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R.I. Department of Revenue releases March 2018 cash collections report

Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2018 Cash Collections Report for March 2018. The Cash Collections Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares current fiscal year cash collections by revenue item on a fiscal year-to-date and monthly basis to prior fiscal year cash collections by revenue item. The cash collections report makes no adjustments for the timeliness of the receipt of revenues and provides readers with insight into the state's cash flow over the course of the fiscal year.

Rhode Island Department of Revenue Director Mark A. Furcolo noted: "FY 2018 total general revenue cash collections through March are up 5.2 percent, or $131.7 million more than was received last fiscal year through March of 2017. Included in the FY 2018 year-to-date through March figure are $21.4 million of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. The sizeable increase in general revenue cash collections on a fiscal year-to-date basis has occurred in spite of the change in the estimated payments schedule for business corporation, financial institutions, insurance company gross premiums, bank deposits, and public utilities gross earnings taxpayers from a 40 percent of 2018 tax liability estimated payment due in March 2018 to a 25 percent of 2018 tax liability estimated payment due in April 2018.

The growth rate for FY 2018 through March of 5.2 percent (4.4 percent when adjusting for the inflow of tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program) remains substantively higher than the growth rate recorded in the FY 2017 through the March period last year of 1.3 percent."

Notable cash collections items on a March fiscal year-to-date basis included: Total personal income tax cash collections of approximately $939.1 million, up $71.7 million or 8.3 percent year-to-date. o Personal income tax withholding payments up $35.5 million or 4.1 percent year-to-date, in spite of the fact that FY 2017 year-to-date through March personal income tax withholding payments included the receipt of large deposit(s) of $3.3 million. It should be noted that FY 2018 through March personal income tax withholding payments include $451,194 of cash receipts from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o Personal income tax refunds and adjustments were $3.4 million, or 1.6 percent, less than in FY 2017 year-to-date through March. FY 2017 through March refunds and adjustments include $9.3 million of refunds paid out in July and August 2016 that were accrued back to FY 2016 while FY 2018 through March refunds and adjustments include a transfer of $1.0 million to departmental receipts for interest on overdue taxes paid through the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o Personal income tax final payments were up $9.9 million through March of FY 2018, or 17.2 percent. FY 2018 year-to-date personal income tax final payments cash collections include $9.7 million in tax and interest payments from the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. o FY 2018 through March personal income tax estimated payments cash collections were $22.9 million more than in FY 2017 through March, a variance of 14.4 percent. It may be that personal income tax filers shifted final payments that were going to be made in April 2018 to December 2017 estimated payments in response to the passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Estimated payment vouchers postmarked in late December would have been received and deposited in January 2018. Year-to-date FY 2018 through March sales and use tax cash collections are up $38.1 million in comparison to FY 2017 through March with Net Taxation receipts $36.0 million more, or 5.5 percent, Registry Receipts $1.4 million more, or 1.8 percent, and Providence Place Mall sales tax collections $611,618, or 5.8 percent, more than the prior year. FY 2018 through March Net Taxation receipts include $4.6 million of tax and interest payments realized from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. FY 2018 all other general revenue sources cash collections through March are down $3.2 million relative to last fiscal year at this time. This decrease reflects lower business corporation, public utilities gross earnings, insurance company gross premiums, and bank deposits tax payments of $82.0 million in FY 2018 through March offset in part by increased estate and transfer tax payments of $74.1 million. Included in the FY 2018 year-to-date through March figure for other general revenue sources are $5.2 million of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. Fiscal year-to-date through February 2018 departmental receipts cash collections are $4.3 million, or 1.5 percent, more than in FY 2017 through March. Included in the FY 2018 year-to-date through March figure are $1.44 million of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. The lottery transfer in FY 2018 year-to-date is $20.8 million more than in FY 2017 through March, a variance of 8.8 percent. This increase is attributable to the early transfer of $20.1 million in lottery revenues in March at the request of the Office of the General Treasurer.

Notable month of March cash collections items included: March 2018 personal income tax cash collections increased by $10.1 million, 16.1 percent from March 2017. o The increase in March 2018 personal income tax cash collections was driven largely by an increase in final payments of $5.5 million and an increase in withholding payments of $3.4 million from the amount received in March 2017. March 2018 final and withholding payments include February 2018 personal income tax withholding payments included $155,227 in tax and interest payments generated by the 2017 Tax Amnesty program. Increased March 2018 sales and use tax cash collections of $3.0 million or 4.3 percent from March 2017 with Net Taxation cash collections $3.1 million more. Included in this amount is $256,510 of tax and interest payments generated by the 2017 Tax Amnesty. March 2018 all other general revenue sources cash collections are down $72.6 million relative to March 2017. This decrease reflects lower business corporation, public utilities gross earnings, insurance company gross premiums, and bank deposits tax payments of $69.2 million in March 2018. These decreases are likely reflective of the change in the estimated tax payments schedules for business entities from a 40 percent payment of estimated 2018 tax liability due in March 2018 to a 25 percent payment of estimated 2018 tax liability due in April 2018. Included in the March 2018 figure for other general revenue sources are $130,590 of tax and interest payments received from the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. Higher departmental receipts cash collections in March 2018 of $1.2 million, an 8.5 percent increase. The lottery transfer for March 2018 was $19.7 million more than in March 2017, a variance of 66.4 percent. This significant variance is due to the transfer of $20.1 million of lottery revenues in March that would normally have been transferred in April. The early transfer of lottery revenues was done at the request of the Office of the General Treasurer.

The full cash collections report can be found on the Department of Revenue's web site, www.dor.ri,gov, under the Revenue Analysis directory or at this link: http://www.dor.ri.gov/revenue-analysis/2018.php under the State Reports tab.

Questions or comments on the report should be directed to Paul Grimaldi, Chief of Information and Public Relations by e-mail at paul.grimaldi@revenue.ri.gov or by phone at (401) 574-8766.

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