Just in case you woke up this morning so disgusted to find snow on your car, or filled with euphoria over the Masters tournament and you failed to check the calendar, today is Tax Day. The tax deadline is midnight tonight, and with taxpayers required to either e-file or mail their state income tax returns by that midnight deadline, the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury) has some tips to help last-minute filers submit an accurate return.
To ensure an accurate income tax return is filed with the state of Michigan:
- File electronically. Taxpayers can go to mifastfile.org to learn more about e-filing options.
- Mail a paper return to the right address. To avoid processing delays, paper filers should carefully follow tax form instructions when sending a paper return to a specific address.
- Fill in all requested information clearly. When entering information on the tax return, take the time to ensure information is accurate and easy to read.
- Review all figures. While software catches and prevents many errors on e-filed returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.
- Get the right routing and account numbers. Requesting direct deposit of a state tax refund is convenient and enables the taxpayer to access their money faster. Make sure the financial institution’s routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate.
- Sign and date the return. If paper filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. Most e-file software platforms allow electronic signatures.
- Submit all the required forms. Paper filers should carefully follow the instructions and attach all forms as indicated. If possible, use a paperclip, binder clip or rubber band to hold all documents together.
- Keep a copy of the return. Taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all supporting schedules for their personal records. Records should be kept for six years.
- Request a filing extension. Taxpayers who owe payment and need more time to file their state individual income tax return can file for a six-month extension by completing an Application for Extension of Time to File Michigan Tax Returns (Form 4) and have it postmarked by April 15. This allows an extension of time to file, but not to pay. Taxpayers must still pay tax liabilities by the April 15 deadline to avoid penalties and interest. Taxpayers granted a federal income tax return extension are automatically granted a state extension and must submit the state return on the new federal due date. Individuals who owe zero Michigan tax or are due a state tax refund are not required to file an extension.
- Owe tax? If so, payments can be made using Michigan’s e-Payments service. When mailing checks, carefully follow tax form instructions. Treasury will work with taxpayers who cannot pay the full amount of tax they owe.
Some Michigan taxpayers who file a state income tax return may receive a letter from the state Treasury Department asking for more information to confirm their identity. The letters are part of an effort to protect individuals from cybercriminals, who attempt to file state tax returns and steal refunds.
Taxpayers should closely follow the instructions outlined in the letter to receive their refunds.
To learn more about Michigan’s Individual Income Tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax or call Treasury’s Income Tax Information Line at 517-636-4486.