Adjustment or Denial of an Individual Income Tax Refund

There are three options for appealing an Individual Income Tax Notice of Refund Adjustment or Refund Denial:

  • You may request an Informal Conference with the Department's Hearings Division by sending a letter to PO Box 30058, Lansing, MI 48909 within 60 days;

The three available appeal forums (Hearings Division, Michigan Tax Tribunal and Michigan Court of Claims) vary greatly in cost and formality. Please review the below chart, which highlights some major differences between the forums, for assistance in making your decision of where to appeal.
 

Forum

How long do I have to appeal?

How do I initiate an appeal?

How much does it cost to appeal?

Can you represent yourself?

How formal is the proceeding?

Michigan Department of Treasury’s Hearings Division

Appeal must be received within 60 days of the refund denial

You must send a letter to PO Box 30058, Lansing, MI 48909 requesting an informal conference.

Free

Yes, or you may designate anyone to be your representative by filing a Form 151.

Informal

Michigan Tax Tribunal

(part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs)

 

Petition for appeal must be received within 60 days of the refund denial

For amounts at issue of less than $20,000, you must file the proper petition form to initiate a Small Claims appeal.

$100 filing fee for Small Claims (amounts in controversy less than $20,000)

Yes, or you may designate anyone to be your representative.

More formal than an informal conference - a formal record is made, motion practice occurs and witnesses are sworn.

For amounts at issue over $20,000, you are required to submit a petition for appeal as provided by TTR 227. There are no fillable Entire Tribunal petition forms available.

$250 for Entire Tribunal (amounts in controversy over $20,000)

Michigan Court of Claims

(a subdivision of the Court of Appeals)

Appeal must be received within 90 days of the refund denial

You must file a Summons and Complaint with a District Office of the Court.

$150 filing fee for a new lawsuit plus additional fees including $20 per motion among other fees.

Yes, you may appear pro per (unrepresented), but any designated representative must be an attorney.

Most formal application of court rules and rules of evidence (more formal than the Tax Tribunal).

 

While you have up to 90 days to appeal a refund adjustment or denial from the Michigan Court of Claims, it may be in your best interest to act within 60 days of receipt of the notice and appeal to the Department’s Hearings Division, an administrative remedy. Following an informal conference, the Department will issue a Decision and Order of Determination by certified mail. The Informal Conference Decision and Order of Determination will provide you with new appeal rights to the Michigan Tax Tribunal within 60 days or the Michigan Court of Claims within 90 days if the Department determines you are not entitled to the entire refund that you have requested.

 

If you have questions about your refund adjustment or denial, call a Customer Service Representative at (517) 636-4486. Please understand that our busiest time of the year is January through March and that there can be long wait times to speak with a Representative. Please note that speaking with a Customer Service Representative or other person at the Department of Treasury does not extend the statutory appeal deadlines.

For more information you may also visit:

Income Tax Adjustment or Denial FAQs

Individual Income Tax