When to file and what’s new for Michigan state taxes

  • Taxes can be filed anytime between now and April 15 
  • A new law expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit could put $550 in the pockets of roughly 700,000 Michigan households 
  • Some residents may qualify to file their taxes for free online

Tax filing season has begun, and Michiganders are gearing up for a year of changes. from revised state income tax rates to expanded benefits for retirees and revamped Earned Income Tax Credits. State residents can even join the organ donor registry when filing taxes this year. 

Here’s a guide to navigating the 2024 tax season:

When do I have to file my taxes? 

Employers had until Jan. 31 to distribute W-2s to employees who are waiting for the information to file their tax returns. Taxpayers can file their taxes electronically or by mail anytime from now until April 15 at midnight. 

Michigan’s income tax is lower — but just for 2023.

The state’s income tax has decreased from 4.25 percent to 4.05 percent for 2023. The income tax automatically decreased once tax revenues reached a certain amount. The tax cut will only be applied to the 2023 tax year and will go back to 4.25 percent for the current tax year. 

When will I get my 2022 Earned Income Tax Credit refund check?

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced in December that the state will send refund checks this month to lower-income residents who qualified in 2022 for The Earned Income Tax Credit.

Related:

A law was recently passed that expands Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit from 6 percent to 30 percent of the federal income tax credit. The February checks are a retroactive payment for 2022 and those who qualify — roughly 700,000 households — do not need to take additional steps to receive the money. 

However, people can ensure the state has their correct mailing address by manually updating that information online, by phone or mail. Checks are set to be mailed on a rolling basis as they are printed, beginning Feb. 13. 

Who qualifies for the “Retirement Tax” Credit? 

Democrats reversed a 2011 “retirement tax” law that will be phased out over the next four years. Older Michigan residents’ pensions will no longer be taxed, which the administration said could save roughly 500,000 Michiganders an average of $1,000.

How do I file my taxes?

The Michigan Department of Treasury suggests that people who file their taxes online may receive their refund faster. The IRS provides forms for qualified tax preparers to file income taxes online at no cost. 

Residents can also file by mail, which can take longer to process. 

“Try to make sure you do direct deposit on your refunds because it makes it easier and there’s less chance of lost checks,” said Patty Beauchamp, vice president for the Michigan Tax and Accounting Professionals.

If the free online process isn’t an option, there are software programs available for purchase to file electronically, and there are plenty of tax preparers for hire. 

While Michigan doesn’t require tax preparers to be licensed, the state recommends taking into account how long someone has been preparing taxes, the preparer’s formal training and any licenses they hold and how they determine their fee. 

The state also suggests people avoid tax preparers who claim they can obtain higher refunds and charges a fee based on the amount of a client’s refund.

Can I file my taxes for free? 

In addition to the IRS free file forms onlineThere are several services for residents who need help and are looking to file their taxes for free. In most cases, individuals have to have an adjusted gross income of  $45,000 or less, qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or be on active military  duty. 

I’m expecting a refund. When will I get it? 

People who file their taxes electronically may receive their refund two weeks after the state confirms their tax return was received, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. 

Individuals who file a paper return can expect their refund within six weeks of receiving confirmation from the state. 

What if I need an extension? 

Taxpayers who need additional time to file can submit a form to request an extension for state or federal taxes, which grants an individual an additional six months to file. If an individual needs an extension they must apply for one by April 15 and will have until Oct.15. 

Any estimated taxes owed must still be paid by April. 15 or the taxpayer risks penalties such as interest on the unpaid taxes. The IRS also offers payment plans for owed taxes. 

Which tax credits or deductions do I qualify for?  

A tax deduction is a specific amount of money that can be deducted from your taxable income to reduce the amount of taxes you owe. Here are a few common credits: 

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for working families.   Qualifying individuals must make less than $63,000 a year. 

The Child Care Tax Credit is a tax credit for families with children under the age of 17. Parents claiming children under 17 can get a credit is worth $2,000 as long as the child lives with you for more than half the year. 

The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides tax paying students or parents who claim their children who are attending school as dependents with a $2,500 credit for tuition, course materials and other fees associated with higher education. This credit can be used for the first four years of higher education. 

Joining the donor registry 

In July of 2023, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation allowing taxpayers to join the organ donor registry when they file their taxes. Michigan residents can do so starting when they file their 2023 taxes. 

Residents who join the registry will be mailed a red heart to put on their drivers license, indicating that they are an organ donor. 

Individuals who have additional questions about their taxes can visit the IRS website.



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