Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tax Administrator leaving for private-sector post

Rhode Island Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan is leaving for a job in the private sector. 

Sullivan, who is also Acting Director of the Department of Revenue, has been in State service for nearly 10 years and has led the Division of Taxation through a number of significant changes, including implementation of two major tax reforms and the conversion of the agency’s computer systems.

Nationally known in tax circles, Sullivan was in Washington, D.C., last week with IRS and state tax officials and tax industry representatives to launch the latest element in a multi-pronged effort to combat tax refund fraud (see photo below). Click here to view the announcement about Sullivan’s leaving for the private sector and about the State’s transition plan.

In Washington, D.C., last week was Rhode Island Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan (at lectern), with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (far left), Connecticut Revenue Commissioner Kevin Sullivan (next to David Sullivan) and others to launch an effort to combat tax refund fraud. [Photo by Julianne Fisher Breitbeil / Internal Revenue Service]

Friday, November 20, 2015

Practitioner Alert: Annual e-file shutdown

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation reminds tax professionals that tomorrow is the annual e-file production shutdown and switchover. As a result, tomorrow is when Rhode Island will stop accepting e-filed personal and business returns for tax year 2014.

“Each year, we temporarily close our system to e-filing in order to prepare the system for the upcoming filing season, just as the Internal Revenue Service and many other jurisdictions do at this time of year,” said Rhode Island Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan. This year, the shutdown will occur on Saturday, November 21, 2015, he said.

“To ensure that all e-filed Rhode Island returns for tax year 2014 on Form RI-1040, Form RI-1120C, Form RI-1120S, and Form RI-1065 are processed in a timely manner, transmitters must abide by the schedule,” Sullivan said. “All e-filed returns for tax year 2014 will have a transmission deadline of 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on November 21, 2015. To avoid any last-minute logjams, preparers and taxpayers should get their electronic submissions to their transmitters well in advance of the deadlines,” he said.

For e-file purposes, Rhode Island accepts only current-year returns. Thus, November 21, 2015, is 
the deadline for e-filing Rhode Island personal and business tax returns for the 2014 tax year. When the switchover is complete and the Division of Taxation reopens to e-filing in January 2016, it will be only for returns for the 2015 tax year, Sullivan noted. For more information, click here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Seminar for preparers at CCRI

The Division of Taxation held a three-hour seminar for tax preparers yesterday at the Knight Campus of the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) in Warwick. More than 120 tax professionals attended. The event focused mainly on what's new for the coming filing season and what's new for tax year 2016. Speakers included Acting Director of Revenue David M. Sullivan, who is also Rhode Island's tax administrator.

The Division of Taxation will repeat the program next month, but in a different location. That session will be held at CCRI's Newport County campus on December 10 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Seats are still available but pre-registration is required. Click here for the agenda, here for more information, and here to register.

Some of the tax professionals who attended yesterday's seminar.

Sullivan helps launch effort to protect personal tax data

Rhode Island Acting Director of Revenue David M. Sullivan joined federal and state officials and tax industry representatives today to help announce a new joint campaign aimed at encouraging more people to protect their personal and financial data online and at home.

The “Taxes. Security. Together.” campaign is designed to raise public awareness that even routine actions on the Internet and on personal communications devices can affect the safety of one's financial and tax data.

The education campaign will complement the expanded series of protections that the IRS, the states, and the tax industry are putting in place for the start of the 2016 filing season to address tax-related identity theft.

"The governments and industry are taking new steps to protect taxpayers," said Sullivan, who is also Rhode Island Tax Administrator and the immediate past president of the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA). "To build on this even further, we are joining forces to share important information across our websites -- whether it's at the state level, in the tax industry, or at the IRS. This is an unprecedented collaborative effort for tax administration," Sullivan said.

“Identity thieves are evolving, and so must we. Everyone has a part to play,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The IRS, the states and the tax industry are putting in place even tougher safeguards for 2016. But, we need the public’s help. We need people to join with us and take an active role in protecting their personal and financial data from thieves.”

The campaign, which will continue through the April tax deadline, was announced today at an event in Washington, D.C.,  hosted by the FTA. The effort is part of the Security Summit, a collaborative effort started in March between the states, the IRS, and the tax industry. The joint consumer campaign features several components, including a YouTube video (see screenshot below). Click here for more information about the campaign.

Rhode Island's Acting Revenue Director David M. Sullivan (second from right)

Corporate tax regs -- update

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation last week posted proposed regulations on apportionment, nexus, and mandatory unitary combined reporting. The Division has since modified the postings to change the email address for submitting public comments. To view the modified postings, click here.

Interest rates

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted the interest rates that will apply for 2016 on overpayments and delinquencies. The rates are based on a formula set in statute. The rates for the 2016 calendar year are the same as those that apply for the 2015 calendar year: 18% per year on delinquent tax payments, 3.25% per year on overpayments. Click here for more information.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Corporate tax regs proposed

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation this afternoon posted: 

A public hearing on each regulation will be held on December 14, 2015, at the Rhode Island Department of Administration building, One Capitol Hill, Providence. Details about the hearing and about the submission of public comments are included in the proposed regulations as posted.