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Treasury provides tips for last-minute filers as tax season closes

• Apr 17, 2017 at 1:38 PM

LANSING — With taxpayers required to either e-file or mail their state income tax returns by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, the Michigan Department of Treasury has some tips to help last-minute filers submit an accurate return.

“Please take your time and carefully follow all instructions to ensure you’re filing an accurate return,” said Deputy Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “We sometimes see increased errors on returns filed late in the season. These simple mistakes result in longer processing and delayed refunds.”

To ensure an accurate income tax return is filed with the state of Michigan:

• File electronically. Taxpayers can go to www.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 of 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 mail it to Treasury by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, April 18. 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. Taxpayers must pay tax liabilities by the April 18 deadline to avoid penalties and interest. 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.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund online by going to www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund. Allow two weeks after e-filing or from four to six weeks after paper filing a Michigan return before checking a refund’s status.

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.

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