avoid being scammed.
Following up on a Security Summit alert issued February 2, the IRS issued this additional warning about the new scheme after discovering more tax practitioners’ computer files have been breached. In addition, the number of potential taxpayer victims jumped from a few hundred to several thousand in just days. The IRS Criminal Investigation division continues its investigation into the scope and breadth of this scheme. To learn more, click here.
(The Security Summit includes the Rhode Island Division of Taxation, tax agencies from other states, the IRS, and the tax industry.) 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Guide to local property tax exemptions

The Rhode Island Division of Municipal Finance has posted the latest version of its annual guide to the local property tax exemptions that are available in cities and towns.

“We’ve revised our annual guide to make it easier for Rhode Islanders to learn whether they qualify for any tax-saving benefits from their community,” said Susanne Greschner, chief of the Division of Municipal Finance. “We expect they’ll find this new format easier to read and useful.”

The new guide offers a comprehensive listing of:
All senior tax exemptions and credits offered by all 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island;
All tax exemptions and credits offered to qualifying veterans, unmarried widows and widowers, veterans with service-connected disabilities, Gold Star parents, and former POWs.

The guide also lists: 
Tax exemptions and credits for specially adapted housing;
All municipal tax-freeze programs;
All municipal tax-deferral programs;
All municipal exemptions for the visually impaired;
A listing of all qualifying service dates and conflicts, and
Information on the property tax relief program authorized by state law and administered by the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.

To view a copy of the guide, click here.

(Note: The guide was compiled and posted by the Division of Municipal Finance, which is a sister agency of the Division of Taxation. Both are part of the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.)