RI State House

Rhode Island General Assembly approves bill to improve notification about business taxes and filings

In a move aimed at enhancing transparency and easing the administrative burden on small businesses, the General Assembly today voted to approve legislation authored by Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Dawn Euer and Representative Brandon T. Voas. This new legislation will enable the Division of Taxation to share business owners’ tax compliance information with the Department of State, keeping them informed about their tax liabilities.

The legislation, identified as 2024-S 3056 and 2024-H 8055, now awaits the governor’s signature.

“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.

Representative Voas (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) echoed these sentiments, stating, “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.”

The legislation, introduced at the request of Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore, authorizes the Division of Taxation to share details about businesses’ tax compliance status with the Department of State. The Department of State will then ensure that businesses receive timely notifications about their tax dues or overdue payments, aiming to boost compliance rates and minimize future penalties and interest charges.

Currently, the Division of Taxation lacks a system to notify business owners about filing requirements or tax dues, often resulting in severe penalties and interest fees that business owners discover only when reinstating or dissolving their businesses. This new bill mandates that the Department of State regularly inform businesses of any outstanding tax liabilities.

“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 manages Rhode Island’s business registry, which records new business formations and ongoing business registration activities of active businesses in the state. The division also provides guidance and services to those starting and maintaining a business or nonprofit in Rhode Island, including advising small businesses on the necessary annual steps to keep their business in good standing.

This legislation represents a significant step towards supporting small businesses in Rhode Island by ensuring they remain informed about their tax obligations, ultimately fostering a more transparent and supportive business environment.




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