Filing Requirements 14. Will a safe harbor be allowed for 2012 estimates based on the 2011 MBT return?

No. For the 2012 tax year, estimated CIT payments must be computed on the actual Corporate Income Tax Base of the period. No interest will be charged if payments are made on time, the sum of the estimated payments equals at least 85% of annual liability, and the amount of each payment reasonably approximates the tax liability incurred during the period. Estimates cannot be based on the prior year's MBT liability.

For the 2013 and subsequent tax years, if prior year's tax is $20,000 or less, estimated tax may be based on the prior year's amount in four equal payments, the sum of which equals the previous year's tax liability.

However, a taxpayer with a certificated credit who elects to continue to be taxed under the Michigan Business Tax Act (MBTA) can base its estimates on its 2011 MBT tax liability to determine if it falls under the safe harbor of four equal estimated payments that total the prior year's liability of $20,000 or less. See MCL 208.1501(4)(b) of the MBTA.