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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tax Amnesty?
    The Michigan Tax Amnesty program provides a 45-day window for taxpayers to settle tax liabilities with the State, for return periods ending on or before December 31, 2009 and avoid penalty payments. Qualifying taxpayers also avoid civil and criminal penalties and prosecution by the Michigan Department of Treasury.
       
When will Tax Amnesty be available?
    The Tax Amnesty period begins May 15, 2011 and ends June 30, 2011.
       
Who is eligible for Tax Amnesty?
   

Tax Amnesty is available for individual or business taxpayers who have tax liabilities for eligible taxes for return periods ending on or before December 31, 2009. This includes:

  • Underreported tax liabilities
  • Non-reported tax liabilities
  • Overstated deductions, credits, or exemptions
  • Failure to file Michigan tax returns
  • Delinquent payment of past due taxes
  • Taxpayers who have received a final tax due notice
       
If I have multiple tax assessments, do I need to pay all of them in full in order to qualify for Tax Amnesty?
   

No, each tax assessment is treated separately for the purposes of the Tax Amnesty Program, even if assessed to the same individual or business.Therefore, a taxpayer may take part in Tax Amnesty and receive a penalty waiver for one particular assessment while not paying other tax debts before the amnesty deadline of June 30th.

Example: John Doe has an income tax assessment for the tax years 2007 and 2008
but cannot afford to pay them both in full by June 30, 2011.  He sends in his amnesty application and full payment, with interest, for the 2007 tax year only.  Mr. Doe*s application is approved and his penalty is waived for the 2007 tax debt only.  Penalty will still be applied to the 2008 debt and interest will continue to accrue, for that year only.

       
Who is not eligible for Tax Amnesty?
   

Individuals and business taxpayers are not eligible for Tax Amnesty if they are:

  • The subject of a current tax-related Court of Claims case or criminal investigation
  • Eligible to enter into a Voluntary Disclosure agreement with the State
       
What incentives are available under Tax Amnesty?
    Qualifying taxes and interest, which are paid under the Tax Amnesty program, will have penalty waived, and the Department will not pursue criminal prosecution relating to taxes paid under Tax Amnesty.
       
What are the consequences if I do not participate in the Tax Amnesty?
    A taxpayer who is eligible for Tax Amnesty and who does NOT apply for Tax Amnesty during the Tax Amnesty period is liable for any tax, accumulated interest, and penalty due. Civil penalties will not be waived and criminal prosecution may be sought.
       
What types of tax obligations do not qualify for Tax Amnesty?
    Any taxes for return periods ending after December 31, 2009 do not qualify for Tax Amnesty. Also, local (e.g., city, county) taxes, including real and personal property taxes, do not qualify for Tax Amnesty.
       
How much am I required to pay when I apply for Tax Amnesty?
    Your total tax due and interest must be paid and postmarked no later than the end of the Tax Amnesty period of June 30, 2011.
       
What forms of payment will be accepted?
   

The following payment options are being accepted:

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Payments made in person at a Treasury Field Office

No credit card or debit card payments will be accepted. DO NOT send cash through the mail.

       
Where do I send my Tax Amnesty Application and payment?
   

The completed Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855), applicable returns, and full payment should be mailed to:

Michigan Department of Treasury
Tax Amnesty
P.O. Box 30710
Lansing, MI 48909

The information must be postmarked no later than June 30, 2011. The check or money order should be payable to the "State of Michigan" for the total tax and interest due. Write your account number or Social Security Number and the word "Amnesty" on your check/money order.

       
What if I only owe penalty?
    Penalty only assessments are eligible for a penalty waiver under Tax Amnesty. The taxpayer must submit a Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855) postmarked no later than June 30, 2011.
       
What happens if I apply for Tax Amnesty, but do not qualify?
    The Department of Treasury will notify you in writing if your request for Tax Amnesty has been denied.
       
Can Amnesty be denied?
   

Tax Amnesty may be denied for any of the following:

  • Not filing the required returns
  • Not remitting the required payment of tax and interest
  • Not submitting returns and payments for periods covered by Tax Amnesty
  • Not filing the Tax Amnesty Application by the deadline of June 30, 2011
  • Not fully completing a Tax Amnesty Application (e.g., Social Security Number not included on application)

Failure to pay all of the tax and interest due will result in Tax Amnesty being denied. If Tax Amnesty is denied, civil penalties will not be waived and criminal prosecution may be sought.

