Michigan State Income Tax Overview

Michigan has a state income tax that must be completed and filed with the Michigan Department of Treasury.  This state income tax is separate from the federal income tax return that must be sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This blog entry provides a brief overview of Michigan state income tax.

Who Needs to File

In general, you need to file a Michigan state income tax return if you owe tax, are due a refund, or your adjusted gross income exceeds your exemption amount.  The income you must consider in determining whether you need to file Michigan state income tax is based on where you lived during the tax year.

Resident of Michigan for Full Year

If you were a resident of Michigan for the entire tax year, then all your income is considered in determining your state income tax owed.

Resident of Michigan for Part of Year

If you were a resident of Michigan for only part of the tax year, then all your income while you are a resident of Michigan and your Michigan income when you live outside of Michigan are considered in determining your state income tax owed.

Resident of Michigan for None of Year

If you were not a resident of Michigan for any part of the tax year, then all of your income from Michigan sources is considered in determining your state income tax owed.

Exemptions available to an individual vary by tax year.  An exemption is an amount of income that you must exceed before you are taxed on that income.  For the 2011 tax year, the personal exemption allowance was $3,700.  In addition, individuals are allowed special exemptions of up to $2,400.  If you are able to take the full amount of both exemptions, then the first $6,100 of your income is not taxed.

Tax Credits

In addition, once you calculate the amount of tax you owe, Michigan offers various tax credits that can reduce that tax amount.  These tax credits include  (but may not be limited to) credits related to property tax, farmland preservation, stillbirth, earned income, energy efficient qualified home improvement, and historic preservation.

Filing Date

The filing date for state income tax in Michigan is generally the same as that for the filing of the federal income tax return, on or around April 15 each year.  This date may change if April 15 falls on a weekend or holiday.  For example, for the filing and payment of state income taxes for the 2011 tax year, April 15 fell on a Sunday and April 16 was a holiday, so state income tax does not have to be filed and paid until April 17.

Tax Rate

Michigan imposes a state income tax at a flat rate.  This rate may be adjusted each year.  For the 2011 tax year, the tax rate was 4.35 percent.

Tax Attorney Help

The information above is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice nor the basis for determining whether you need to file state income tax in Michigan or calculating the amount of tax owed.  If you have questions about calculating or filing state income tax for Michigan, you should speak with a tax attorney who is familiar with Michigan tax law.

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.