Sales Tax Application Scam

alert yellow icon, banner

Michigan businesses beware:

A recent apparent scam involves an online company, Sales Tax Application Organization, that claims that taxpayers can apply for state sales tax numbers through it’s portal—for a fee and personal information.

The Sales Tax Application Organization’s web page lists 42 states under its Sales Tax Application Portal and Michigan is not on that list. However, if a user clicks on the online application, a dropdown menu appears that lists Michigan and shows a charge of $177 to process a sales tax application. For an additional, $97, you may request expedited same-day service with e-confirmation. Reports warn no service will be provided and your money will be gone. The website does not list an address, telephone number, owners or managers. 

What you need to know:

There are only three ways to register for sales tax in Michigan: 1) online at the Michigan Treasury’s web portal: MTO; 2) by submitting a form 518 by mail; or 3) The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board Inc. To learn more, read the Michigan Business Taxes Registration Booklet.

SPOT IT: 

Waving red flag You receive an email with a link or an advertisement for an online service that, for a fee, will register your business to collect sales tax in Michigan.
Waving red flag Even fake business webpages may have an https:// or display medallions or certificates. If there is no way to verify an online business, do not do business with it.

STOP IT:

Waving red flag To register in Michigan or another state to collect state sales tax, check with the State Treasury first to verify how to do this.
Waving red flag Stay informed. Sign up to receive Consumer Alerts to prevent becoming a scam victim.

To report a scam, file a complaint, or get additional information, contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General:

Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-1140
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form

The Attorney General provides Consumer Alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer Alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General.