If you are eligible to enter into a Voluntary Disclosure agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury, you are not eligible for Tax Amnesty. If you have questions regarding Voluntary Disclosure, visit www.mitaxamnesty.org or call 1-855-466-4829.

Furthermore, Tax Amnesty is not available if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The tax is attributable to income derived from a criminal act
  • The taxpayer is under criminal investigation or involved in a civil action or criminal prosecution for that tax
  • The taxpayer has been convicted of a felony under the Revenue Act or the Internal Revenue Code
       
If Tax Amnesty is denied, will the payment I send with the application be refunded?
    Payments received will be applied to any tax liabilities or other outstanding debt you may have. If any balance remains, it will be refunded.
       
Are payment arrangements available under Tax Amnesty?
    No. Full payment of taxes and interest must be made and postmarked no later than the end of the Tax Amnesty period of June 30, 2011.
       
What will happen if I pay too much?
    If you paid more than the tax and interest due, any over-payment will be applied to other outstanding debt you may have. If any balance remains, it will be refunded.
       
Where can I obtain more information about Tax Amnesty?
    You may obtain additional Tax Amnesty information by visiting www.mitaxamnesty.org or by calling the Michigan Department of Treasury's toll-free Amnesty hotline at 1-855-466-4829.
       
Will returns filed under Tax Amnesty be audited?
    Returns filed under Tax Amnesty are subject to audit as any other tax return may be.
       
Are excessive refund claims eligible for Tax Amnesty?
    If a taxpayer made or received an excessive claim for refund for any qualifying taxes for return periods ending on or before December 31, 2009, the taxpayer can repay the excessive refund, plus interest, without penalty being charged. All unpaid penalties will be waived and the Department will not pursue criminal prosecution relating to taxes paid under Tax Amnesty.
       
What if an eligible period is currently under audit?
   

Taxpayers under audit who want to file for Tax Amnesty must remit the full amount of the tax due, interest, and submit a completed Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855) to the auditor during the May 15, 2011 through June 30, 2011 Tax Amnesty period. The audit will include any applicable penalty which will be waived at the time the audit is processed.

For audits that will not be completed by the end of the Amnesty period, the taxpayer may prepare an amended return, a Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855), and remit full payment of the tax and interest due to the auditor during the Tax Amnesty period. Applicable penalty would only be applied to any additional tax determined due upon completion of the audit.

       
Can I apply for Tax Amnesty if I have requested an informal conference?
   

Tax Amnesty is available for those who are in the informal conference process. You must submit a Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855) and full payment of the tax and interest due postmarked no later than June 30, 2011; the informal conference process will proceed as otherwise scheduled.

Tax Amnesty is not available to taxpayers under tax-related criminal investigation, criminal prosecution, or who have been convicted of a felony under the Revenue Act or the Internal Revenue Code.

       
Am I eligible for Tax Amnesty if I am currently litigating a case in the Michigan Tax Tribunal, Court of Claims, or the Appellate courts, or am in informal conference before the Department of Treasury?
    A taxpayer litigating a case before the Michigan Tax Tribunal or the Appellate courts or in informal conference before the Department of Treasury is eligible for Tax Amnesty provided the taxpayer files the Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855) and pays in full the tax and interest due, postmarked no later than June 30, 2011. The taxpayer may continue litigating their case before the Michigan Tax Tribunal or their appeal before the Appellate courts or pursue informal conference before the Department if the Tax Amnesty is granted. A taxpayer that has already paid the tax, interest, and penalty they are contesting in order to litigate in the Court of Claims is not eligible for Tax Amnesty.
       
I was an officer of a corporation that went out of business without paying all taxes due. I was assessed the amount of the corporation's unpaid taxes as well as penalty and interest charges. Am I eligible for penalty waiver under Amnesty?
    Yes. An officer of a corporation, who is personally liable for the corporation's tax liability, is eligible for a penalty waiver under Tax Amnesty. An Officer must complete the "For Individuals Only" section of the Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855).
       
Can I use a pending income tax refund to pay a Tax Amnesty liability?
    Tax refund offsets that occur during the Tax Amnesty period May 15, 2011 through June 30, 2011 may apply toward Tax Amnesty; provided, the taxpayer files the Tax Amnesty Application (Form #3855), required tax returns, and makes full payment of tax and applicable interest, postmarked no later than June 30, 2011.
       
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