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Michigan Business Tax

C41. How is the Small Business Alternative Credit under MCL 208.1417 calculated by a taxpayer that is a unitary business group? How do the disqualifiers and percentage reducers work?

The Small Business Alternative Credit "is available to any taxpayer with gross receipts that do not exceed $20,000,000.00 and with adjusted business income minus the loss adjustment that does not exceed $1,300,000.00 as adjusted annually for inflation using the Detroit consumer price index" and subject to certain additional disqualifiers. MCL 208.1417(1) (emphasis added). Specifically, if gross receipts exceed $19,000,000, the credit is reduced

"Taxpayer" is defined as "a person or a unitary business group." MCL 208.1117(5). The gross receipts and adjusted business income thresholds under MCL 207.1417(1) apply to taxpayers. Thus, for a taxpayer that is a unitary business group, the gross receipts and adjusted business income thresholds are those of the unitary business group.

The disqualifiers under MCL 208.1417(1)(a) and (b) apply to a taxpayer that is a unitary business group if such disqualifiers apply to any member of that unitary business group. For example, a taxpayer that is a unitary business group is disqualified from taking the Credit under MCL 208.1417 if that unitary business group includes a member that is a partnership and any one partner of that partnership receives more than $180,000.00 as a distributive share of the adjusted business income minus loss adjustment of the partnership.

Similarly, the reduction percentages under MCL 208.1417(1)(c) apply to a taxpayer that is a unitary business group if such reduction percentages apply to any member of that unitary business group. For example, the Small Business Alternative Credit of a taxpayer is reduced by 20% if the taxpayer is a unitary business group that includes a member that is a corporation and the compensation and directors' fees of an officer of that member corporation exceed $160,000.00 but are less than $165,000.00.

Finally, the amounts described in MCL 208.1417(1)(a) and (b) received by an individual, partner, member, shareholder, or officer of a member of a unitary business group are not combined with similar amounts received from other members of the unitary business group for purposes of the disqualifiers and reduction percentages.