Michigan Business Tax

Mi34. What is the meaning of the acronym FIRE which appears in the presentation entitled MBT Overview-August 1, 2007 on the MBT Website?

The acronym FIRE, at slide 12 of the presentation, stands for Financial Sector, Insurance Sector and Real Estate Sector. The presentation, which was one of the Department's earliest overviews of the newly enacted Michigan Business Tax Act (MBTA), indicated that these industries may pay more under the MBT than under the SBT.

Insurance companies will pay a gross direct premiums tax of 1.25% under the MBT, as addressed in Chapter 2A of the MBTA. Financial institutions will pay a tax on net capital at a rate of 0.235%, as explained in Chapter 2B. Real estate entities, like all taxpayers not taxed under Chapters 2A or 2B, are subject to the Business Income and Modified Gross Receipts taxes found in MCL 208.1201 and MCL 208.1203, respectively.

On December 1, 2007, the MBTA was amended to impose, in addition to the taxes described above, an annual surcharge on each taxpayer, except insurance companies. The surcharge is equal to a specified percentage of the taxpayer's MBT liability, after allocation or apportionment to Michigan, but before calculation of the various credits in the MBTA.

For a financial institution, the MBT surcharge is 27.7% for tax years ending in 2008, and 23.4% for tax years ending in 2009 and later. Financial institutions authorized to exercise only trust powers are not subject to the surcharge.

For real estate entities, like all taxpayers other than insurance companies and financial institutions, the MBT surcharge is equal to 21.99% of MBT liability.

The amount of the surcharge imposed on any taxpayer, other than financial institutions, cannot exceed $6,000,000.00 for any single tax year.