Q: What is ITOP, and why did I receive this Green Letter?
A: ITOP stands for Income Tax Refund Offset Program, under R.I.G.L. § 42-142-7 this program allows for the Division of Taxation to intercept state income tax refunds and apply them to outstanding liabilities owed to governmental entities. This program doesn't affect your Federal Income Tax Refund. You are noted as having an outstanding Motor Vehicle Tax balance(s) due within the tax years of 2005 to 2013, which means that there is a balance(s) due for one, multiple, or all of these years.
Q: What if I have a Payment Arrangement with City's Collection Attorney for my delinquent Motor Vehicle Taxes, will this stop with ITOP?
A: You should continue to make your normally schedule payments to the City Collection Attorney. Your Income Tax Refund Offset received by the City will be reported to our Collection Attorney. In some cases, your outstanding tax debt may not be adequately covered by the offset. Failure to keep your payment schedule could cause a default with our Collection Attorney.
Q: What if I paid my outstanding taxes and my refund was offset by the State of Rhode Island?
A: The ITOP program is utilized by multiple agencies besides the City of Pawtucket. The State of Rhode Island will send you a letter indicating why your Refund was Offset, and the respective agency that was in receipt of that Offset. The receiving agencies contact information will be included in that letter from the State. If your reported delinquent Motor Vehicle taxes were recently paid by you, and there was an offset that results in a credit balance with the City of Pawtucket. The City of Pawtucket will refund the credit balance due to you.
Q: Who do I make the check out to?
A: City of Pawtucket
Q: How is a penalty assessed?
A: Per City Charter, 363-52, Interest shall be charged at a rate of 13% annum on the outstanding balance due on delinquent real estate, tangible, and excise taxes. Interest shall begin to accrue following the due date (July 15). Interest accruing on delinquent real estate, tangible, and excise taxes shall commence following the original due date of the bill (July15). Thereafter, any delinquencies through, and no later than, the end of the month following the due date of an annual or quarterly payment shall be calculated from the due date of that specific quarter up to and including the date of payment. However, any delinquencies on or beyond the first of the month following the due date of a quarterly payment shall be calculated from the original date of the bill (July15) up to and including the date of payment.
Q: If I am paying more than one tax bill, do I need a separate check for each account?
A: No. You may pay all your accounts with one check. Please reference each tax account number on the memo line of the check in case coupons get misplaced.
Q: Why am I being billed for a vehicle that I no longer own?
A: The Motor Vehicle taxes are assessed for vehicles registered during the prior year. For example, your 2010 Excise Tax Bill is for the vehicles you had registered 2009.This information is sent to us from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you do not turn your plates in on any vehicle sold, junked, or traded, you will be assessed taxes on that vehicle until the registration expires. If a vehicle is stolen, you must also report this to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Call the Tax Assessor for any questions or concerns about your registrations: 728-0500 ext.218.
Q: Why can't I pay on my current year taxes now, and pay the prior years at a later date?
A: Per the City of Pawtucket's City Charter, all prior year taxes must be paid before payments can be accepted on current year taxes.
Q: Why do I have four envelopes in my tax bill?
A: The city uses a lockbox system of processing tax payments, and it is necessary to standardize the envelope size to lower processing costs by including them with your bill.
Q: What is lockbox processing?
A: This processing system is a service that is done directly with the city’s banking institute to accept payment directly through a post office box located in Providence, RI. This service allows a direct method of depositing your payments into our bank.
Q: This year, I received a tax bill. In the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, in the area entitled “total due this quarter”, there is no figure. Why is that?
A: Any tax with an annual amount of $ 99.99 or less is paid once, in full in July. If the quarterly amounts have zeros on the stubs, then there are no further payments due. The first quarterly amount would also be the entire balance of the bill. If there were other payments needed, the quarterly amounts of each stub would have a figure.
Q: I am having financial difficulties. Is there an alternative to quarterly installments?
A: Yes. The Tax Collection Office does provide a 10 month installment payment plan, FOR REAL ESTATE ONLY, whereby the taxpayer can pay their taxes monthly during our fiscal year. The 10 month installment plan is for current year taxes only, and all priors must be paid in full to be eligible for this plan. Please click here for an application.
Q: My bank pays my real estate taxes; what happens to my bill?
A: If your bank is holding an escrow account on your mortgage to pay your real estate taxes, they are requesting your bill directly from us and it has been forwarded to them. If you receive your bill directly, please forward it on to your mortgage company, listing your loan number on the bill.
Q: I have a block at the Registry on my registration. What do I have to do?
A: All delinquent and current motor vehicle taxes must be paid IN FULL by cash, money order, or certified bank check only. Once this is done, we can provide you with a clearance to bring to the Registry, or we can e-mail a release to remove the block for renewal purposes only. PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to pay by personal check, we will NOT be able to give you a release until 14 business days or if you can provide proof from the bank that the check has cleared.
Q: I have a business in the City and I have been told I cannot renew my business license. Why?
A: All delinquent tangible and inventory taxes must be current before we can release a block on your business license.
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