Thursday, April 2, 2020

Division warns about stimulus scams, also offers FAQs

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation urges taxpayers and tax preparers to beware of scams involving the new federal “economic impact payments” (sometimes called “stimulus payments”, “COVID-19 payments”, or “recovery rebates”).  

Also on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service, which is one of the Division’s partners in the Security Summit, the Division is providing answers to some common questions about the payments.

To view the latest Advisory, click here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Latest Administrative Decision

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted its latest Administrative Decision.

  • Decision No. 2020-04 focuses on whether the taxpayer's television services are taxable under the sales and use tax statutes. An issue of nexus is also involved.

Rhode Island Free File still available

Many of the sites that are staffed by volunteers offering free, in-person tax service have closed, or have curtailed their operations, due to the coronavirus pandemic. These include many of the sites run by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide programs.

But eligible taxpayers don't have to wait to file their taxes: They can use the Rhode Island Free File program to prepare and e-file their federal and Rhode Island personal income tax returns at any time -- and at no charge. To see if you are eligible, click here.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Scams involving stimulus payments

Legislation approved by Congress and signed into law on Friday by President Donald J. Trump authorizes federal stimulus payments to those who qualify. 

The Internal Revenue Service is seeing a significant increase in scams involving criminals trying to gather information needed for the stimulus payments.  

The IRS -- one of the Rhode Island Division of Taxation's partners in the Security Summit -- reports that it is seeing phone calls, text messages, and e-mails phishing for information from individual taxpayers as well as tax preparers.  

The criminals are sending messages such as the following: "In order to receive your  stimulus payment via direct deposit, we need you to confirm the banking information." 

The criminals are gathering the information via telephone, or directing victims to click on a link that takes them to a website where they enter their banking information. The criminals then use the information to raid people's bank accounts or for other illegal purposes.

Government agencies, including the IRS and the Rhode Island Division of Taxation, will not call, text, or email you requesting information about the federal stimulus payments.

Tax preparers are urged to beware of phishing calls, emails, or texts that include language such as: “In order to receive your client’s stimulus payment by direct deposit, you must confirm their bank information.” 

More information

  • If you receive a suspicious email or text requesting information, report it. Do not click on links or open any attachments.
  • If clients need to file a return to receive a stimulus payment, there may be more fraudulent zero balance or small balance returns filed.
  • Due to the extended July 15 tax deadline, criminals may try to obtain clients’ personal information, then file returns before clients do.
  • For details on federal stimulus payments, see the IRS's latest announcement. Also, monitor the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief webpage.
  • For information related to Rhode Island state taxes, see the Division's coronavirus webpage.

(Editor's Note: The Rhode Island Division of Taxation does not have a role in issuing the new federal stimulus payments and is providing the information above as a public service for taxpayers and tax preparers.)

Many hearings to be postponed due to coronavirus

In light of the ongoing state of emergency related to the coronavirus pandemic, many Rhode Island Division of Taxation hearings and other matters scheduled to take place in the coming weeks must be postponed and rescheduled.

For information about the impact on preliminary reviews, administrative hearings, and prehearing & status conferences, see Notice 2020-02.

Announcement for hotels and others

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation is asking hotels, owners of vacation properties, and others to let their customers know about Rhode Island’s new self-quarantine requirements and procedures in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Division’s latest Advisory includes a copy of the notice to hotels and others, as well as a copy of the letter they are asked to provide their guests arriving in Rhode Island, and an addendum. To view the Advisory, which has been revised to include the latest documents, please click here.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Deadline for filings and payments moved to July 15

The deadline for Rhode Island state tax filings and payments, normally April 15, has been postponed to July 15 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No late charges will apply to those who file and pay by the new deadline of July 15, 2020, regardless of the amount. The relief is automatic; no additional steps need be taken by taxpayers or tax preparers. 

For details, please click here.