Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guidance on duplicate checks

A number of State of Rhode Island checks have recently been printed and distributed in duplicate. Approximately 500 of those were Rhode Island personal income tax refund checks. The Rhode Island Division of Taxation does not print and distribute personal income tax refund checks; those functions are handled by other State agencies. Nevertheless, the Division of Taxation would like to take this opportunity to provide guidance on the matter to tax professionals and other stakeholders who may have questions.

Guidance

A taxpayer may have recently received two State of Rhode Island envelopes in the mail, each containing a paper tax refund check with the same check number and same dollar amount.

It is not possible for a recipient to cash both checks. That is because of an automatic fraud detection system, sometimes referred to as “positive pay”. Due to that fraud detection system, once a check is cashed, it cannot be cashed again, and its duplicate cannot be cashed. Thus, the recent printing and distribution of a number of duplicate State of Rhode Island checks does not expose the State of Rhode Island to financial loss, other than the cost of printing and mailing.

If a taxpayer receives duplicate Rhode Island personal income tax refund checks, the taxpayer should choose one of the checks to cash and should mail the other check to the Division of Taxation, along with a brief note of explanation, to the following address:

Rhode Island Division of Taxation
Personal Income Tax Section
Attention: Duplicate Checks
One Capitol Hill
Providence, R.I. 02908

Anyone with questions may call (401) 574-8829, option # 3. (Note: The duplication involves paper refund checks, not refunds by direct deposit.)


In perspective

So far this year, the Division of Taxation has issued 387,973 personal income tax refunds. The duplicate checks involved 500 personal income tax refunds – in other words, a small fraction of the total. Nevertheless, each taxpayer is important, so it is imperative that the Division provide guidance for anyone who may have received a duplicate check.

Refunds to date

 So far this year, the Division of Taxation has issued $218 million in personal income tax refunds (for all years, including interest and offsets), up 20 percent compared with the corresponding period a year earlier, and nearly 390,000 personal income tax refunds, up 13 percent compared with the corresponding period a year earlier.

Rhode Island personal income tax refunds

2016
Year to date
2017
Year to date
Difference
Total dollar amount of refunds
$  182,181,067.90
$  218,232,701.54
+ 20%
Total number of refunds
343,258
387,973
+ 13%
Average amount per refund
$  530.74
$  562.49
+ 6%
Cumulative, year‐to‐date, personal income tax refunds for all years (including interest and offsets) as of April 25, 2016, and April 24, 2017. Numbers and percentages are rounded.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Two new declaratory rulings

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted two new declaratory rulings. One involves a bundled transaction, the other involves cloud computing.
  • Ruling 2017-01: A taxpayer requested a declaratory ruling to determine whether its product is exempt from Rhode Island sales and use tax – either as a paid monthly or annual subscription, or as a free one-month trial. To view the ruling, click here.
  • Ruling 2017-02: A taxpayer requested a declaratory ruling to determine whether sales of certain cloud computing services and fees are subject to Rhode Island sales tax. To view the ruling, click here.

To see all declaratory rulings, click hereTo learn more about declaratory rulings in general, click here.

Tomorrow's deadline

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation reminds tax professionals and taxpayers about tomorrow's tax-filing deadline. More information is contained in an Advisory posted this morning

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Filing deadline is April 18

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation yesterday issued a reminder that returns for calendar-year C corporations, individuals, and some others are due on April 18, 2017. To view the Division's latest Advisory, click here.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reminder on surplus lines

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation reminds taxpayers about the annual tax return filing requirement for surplus lines brokers/licensees:

A Rhode Island tax return must be filed each year on behalf of surplus lines brokers/licensees. The return must be filed with the Rhode Island Division of Taxation and is normally due on or before April 1. But because April 1 falls on a Saturday this year, the filing and payment deadline will be the following business day: Monday, April 3, 2017.

The return must be filed even if no income is reported (a “zero return”). For the 2016 tax year, the return must be filed on paper, on Form T-71A. The mailing address is included on the form. (For the 2017 tax year, and later tax years, the Division plans an electronic filing option.)

For more information, see the Division of Taxation’s publication, “Surplus Lines Brokers/Licensees: Guide to Tax Filings and Payments,” which includes details and answers to frequently asked questions. To view the guide, click here. For surplus lines forms, click here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

For some, filing deadline is tonight

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation's latest Advisory for Tax Professionals, posted today, includes information on the following topics: 
  • Avoid use of staples when filing paper returns.
  • Filing deadline is tonight for some business entities.
  • Filing on extension.
  • Estimated tax payments.
  • Other matters.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Office closed on Tuesday

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation will be closed tomorrow -- Tuesday, March 14, 2017 -- due to the storm. All State offices will be closed. Click here for details.