Streamlined Sales Tax FAQs

General Information
 

Q1.  What is SST?

  1. SST stands for Streamlined Sales Tax.  The purpose of the SST Agreement is to simplify and modernize sales and use tax administration in member states in order to substantially reduce the burden of tax compliance.  For further information on SST, please visit Treasury’s Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Project Web site.

 Q2.  What is an SER?

  1. SER (Simplified Electronic Return) is a simple and uniform way for sellers to report sales and use taxes to Michigan.  An SER provides the option to include payment detail for taxes reported.

Q3.  What is a CSP?

  1. A Certified Service Provider (CSP) is an agent certified under the SST Agreement to perform all the seller's sales and use tax functions, other than the seller's obligation to remit tax on its own purchases.  The SST Governing Board’s Registration Web site provides a list of all CSPs approved by the Governing Board, along with their contact information.  Please contact the CSP to ensure they are a provider for SST in Michigan.

Q4.  What is CAS?

  1. Certified Automated System (CAS) is software that is certified under the SST Agreement to calculate the tax imposed by each jurisdiction on a transaction, determine the amount of tax to remit to the appropriate state, and maintain a record of the transaction.  The SST Governing Board’s Registration Web site provides a list of all CAS software approved by the Governing Board, along with their contact information.  Please contact the CAS provider to ensure they are a provider for SST in Michigan.

Q5.  Is there a charge to submit an SER and/or payment to Michigan?

  1. No.  Submission of an SER and/or ACH Debit payment is a free service offered by Michigan to allow taxpayers to quickly and accurately file and/or pay their sales tax.  If you will be submitting an ACH Credit payment contact your financial institution regarding any associated fees.

Q6.  Who is eligible to submit an SER and/or payment to Michigan?

  1. To be eligible, you must first be registered with the SST Governing Board (SSTGB).  For information on registering, please visit the SST Governing Board’s Registration Web site.

Q7.  What should I do if my SER and/or payment are due on a holiday recognized by Michigan?

  1. SST payments are due on or before the 20th day of the following month.  If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday for Michigan, the payment is due the next business day.  Holidays observed by Michigan are listed on Form 3149.

Q8.  How do I register for SST filing?

  1. A business must first register for SST by visiting the SST Governing Board (SSTGB) registration site.  After a successful registration, an SST ID number will be assigned.

Q9.  How do I register to electronically report/pay Michigan SST using an SER? 

  1. A. To begin electronic submission and/or payment of Michigan's SST taxes, you must register with Michigan’s SST Project Web site.  Please wait 5 business days after a successful registration with the SSTGB before registering with Michigan.  Michigan will provide a User ID and password to grant access to Michigan's SST online services.  Michigan follows standardized SST procedures for submitting tax due information and payments. Upon a successful registration, Michigan will provide a User ID and password to grant access to Michigan’s SST online services.  Michigan follows standardized SST procedures for submitting tax due information and payments.

Q10.  Does Michigan allow for paper filing by SST-registered taxpayers?

  1. Yes, to request a set of pre-identified forms be sent to you, please contact the Customer Contact Sales, Use and Withholding section at (517) 636-4730.

Q11.  Is there a way to save a partially completed SER and/or payment to come back and finish later?

  1. No, you must complete and submit it upon your initial log in.  If you exit before completion, all data will be lost.

Q12.  How do I receive a paper copy of my SER and/or payment for my records?

  1. A. After you preview your SER and/or payment, you will be provided an option to print a paper copy for your records.  Once the SER and/or payment information is submitted, you will no longer have the ability to print a paper copy for your records.

Q13.  How will I know if Treasury has accepted my SER and/or payment?

  1. Immediately following your selection to submit your SER and/or payment, an online message will verify the acceptance or rejection of your submission.  The option to print a paper copy of your submission is provided.  If an ACH Debit payment was made with your submission, a status of “Accepted” does not indicate the debit transaction was accepted by your financial institution.  Verify your payment was successfully processed by reviewing your banking statement.

Q14.    Is there a way to review past SER submissions?

  1. Yes.  You may view a history of your SST SER submissions by selecting the Payment History/Acknowledgements option available on the log-in screen for Michigan’s SST Project Web site.  A status of “Accepted” for an SER submission that includes an ACH Debit does not indicate the debit transaction was accepted by your financial institution.  Verify your payment was successfully processed by reviewing your banking statement.

Q15.  Can I submit an SER and/or payment after the due date?

  1. Yes, they may be submitted at any time.  Please note, late submissions are subject to penalty and interest.

Q16.  Who do I contact if I have questions?

  1. Information about SST SER and/or payment submissions, account balances, and other SST questions is available by contacting the Customer Contact Sales, Use and Withholding section at (517) 636-4730.  Contact the Electronic Filing Programs Office at MIefile2D@michigan.gov for questions regarding obtaining a Michigan User ID and password.

Q17.  How do I request a refund?

  1. Michigan requires all refund requests to be submitted in writing.  Refund requests should contain a brief explanation of the activity creating the overpayment.  Michigan does not process refund requests made through the SER filing process.  Refund requests should be mailed to:

    Customer Contact Division
    Michigan Department of Treasury
    P.O. Box 30427
    Lansing, MI  48909-8226


Filing Your Return
 

Q18.  How do I submit an SST SER?

