Fi6. Tax Return Filing: a) Is a taxpayer required to file an MBT tax return in order to obtain a film credit or refund?; b) If so, may the return be filed early (before the end of the return year)?
a) Yes, a taxpayer is required to file an MBT return in order to obtain a film credit or refund.
b) No, the MBT return may not be filed early before the end of the return year. A taxpayer may only claim the credit, and any refund may be obtained, only upon the filing of the annual return at the end of the return year.
In order to qualify for and to claim the film production credit and to determine whether a refund amount is due, the eligible production company must determine its tax liability for the tax year, and must claim the credit only after all other credits under the MBT are claimed. The determination of the company's tax liability for the tax year and the exercise of other MBT credits can only be accomplished through the filing of an MBT tax return with the Department. Therefore, an eligible production company seeking to claim a film production credit or to obtain a refund from the credit must file a return with the Department.
Further, a taxpayer may not file an early MBT return in order to claim the credit or obtain a refund. As discussed above, the tax liability for the tax year must be determined and all other credits available to the taxpayer must be taken before any of the film credits can be taken. MCL 208.1455(7), MCL 208.1457(7) and (8), and MCL 208.1459(7) and (8). This effectively can be accomplished only in a final annual return. An early return would not enable the qualifying taxpayer to determine its tax liability for the tax year nor permit the application of all other credits. Early filing of a return is also not feasible for unitary business groups due to additional complexity calculating tax bases and obligations for these unitary groups on the required combined return. Accordingly, a taxpayer seeking to claim a credit or obtain a refund may not file an early return.