Green encourages participation in upcoming tax amnesty period

LANSING―State Sen. Mike Green urged constituents that owe back taxes to take advantage of an upcoming tax amnesty period, allowing them to pay without penalty.

The tax amnesty program will be available to eligible taxpayers between May 15, 2011 and June 30, 2011 and will be administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. The department is currently developing forms, instructions, frequently asked questions, and other information useful to taxpayers, which the department said will be made available online.

“Residents that owe back taxes should definitely take advantage of this penalty-free period, and I encourage them to participate,” said Green, R-Mayville.

Key points of the tax amnesty program are:

  • All penalties will be waived, but interest charges will not be waived;
  • Payment of the total amount owed (no installment agreements), including interest, must be postmarked by midnight on June 30, 2011 in order to qualify for amnesty;
  • All state taxes administered under the Revenue Act are eligible for amnesty including, income tax, Michigan Business Tax, Single Business Tax, sales and use tax, withholding tax, tobacco taxes, and motor fuel taxes; and
  • Only taxes for return periods ending on or before Dec. 31, 2009 are eligible.

Green also reminded residents about the department's unclaimed property database.

“If residents in the 31st District think they might have unclaimed property, I would urge them to check with the department as soon as possible, as recent legislation revised the period to claim property from five years to three years,” Green said.

The state Department of Treasury has millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets from dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes and stock certificates. Because these properties were considered abandoned and unclaimed by the bank or company entrusted with them, they are turned over to the state, as required by law. The department is the custodian of these assets and returns them to their owners (or the owners' heirs) when they are rightfully claimed.

For more information about this and other issues, visit the lawmaker's website at www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.com.