Credits 21. When must a brownfield or historic preservation credit assignment be in place in order for the assignee to make the election to remain under the MBT?

Beginning January 1, 2012, an MBT taxpayer is either of the following:

(a) A person or [UBG] that has been approved to receive, has received, or has been assigned a certificated credit but is not subject to the tax imposed under part 2 of the income tax act … and that elects under section 500 to file a return and pay the tax imposed under this act, if any.

(b) A person or [UBG] that has been approved to receive, has received, or has been assigned a certificated credit and that elected under section 680 of the income tax act of 1967, … to file a return and pay the tax imposed under this act, if any. [MCL 208.1117(5)]

Thus, an assignee may be a taxpayer under the MBT so long as assignment is completed in accordance with the appropriate credit section of the MBT for the brownfield (section 437) or historic preservation (section 435) credits, and the taxpayer elects to file and pay the MBT.

For a brownfield credit, other than a multi-phase credit, assignment must be made in the same tax year in which a certificate of completion is issued. For a multiphase credit, the credit may be assigned by component, once a component completion certificate is issued. For the historic preservation credit, assignment is made in the year in which the certificate of completed rehabilitation is issued. If a proper assignment is in place, the assignee may elect to remain under the MBT in accordance with the requirements of the certificated credit assigned, and the process of doing so varies by credit.

The statute provides for both non-accelerated (traditional) and accelerated brownfield and historic preservation certificated credits. An assignee with a non-accelerated brownfield or historic preservation certificated credit may make the election in the year in which a credit is available and is permitted to remain taxable under the MBT until the qualifying credit and any carryforward of that credit are extinguished. An assignee with a multiphase brownfield credit under MCL 208.1437(10) that makes the election is required to continue to file and pay the MBT until the certificated credit is complete and the credit is used up.

For an accelerated brownfield or historic preservation certificated credit, the certificate of completion, assignment certificate, or component completion certificate (for a brownfield credit), or the certificate of completed rehabilitation, assignment certificate, or reassignment certificate (for an historic preservation credit) must be issued for a tax year beginning after December 31, 2011. An accelerated credit may be claimed at any point in the tax year, or with the assignee's annual return.