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6/10/2024 Assembly approves bill to improve notification about business taxes and filings
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly voted today to approve legislation from Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Dawn Euer and Rep. Brandon T. Voas to allow the Division of Taxation to send business owners’ tax compliance information to the Department of State in order to keep them apprised of their tax liability.

The legislation (2024-S 3056, 2024-H 8055) now heads to the governor’s desk.

“I want to thank Secretary Amore for the work he has done on this legislation. In my private sector role, I advise a lot of businesses, and I cannot tell you the number of times I have had to advise and help correct errors that were made unknowingly and unintentionally. This is a great initiative that will remove a lot of headaches for small business owners in Rhode Island,” said Chairwoman Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), who is an attorney in private practice.

Said Representative Voas (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls), “This common-sense legislation provides increased transparency for small businesses by allowing the Department of State to include tax compliance information in the reports and notifications it already sends to businesses. I applaud Secretary Amore and his dedicated team for putting in the work to take this proactive step forward to improve the climate for small businesses in Rhode Island.”

This legislation, introduced on behalf of Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore, would authorize the Division of Taxation to share information regarding the tax compliance status of businesses with the Department of State. The Department of State would then provide businesses with early and regular notice that taxes are due or overdue, with the hope of increasing compliance rates and reducing future penalties and interest charges for businesses.

The Division of Taxation does not have a mechanism to notify business owners that they must file or that they owe taxes, which can lead to severe penalties and interest fees that some business owners only become aware of when they reinstate or dissolve their business. This bill would ensure these businesses would be regularly notified by the Department of State of any outstanding tax liability.

“The Rhode Island Department of State staff in the Business Services Division provide comprehensive services to those looking to start and maintain a business or nonprofit in Rhode Island, and they are truly dedicated to providing effective customer service and valuable resources to those individuals,” said Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore. “This legislation will strengthen our partnership with the Division of Taxation and allow us to better serve our customers by keeping them informed of their tax obligations, and in turn, helping them to avoid unnecessary fees and penalties.”  

The Department of State’s Business Services Division maintains Rhode Island’s business registry, which records new business formations and the ongoing business registration activity of active businesses registered in the state. The division also provides thoughtful guidance and comprehensive services to those looking to start and maintain a business or nonprofit in Rhode Island, including directing small businesses on the steps that they must take yearly to maintain their business in good standing.

For more information, contact:
Tristan Grau, Publicist
State House Room B20
Providence, RI 02903