Aircraft

Michigan's Use Tax Act (Public Act 94 of 1937) and the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Revenue Equalization Act (Public Act 175 of 2004) provide for a 6% tax levied on aircraft that is used, stored, registered or transferred in this state. Please read the following carefully to determine what information you must provide to the Michigan Department of Treasury concerning your aircraft transfer.

Owners of both Qualified Aircraft and Non-Qualified Aircraft must complete Form 4281, Aircraft Transfer Questionnaire.

If any of the following exemptions apply to the transfer, you must submit the required documentation proving your entitlement to the exemption.

  • The aircraft was purchased from a registered dealer and sales tax was already paid.

    • Documentation needed:  Submit a copy of the invoice or bill of sale showing that you paid sales tax to a dealer in Michigan or another state.

  • Use tax was already paid to the State of Michigan.

    • Documentation needed:  Submit a detailed bill of sale that substantiates the condition of the aircraft at the time of purchase and the purchase price. Please note that the FAA bill of sale is not acceptable. You must also submit copies of the tax forms used, or copies of your cancelled check if no tax form was used.

  • The aircraft was purchased under a claim of tax exemption.

    • Documentation needed:  Identify the specific type of exemption you are claiming by checking the appropriate box on the questionnaire and substantiate the exemption by submitting the supporting documentation indicated for that exemption.

  • You are a lessor, and the aircraft will be leased.

    • Documentation needed:  Lessors who elect to pay use tax on the receipts from the lease of an aircraft must meet certain deadlines; see, Question 6 of the questionnaire for more information. To support the lessor election, an owner claiming to be a lessor of an aircraft must submit the specific documentation listed in Question 6, including a copy of the lessor’s Michigan Use Tax Registration and copies of all completed lease agreements for the aircraft.

 

If you are the owner of a Non-Qualified Aircraft and none of exemptions listed above apply to this transfer, in addition to completing Form 4281, you must also calculate your tax liability by completing Form 1989, Tax Calculation For Nonqualified Aircraft Transfer. Follow the instructions to complete the form. Submit Forms 1989 and 4281 with your remittance made payable to "State of Michigan." You must include a detailed bill of sale that substantiates the purchase price and the condition of the aircraft at the time of purchase. Please note that the FAA bill of sale is not acceptable.

If it is determined that you owe additional tax after the forms submitted are reviewed and processed, you will be contacted by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

 

If you are the owner of a Qualified Aircraft and none of the exemptions listed above apply to this transfer, the Michigan Department of Treasury will determine your tax based on your answers to the Form 4281 and any additional information that may be requested. If Treasury determines that you owe tax, an Intent to Assess (Bill for Taxes Due) will be sent to you.

 

Definitions

Non-Qualified Aircraft

A Non-Qualified Aircraft is one that is used, stored, registered, or transferred in Michigan and does not meet the definition of a Qualified Aircraft.

For a Non-Qualified Aircraft, 6% tax is due on the greater of the purchase price or the retail value of the aircraft* at the time of acquisition. Tax is due when the aircraft enters Michigan.

Qualified Aircraft

A Qualified Aircraft is one purchased outside of Michigan, used solely for personal (non-business) purposes, and one of the following applies:

  1. The aircraft is purchased by a person who is a non-resident of Michigan (at the time of purchase) and is brought into Michigan more than 90 days after the date of purchase.

  2. The aircraft is purchased by a person who is a resident of Michigan (at the time of purchase) and brought into Michigan more than 360 days after the date of purchase.

For a Qualified Aircraft, 6% tax is due on the retail value of the aircraft* on the first day it is used, stored, registered, or transferred in Michigan. 

*The retail value may be adjusted according to department RAB 2017-26.

 

Direct questions to Aircraft Unit, Discovery and Tax Enforcement at 517-636-4120.

Post Office Mail Address:
Discovery and Tax Enforcement Division
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 30140
Lansing, MI 48909

Express Mail Address:
Discovery and Tax Enforcement Division
Michigan Department of Treasury
7285 Parsons Drive
Dimondale, MI 48821

 

Related Documents

Form 1989, Tax Calculation For Nonqualified Aircraft Transfer PDF icon
Form 4281, Aircraft Transfer Questionnaire PDF icon

 

Helpful Resources

MCL 205.93 Use Tax (using, storing, consuming vehicle)

MCL 205.94 Exemptions (particular property or services)

MCL 205.179 (storing, registering or transferring ownership of vehicle)

MCL 205.181 (storage, registration, or transfer of aircraft)

Revenue Administrative Bulletin 1991-1 Use Tax Exemption on Transfer of a vehicle, ORV, mobile home, aircraft, snowmobile, or watercraft to or from a business PDF icon

Revenue Administrative Bulletin 2015-25 Sales And Use Taxes - Lessors PDF icon

Revenue Administrative Bulletin 2017-26 Tax Base For Transfer Of A Vehicle, ORV, Manufactured Home, Aircraft, Snowmobile, or Watercraft PDF icon