Friday, June 9, 2017

Recent developments

  • Michael F. Canole, CPA, has been promoted to the rank of assistant tax administrator. For details, click here.
  • Rhode Island Department of Revenue Director Robert S. Hull has announced the conclusion of a successful personal income tax filing season by the Division of Taxation. To view the announcement, click here.
  • The Division of Taxation has issued an Advisory about new account ID numbers for holders of sales tax permits. To view the Advisory, click here.
  • The Division of Taxation provided an update on the 2017 filing season during a House Oversight Committee hearing at the State House. To view the slides, click here. For a video of the hearing, archived by Capitol Television, click here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Seminar is sold out

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation's seminar next month, on self-audits and sales/use tax, has sold out. Therefore, pre-registration is now closed. The Division thanks everyone who expressed interest in the event.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sales tax due after audit

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

Decision 2017-07 looks at whether a retailer owes additional sales tax following an audit.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

No inflation-related increase for gas tax this year

Every other year, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation must determine if there has been enough inflation to warrant an increase in the Rhode Island gasoline tax.  

This year, the Division has determined that no inflation-related increase will apply. The Division has posted an Advisory and Notice with details.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Two new Administrative Decisions

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted two new Administrative Decisions:

  • Decision 2017-05 involves whether a taxpayer qualifies for the property-tax relief credit.
  • Decision 2017-06 looks at the Rhode Island tax impact of a change at the federal level.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Report on sales, taxation of alcoholic beverages

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation yesterday posted its annual report on the sales and taxation of alcoholic beverages. To view a copy, click here.

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.


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

Year to date
Year to date
Total dollar amount of refunds
$  182,181,067.90
$  218,232,701.54
+ 20%
Total number of refunds
+ 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.