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February e-News

Help Fight Hunger in Rhode Island

Join the 13th Annual Washington Trust Peanut Butter Drive!

Did you know that one jar of peanut butter can make 16 sandwiches for a hungry family? Since we began our Peanut Butter Drive in 2001, Washington Trust has collected more than 100 tons of peanut butter to help feed hungry Rhode Islanders! That is enough peanut butter to make more than 3 Million Peanut Butter Sandwiches!

During the month of March, Washington Trust will collect peanut butter for local Rhode Island food banks and we need your help! By joining Washington Trust's peanut butter drive, you can make a difference!

For more information about the Peanut Butter Drive, please visit www.peanutbutterbank.com or contact the Marketing Department to sign up today!

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Tax Update

By: Norman L. Langlois, MST, EA; Vice President & Fiduciary Tax Officer

Luckily for most of us, Congress finally passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2013. This tax act increased tax rates for upper income earners (i.e. $400,000 for single and $450,000 married taxpayers) to a maximum of 39.6% for regular income and 20% for long term capital gains & qualified dividends. It also extended several tax breaks for most taxpayers. Many of these extensions will affect your 2012 tax returns.

Of significant importance, the Act provides permanent Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) relief by increasing the AMT exemption amounts and indexing them for inflation. Without this fix, the AMT, which was designed to affect very wealthy individuals, would have affected as many as 29 million more taxpayers starting with 2012 returns. The American Taxpayer Relief Act extends several deductions that were set to expire after 2011. The $250 Teacher’s Classroom Expense Deduction was extended through 2013, as was the Mortgage Insurance Premiums Deduction that treats these premiums as mortgage interest. Similarly, the election to deduct either state income taxes or sales taxes applies through the end of 2013.

The Act also extends, until December 2013, the provision allowing taxpayers, age 70 ½ and older, to directly distribute up to $100,000 from their IRA’s to public charities. This direct distribution, that was set to expire after 2011, can be used to meet the Required Minimum Distribution rules. Similarly, the Act extends the special rules for charitable contribution of capital gain real property for conservation purposes to the end of this year.

Taxpayers who pay education expenses for themselves or their dependents will be able to take advantage of several tax benefits that were set to expire after 2012. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is extended through 2017. The Act also extends until December 31, 2013 the deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses that was set to expire after 2011. Taxpayers saving for education costs will benefit from the permanent extension of the $2,000 maximum contribution to Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. For those repaying student loans, the 60 month limitation for deducting student loan interest was permanently suspended.

Another credit that has been extended is the Non-Business Energy Property Credit. The lifetime credit limit of $500 will be available until December 31, 2013. Additionally, the 2012 Act also makes permanent the $1,000 Child Tax Credit that was slated for reduction to $500 in 2013.

With regard to estate taxes, the federal estate tax exemption has been increased to $5,250,000 for 2013 and will continue to be indexed for inflation. Additionally, the portability of the estate tax exemption between spouses and the deduction for state estate taxes have been made permanent. Estate tax exemption portability allows a decedent to pass his unused exemption to his or her spouse. However, the federal estate tax rate has increased to 40% beginning in 2013. At the state level, Connecticut’s and Massachusetts’ exempt amount remain the same at $2,000,000 and $1,000,000 respectively. Rhode Island, on the other hand, has increased its estate tax exemption to $910,725. Individuals wishing to transfer wealth prior to death, will benefit from the increase to the federal gift tax annual exclusion which rises to $14,000 for 2013.

Lastly, some taxpayers will see some taxes increase or return to where they were before the “Great Recession”. Taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in excess of $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples may be subject to the new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income. This tax is assessed on the lesser of your net investment income or the amount by which your AGI exceeds the dollar limits previously mentioned. All wage earners and self-employed individuals will see their Social Security contributions increase by 2%. The “payroll tax holiday” temporary tax cut for 2011 and 2012 was not extended.

The above information is a brief description of some of the tax law changes resulting from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Before taking any action, you should consult a professional tax advisor for additional details. To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this document is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter that is contained in this document.

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Washington Trust Honors Employees for Years of Service

Washington Trust would not be the company we are today without the talent and dedication of our employees. It has been that way since our founding, more than 200 years ago, as our people have made the Washington Trust name synonymous with outstanding service, trusted advice, integrity, dependability, strength, and stability. Washington Trust salutes the following employees for their commitment to our company:

40 Years of Dedicated Service
Rose Macaione

35 Years of Meritorious Service
Rogean Makowski

30 Years of Meritorious Service
Dale Allen
Susan Chiaradio
Ann Cook
Patricia Hartford
Diane Lynch

25 Years of Meritorious Service
Diana Ansay
Michelle Clarke
Jeffrey Frenette
Michelle Parker
Mary Perrin
Christopher Sheehan

20 Years of Meritorious Service
Tawny Beckmann
Carolyn Cullinane
Russell Hahn
Dawn Marriott
Mary Noons
Janice Soares
Carol Whitman

15 Years of Devoted Service
Albert Adamo
Amy Arruda
Stephen Bessette
Dickson Boenning
Martha Caddick
Patricia Cole
Kristine deMello
Annette Diaz
Deborah Grandolfi
Winnie Greaves
Maria Janes
Esta Kieon
Timothy Konikowski
Sandra Liese
Dianne Morrone
Helena Pacheco
Cynthia Valenti-Smith
Christine Ward

10 Years of Loyal Service
Joanna Adams
Frank Antoch
Kristen Cornwall
Carolyn Creighton
Patricia Dillon
Melissa Foley
Lisa Gosselin
Paula Hamilton
Richard Hawkins
Janell Hayes
Karyn Hooper
Brenda Hopcus
Jennifer Lopez
Utopia Manning
Esther Mansuetti
Mary McGoldrick
Alison Medeiros
Betty Ricci
Robert Richards
Jolene Simshauser
Ralph Sparks
Deneane Spaziano
Leigh Tappero
Cathie Vallee

5 Years of Dedicated Service
Wendy Bennett
Jacqueline Bright
John Harvey
Brian Hennessy
Tammy Joslin
Jennifer Kabbas
Rebecca Magner
Courtney Marr
Michaela McCoy
Gordon McElhaney
Sheena McGurn
Eugena Murray
Kathleen Pastore
Peter Phillips
Mary Anne Ruisi
Kristen Spence
Laura Stiles
Michele Tiberiis
Robert Tyler
Jennifer Urgo
Lindsay Young

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Important Information about FDIC Insurance Coverage

System Maintenance

April 20, 2014
12:30 a.m. until 4:30 a.m.

Due to system maintenance, Online Banking and Mobile Banking will be unavailable on Sunday, April 20 from 12:30 a.m. until 4:30 a.m.