Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Application Period for Wavemaker Reopens



The application period for the Wavemaker Fellowship has reopened. 

The Wavemaker Fellowship is available to graduates who have incurred student loan debt during the completion of an associate degree, bachelor's degree, or graduate degree, and are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or design-related fields -- including life, natural or environmental sciences; computer, information or software technology; advanced mathematics or finance; engineering; industrial design or other commercially related design field; or medical or medical device technology in the state.

Any resident or nonresident with higher education loan debt who is employed in Rhode Island in one of the fields mentioned above is encouraged to apply. The maximum annual Rhode Island tax credit awarded under the Wavemaker program is $6,000 for graduate degree holders, $4,000 for bachelor's degree holders, and $1,000 for holders of an associate degree. All applications must be submitted by midnight, May 4, 2021, for consideration.

For more details on the Wavemaker program, click here and here.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Recent Legislative Changes to Support Massachusetts Taxpayers

 



Some important, recent legislative changes will have an impact on Massachusetts taxpayers. The changes affect the treatment of unemployment income and Paycheck Protection Program [PPP] loan forgiveness. Additionally, the individual income tax filing and payment deadline was recently extended.
 
We have updated the FAQs covering these changes and will continue to add to them with new information to answer taxpayer questions. A Technical Information Release with updated guidance will be issued soon.
 
Unemployment Income Deduction
For tax years 2020 and 2021, taxpayers with household income under 200% of the federal poverty level may deduct up to $10,200 of unemployment income per person. Review the chart on our FAQ page for detailed information on the deduction. Please note that the income threshold for Massachusetts taxpayers is different from the federal income threshold. Some Massachusetts taxpayers may be eligible for a deduction on their federal tax return but not on their Massachusetts tax return. 

The taxpayer does not have to do anything. Any taxpayer who claimed unemployment income on their 2020 return will be contacted directly by DOR by mail with information. DOR will handle any calculations to determine if a refund is due to a taxpayer. If a taxpayer is entitled to a refund, a check will be mailed after satisfying liabilities. There’s no need to file an amended tax return.

If a taxpayer who received unemployment income has not yet filed a 2020 return, all unemployment income should be reported on the return [line 8a for residents or line 10a for
nonresidents/part-year residents], and if eligible for a deduction, the deduction amount should be reported on line 9 of Schedule Y.

PPP Loan Forgiveness
Recent legislation excludes forgiven PPP loan amounts from gross income for Massachusetts personal income taxpayers for 2020. Learn how income from PPP loans is treated by reviewing the FAQs on the DOR website.

New extended deadline for individual income tax filing and payment
A reminder that the deadline for filing and paying 2020 Massachusetts individual income tax was extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021. This change is addressed in FAQs.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Important message from MA DUA


Please be aware of current scams. Massachusetts residents have received text messages and emails that include a link requesting claimants enter their login and password on a site that looks similar to UI Online. If you have received such a message, please do not respond. 

Responses to requests from DUA should only be uploaded through your secure account at https://uionline.detma.org/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX or  https://ui-cares-act.mass.gov/PUA/_/. DUA will never ask you to reply to a text or email with your personal information.

DUA takes fraudulent claims seriously and we are working closely with state and federal law enforcement agencies to protect claimants’ information. We want to assure you that there is no evidence of a state data breach.

The following considerations are suggested to help you protect your online profiles and account information.

  • As part of our online security protocol we recommend that you check your UI profile information often (at least 1x per week) this includes your logon, password, name, contact information. Change your information back and report any discrepancies or changes not made by you immediately to DUA by calling (877) 626-6800

  • When checking your UI profile, pay close attention to your payment selection to be certain the payment type and / or account information is correct

  • Be alert to any unknown email sources containing links. Never click on a link unless you are expecting one or you know the sender and recognize the email address – this may be a phishing scheme to obtain access to your computer

  • Create security credentials that you will remember but are hard for others to guess. Do not give your security credentials to ANYONE – DUA will never contact you asking for that information

  • Report any changes or suspicious activity involving your UI claim immediately to DUA by calling (877) 626-6800

  • Monitor communications from DUA often in case you receive a message that a change has been made to your account or to make you aware of an ongoing scheme that has affected claims or warnings from other UI agencies

  • DUA WILL NOT ask you to verify your eligibility for unemployment benefits, or for personal information by email, phone or text message. If you receive an email, phone or text message and you are unsure if it came from DUA, contact us by calling (877) 626-6800

  • If you believe someone is using your identity to falsely claim unemployment benefits, please complete our secured form at www.mass.gov/unemployment-fraud to alert us.

Here's some common unemployment scam techniques to watch out for.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Rhode Island Division of Taxation Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Unemployment Benefits




The Rhode Island Division of Taxation today posted an Advisory that provides guidance about the tax treatment of unemployment compensation.

The Division is in the process of revising certain forms and instructions relating to the guidance and will post the revised documents as soon as possible. The Division will let its stakeholders know immediately after the revised documents are posted.

To view the Advisory, click here.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Division announces Rhode Island will follow IRS deadline change



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Division of Taxation announced today that it has postponed – until May 17, 2021 – the deadline for individuals to file their Rhode Island personal income tax returns and make related payments for the 2020 tax year to follow the deadline change announced by the IRS on March 17, 2021. 


The deadline for filing Rhode Island resident and nonresident personal income tax returns for the 2020 tax year, and for making related payments, normally would be April 15, 2021. 


The United States Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service recently announced that the April 15, 2021 due date for federal filings and payments by individuals relating to the 2020 tax year has been moved to May 17, 2021. 1 


The Division announced today that the April 15, 2021, due date for certain Rhode Island filings and payments by individuals relating to the 2020 tax year also has been moved to May 17, 2021 to follow the IRS announcement. 


“We recognize the many challenges that Rhode Islanders have faced, and continue to face, amid the global pandemic,” said Rhode Island Tax Administrator Neena Savage. “By aligning our deadline with the federal deadline, we hope to provide a convenience for taxpayers, tax preparers, and others as a measure of relief during these trying times,” she said.


The relief is automatic; taxpayers do not need to file any special forms or contact the Division in any way in order to qualify. Please remember, the IRS deadline change only impacts individual resident and nonresident personal income tax returns and not estimated payments still due April 15, 2021. 


The Division is awaiting formal IRS guidance regarding the due date change and will provide additional details regarding state tax filings and payments impacted by the change within the coming days.