  1. There are three ways to submit an SST SER:
    1. By use of Michigan’s SST online services,
    2. By use of approved Proprietary Automated Software, or
    3. Elect to have an approved CSP representative file on your behalf.

You may submit an SER only, an SER with payment, or a payment only.

Q19.  If I submit an SER to Treasury, do I need to mail a paper copy of the return and/or a paper check for payment?

  1. If you selected the SER with payment option, you do not need to mail anything to Treasury.  If an ACH Debit payment was made with your submission, a status of “Accepted” does not indicate the debit transaction was “Accepted” by your financial institution.  Verify your payment was successfully processed by reviewing your banking statement.

Q20.  What payment options are available when submitting an SER with payment?

  1. When submitting an SER with payment, or payment only, payment must be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) using ACH Debit (authorizing Michigan to initiate a payment from your account) or ACH Credit (you initiate a payment to Michigan from your financial institution).

Q21.  Does Michigan extend its early or timely payment discount to the filing of SST using an SER?

  1. Yes. Any portion of sales or use tax paid on or before the 12th of the month is discounted 3/4 of 1 percent.  Taxes paid on or before the 20th are discounted 1/2 of 1 percent.  Discounts will apply on 2/3 (0.6667) of the tax collected at the 6 percent rate.

Q22.  How do I calculate penalty?

  1. Penalty is 5 percent of the total unpaid tax due for the first two months.  After two months, 5 percent of the unpaid tax amount is assessed each month.  The maximum late penalty is equal to 25 percent of the unpaid tax owed.  To assist in calculating penalty, you may use our Variable Penalty and Interest Calculator.

Q23.  How do I calculate interest?

  1. Interest is calculated using the current interest rate.  To assist in calculating interest, you may use our Variable Penalty and Interest Calculator.  


Making Your Payment
 

Q24.  How do I make a payment?

  1. If you elect to submit an SER with payment or a payment only, you may make a payment using ACH Debit (authorizing Michigan to initiate a payment from your account) or ACH Credit (you initiate a payment to Michigan from your financial institution).

Q25.  Can I submit my SER now, but make a payment at a later date?

  1. Yes.
    Note:  Payments received after the due date are subject to penalty and interest.

Q26.  Can I make more than one payment for a tax period?

  1. Yes.

Q27.  How far in advance can I make a payment?

  1. ACH Debit payments can be initiated (warehoused) up to 90 days in advance.

Q28.  What is an ACH Transaction?

  1. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, and is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States.

Q29.  What is the difference between an ACH Debit payment and an ACH Credit payment?

  1. For an ACH Debit transaction, the taxpayer will contact Michigan’s financial institution (or the State’s contractor) to initiate a withdrawal of funds from your account and electronically transfer the amount to Michigan’s account.  For an ACH Credit transaction, the taxpayer contacts their financial institution to initiate an electronic transaction to withdraw funds from their account and transfer the amount to Michigan’s account. 

Q30.  Do I need to notify my financial institution when making an ACH Debit payment?

  1. Generally no.  However some financial institutions offer a “Debit Blocking” or “Debit Filtering” service to prevent unauthorized debits (withdrawals) from an account.  If an account has a debit block or filter, any unauthorized debit transactions will not be processed.  Contact your financial institution and have the ACH transaction identified with the Company ID 9659083002 authorized to debit your account.  Failure to make these arrangements may result in your payment request being rejected by your financial institution.

Q31.  What is an International ACH Transaction (IAT)?

  1. ACH payments associated with a foreign financial institution are classified as an IAT.  If your domestic account is funded or otherwise associated with a foreign account, Treasury cannot accept an ACH Debit transaction and you must pay via an alternate method.  As an alternative to ACH Debit, Treasury is able to accept IAT ACH Credit transactions.  Contact your financial institution if you have questions about your account.


Making Changes to Your Return and/or Payment
 

Q32.  If I make a mistake on the SER, can I correct it?

  1. Upon completion of your SER, you will have the opportunity to review the information before submitting, and can make changes at that time.  Once submitted, changes cannot be made to the SER.  An amended return must be submitted.

Q33.  Can I submit an amended SER and/or payment?

  1. You may submit an amended SER.  You cannot submit an amended payment.  Additional payments can be made at any time to correct a previous underpayment.  You may correct an overpayment by requesting a refund.  Michigan requires all refund requests to be submitted in writing.  Refund requests should contain a brief explanation of the activity creating the overpayment.  Michigan does not process refund requests made through the SER filing process.  Refund requests should be mailed to:

    Customer Contact Division
    Michigan Department of Treasury
    P.O. Box 30427
    Lansing, MI  48909-8226

Q34.  If I authorized an ACH Debit payment and made a mistake can I correct it?

  1. Upon completion of the payment section, you will have the opportunity to review the information before submitting, and can make changes at that time.  Once submitted, changes cannot be made to the payment.  To correct an underpayment, an additional payment can be made through the SST process.  

You may correct an overpayment by requesting a refund.  Michigan requires all refund requests to be submitted in writing.  Refund requests should contain a brief explanation of the activity creating the overpayment.  Michigan does not process refund requests made through the SER filing process.  Refund requests should be mailed to:
                       
Customer Contact Division                        
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 30427
Lansing, MI  48909-8226