Rhode Island’s Revenue Office is trying to make it as painless as possible for the thousands of Rhode Islanders who have neglected to pay state taxes, and now face mounting penalties and interest on the taxes they owe.

Through Feb. 15 delinquent taxpayers can take advantage of a state tax amnesty program, which eliminates penalties and 25 percent of interest, if the taxpayer pays his or her back taxes, according to Neena S. Savage, Rhode Island Tax Administrator. The program applies to individual and business taxes.

Savage said the office is also trying to make it convenient for the 100,000 individuals and businesses that recently received notices from her department and the Secretary of State that as of the end of December 2016 they owed back taxes.

Today (Jan.10) Savage announced that the office would add extended hours over the next couple of weeks for those who wish to resolve their back taxes in person. Other information and forms are available on the Revenue Office’s tax amnesty website, www.taxamnesty.ri.gov.

Normally the Revenue Office, which is located at One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908, is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Savage said that on Jan. 16 – 18 and 23 – 25 it will remain open to 6 p.m. She said the office will also open from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 27.

While not necessary, Savage recommends that individuals who want to meet in-person make a reservation by either using the office’s new online reservation system, https://ritaxreservations.stonewallsolutions.com/ or call 401-574-8650.

“This is an opportunity for Rhode Islanders to get peace of mind,” Savage said while adding millions of dollars to state revenues. She said the last time the state ran such a program several years ago, 7,000 taxpayers took advantage, adding more than $20 million in revenues.

For those who don’t take advantage of the program, and whose taxes remain delinquent, interest and penalties continue to mount. Additionally, Savage said, they are in jeopardy of other actions, including blocked renewal of professional licenses, driver’s licenses, and other similar actions.

The program, which is not an annual program, does not cover local taxes. Among the type of taxes, it covers are corporate income tax, estate tax, fiduciary income tax, personal income tax, sales tax, use tax, cigarette and tobacco tax, and employer taxes.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.