Monday, October 26, 2015

Business incentive tax credits: applications online

Application materials are now online for two new Rhode Island tax credit programs that are intended to provide incentives for business and job growth.

To view the application for the Rhode Island Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit program, click here.

To view the application for the Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit program, click here.

To view the announcements involving the launch of the online applications, click here and here.

Both incentive programs, enacted in June 2015, are aimed at spurring economic growth across Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation website includes additional details on these and other programs.

Rhode Island wins award for UI tax operations

Rhode Island has been recognized for running one of the nation’s best unemployment insurance (UI) tax operations. 

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) received a State Performance Excellence Award as the top-performing small state in UI tax operations. The award was presented at a conference last week of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) in Albuquerque, N.M.

DLT Assistant Director of Income Support Robert Langlais, who heads the state UI program, and Chief Revenue Agent Philip D’Ambra, head of the Division of Taxation’s Employer Tax section, accepted the NASWA award. This is the sixth straight year that Rhode Island has won in the small state category. DLT and the Employer Tax section have long collaborated on running this key area of the state UI system.

“For Rhode Island to be recognized by its peers for running high-quality UI tax operations is gratifying and I congratulate the Division of Taxation and DLT for their efforts,” Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. “My administration is committed to continuous improvement in rethinking the way we work and becoming more customer-friendly to make it easier for Rhode Islanders to do business with government.”

Computer changeover begins

The Division of Taxation's agency-wide computer system changeover began today. The Tax Division remains open, but a few service restrictions apply. (It is the second phase of a multi-year project.) To view the latest Notice, click here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

DOR issues praise for work in tobacco tax case

Rhode Island Acting Director of Revenue David M. Sullivan this afternoon praised the work of the Rhode Island Division of Taxation’s Special Investigation Unit, the Rhode Island State Police, and others for their work on a recent case involving untaxed tobacco products. To view his statement, click here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Administrative Decision on sales of natural gas

The Division of Taxation this afternoon posted the latest Administrative Decision. It focuses on whether sales of natural gas qualified for the domestic-use exemption during the period in question.

(The General Assembly has since exempted -- from the sales and use tax -- gross receipts from the sale, and from the storage, use, or other consumption, of natural gas.)

Estate tax threshold for 2016

The Rhode Island estate tax threshold and related credit amount will remain unchanged for 2016, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation announced today.

The threshold will be $1.5 million and the related credit amount will be $64,400 for decedents dying on or after January 1, 2016. The same amounts apply for decedents dying in 2015.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Computer changeover starts next week

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation is changing over to a new agency-wide computer system – and the next phase starts a week from today.

Rhode Island Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan reminds taxpayers and tax practitioners that the changeover will take place on six consecutive business days: from Monday, October 26, 2015, through Monday, November 2, 2015. 

During that time, the Tax Division office at One Capitol Hill in Providence will remain open during its usual hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Phones will be staffed, emails answered, payments received, and returns accepted, as usual. But certain services will be limited, including issuing of letters of good standing and releasing motor vehicle license blocks, motor vehicle registration blocks, and certain liens and levies.

“We will remain open and we will continue to provide the kinds of services that are regularly used by the vast majority of taxpayers and practitioners,” said Rhode Island Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan. “However, we want to let everyone know now, in advance, that certain services used by a limited number of taxpayers and practitioners will not be available during the six-day changeover,” he said. For example, “If you’re blocked from renewing a driver’s license because you owe back taxes, you should pay the tax debt on or before this Friday, October 23,” Sullivan said. 
  • For more information, call the Division of Taxation at (401) 574-8829 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. business days. Or see the latest Advisory.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Filing deadline reminder; acks issue resolved

Filing deadline

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation reminds taxpayers and practitioners that today is the deadline for filing Rhode Island personal income tax returns and certain other returns for tax year 2014 and for making the associated tax payments.

The Tax Division recently issued an Advisory which lists some of the returns for which the extended due date falls on October 15.

Acks issue resolved

The Division of Taxation also said today that it has resolved a computer issue that had delayed acknowledgements for a number of electronically filed returns.

“People typically e-file their federal and Rhode Island returns at the same time,” said Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan. After filing, they typically receive a short electronic message that serves as a confirmation that the return has been received. The confirmation is sometimes called an acknowledgement, or "ack."

“For the last week or so, preparers and taxpayers have received acks from the Internal Revenue Service but not from us. We don’t want preparers or taxpayers to think that this is somehow related to their computers, their software, or their providers. It is not. This issue stems from a computer-related issue on our end. We have been working in recent days to fix this and it is now resolved. As a result, the backlogged acks will soon be released, and we will also return to issuing real-time acks,” Sullivan said.

“For those taxpayers and tax preparers who may have encountered this issue in recent days and who are still waiting for their acks, we appreciate their patience. In the meantime, they should keep on file any documentation they have related to the original transmission of their returns should that documentation be needed in the future,” he said.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Warwick seminar sold out; Newport's still available

The Division of Taxation is holding a seminar, in two locations, for paid preparers of tax returns. The seminar is free but pre-registration is required.

Seats for the first session, in Warwick, have all been taken, but seats are still available for the second session, in Newport.

To view the agenda, click here.

To register, click here.

Filing deadline tomorrow

Tomorrow is the deadline for filing Rhode Island resident and nonresident personal income tax returns for the 2014 tax year. 

The usual deadline is April 15, but some taxpayers elect to use a six-month extension, moving the deadline to October 15. Such returns must be e-filed or postmarked on or before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2015. Final payments for tax year 2014 are also due tomorrow. For more information, please click here

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Regulations posted on new tax credit programs

The Division of Taxation on October 7 posted, as final, regulations that offer details and guidance on three new tax credit and incentive programs:

The programs are part of a package of credits and other incentives aimed at businesses that are prepared to invest in and foster job creation in the state.

Specifically, the programs are intended to help expand existing jobs, stimulate the creation of new jobs, attract new business and industry to the state, and stimulate growth in real estate developments. They are the result of legislation proposed by Governor Gina M. Raimondo, approved by the General Assembly, and signed into law on June 30, 2015. 

The regulations mirror those posted by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The programs are administered by the Commerce Corporation.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Latest issue of newsletter just posted

The Division of Taxation today posted the latest issue of its quarterly newsletter, Rhode Island Tax News. The issue includes information on the following topics:

  • Seminar for practitioners
  • Computer system changeover
  • Tax news in brief
  • Legal Corner
  • Practitioners' Corner