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FAQ
Collections/Delinquent Accounts
For questions pertaining to a Levy, Lien, Garnishment or Warrant:
Will the offset payment count towards my monthly Installment Agreement payment?

Michigan statute allows for the offset of an Income Tax refund or credit to any assessed liability until the account is paid in full even if you are on an approved Installment Agreement. The Installment Agreement form also states that any refunds (Income Tax refunds, Lottery winnings, vendor payments) due you from the State of Michigan will be applied as an additional payment on your debt. Your regular monthly payment must still be made to avoid defaulting on your Installment Agreement which could lead to enforcement action.

An account with an approved Installment Agreement will avoid enforcement actions such as levies on bank accounts and/or wage. Enforcement actions will not be taken as long as the installment agreement is not in default. Any delinquent account may be offset by Treasury. NOTE: A lien may still be placed while on an installment agreement.

Will you take my income tax refunds and vendor payments?

Yes. Refunds that are due to you are subject to offset and will be applied to your debt even if you are current on an approved installment agreement. This will continue until the debt is paid in full (including penalty and interest).

Vendor payments are monies owed to you by the State of Michigan (i.e., payments for services performed such as child care or home health care) and are also subject to offset. If you are on an approved, current installment agreement AND reported the vendor income on a Collection Information Statement, the vendor payment will not be subject to offset. A Collection Information Statement may be obtained by contacting the area assigned to servicing your assessment (MARCS, field office, etc.)

I paid this debt but it is still showing up on my credit report.
Treasury does not report debts to credit reporting agencies. Credit reporting agencies obtain their information through lien searches at the county Register of Deeds. Liens may remain on the county's books as a public record for several years after the debt has been paid in full and the lien has been released.
How long does it normally take to release a lien?
Liens will be released approximately 10 days after the debt has been satisfied. A copy of the lien release will be issued to the taxpayer within one week.
I need the State of Michigan to subordinate its lien so that I can sell or refinance my house.
The State of Michigan has no statutory authority to subordinate liens.
Can the State of Michigan transfer its lien to another piece of property?

A Notice of State Tax Lien is an instrument that gives the State of Michigan, Department of Treasury a legal right or interest in a debtor's property, lasting usually until a debt that it secures is satisfied. A Notice of State Tax Lien may attach to real and or personal property wherever located in Michigan. A Notice of State Tax Lien will be filed only after:

  • A tax liability has been assessed.
  • We have attempted to send you a Bill for Taxes Due (Intent to Assess) and/or a Final Bill for Taxes Due (Final Assessment) that tells you how much you owe in taxes; and
  • Your failure to fully pay the debt within the 35 days from the date shown on your Final Bill for Taxes Due.

Once these requirements have been met, a tax lien will be filed with the county Register of Deeds in the amount of your tax debt. Upon receipt of payment the lien is released and the Register of Deeds is notified.

The Michigan Department of Treasury, Collections Division will also file a Notice of State Tax Lien on real and personal property with the Ingham County Register of Deeds with respect to individuals and business entities who reside, or whose business is located, outside the borders of Michigan as provided with the provisions of the Revenue Act, 1941 PA 122, MCL 205.1 et seq and the State Tax Lien Registration Act, 1968 PA 203, MCL 211.681 et seq.

Tax liens attach to all property owned by the taxpayer at the time the lien is recorded as well as all property acquired after the lien is filed.

Why did the State of Michigan file a lien against property that I don't own? I just live there.
The Register of Deeds track tax liens by name instead of by address.
Why did the State of Michigan file a lien against me when I don't have an outstanding debt with the State of Michigan?

The Register of Deeds track tax liens by name instead of social security number. In certain instances such as a tenant renting property, two parties in the county having the same or similar names; a lien may inadvertently attach to property owned by a non-liable party. If this happens you may request a Certificate of Non-Attachment from the Office of Collections, Special Procedures Unit (517-636-5250).

How can I have a lien removed from my property?

Treasury requires payment in full to release a lien. In cases where encumbered property is being sold and the proceeds will be insufficient to pay the lien in full, a written request for specific lien release may be submitted to the Office of Collections, Special Procedures Unit (517-636-5250).

The following supporting documentation will be needed before we can issue a specific lien release.

  • Title Commitment or Title Insurance
  • Original land contract or mortgage
  • Distribution of proceeds
  • Closing statement or tentative closing statement
  • List of other encumbrances, dates and payoff balances.
Why am I receiving billings while I am in bankruptcy?
Billings will be mailed if any of the following are true:
  • New Assessments are issued. Both an intent to assess and a final assessment must be system issued before an assessment can be changed to bankruptcy status.
  • The debt was not dischargeable in bankruptcy, which caused the assessment to be changed to a collectible status.
  • Actual returns were filed, assessments were corrected and a letter was issued showing the corrected amount.
  • Treasury is not aware of the bankruptcy.
I would like to set up an installment agreement on a bankruptcy account.
Treasury cannot set up an installment agreement if a taxpayer or account is in bankruptcy. Treasury can accept voluntary payments from the taxpayer. These payments will not be returned to the taxpayer, even if the debt is ultimately discharged.
Why did Treasury keep my income tax refund when I'm in bankruptcy?
Treasury's ability to withhold a taxpayer's income tax refund is determined by the chapter under which the bankruptcy was filed:
  • Chapter 7 - The refund is held until a discharge is issued.
  • Chapter 11 (Business Filed) - Bankruptcy will offset an assessed officer's refund when:
    1. The business has defaulted in chapter 11 plan payments.
    2. The Pre-Petition debt exists and is not included for payment through the business bankruptcy.
    3. The confirmed plan will offset for Post Confirmation debt.
  • Chapter 11 (Corporate Officer filed) - If a plan has been confirmed and there are post-confirmation debts, Treasury will apply corporate officer refunds to post-confirmation assessments.
  • Chapter 13 - Income tax refunds are returned to taxpayers.
Why did I get this bill?
You received an assessment from Treasury because it has been determined that you owe money to the State of Michigan. Your debt may be for individual taxes, business taxes or for a state agency debt.

Your assessment includes an explanation of the debt owed and the associated time period in the section entitled "REASON FOR TAX BILL". If you need additional information, please call the tax division or agency that issued the assessment. A phone number is included on the assessment.

What is an offset?

An offset is when Treasury intercepts your income tax refund or vendor payment, and applies it to a balance owed to the State of Michigan and/or to a Third Party Garnishment.

I want to talk to someone in person about my bill.

If your account is assigned to a field office, you may call and make an appointment with a Revenue Officer .

For all other accounts please call one of the numbers listed below to try to resolve your issue before visiting.

  • Office of Collections
  • 517-636-5265
  • Driver Responsibility Fee Program
  • 517-636-5240
  • Individual Income Tax Refund Information
    (24 hours a day)
  • 517-636-4486
  • Corporate Income Tax/Michigan Business Tax
  • 517-636-6925
  • Motor Fuel
  • 517-636-4600
  • Sales, Use & Withholding
  • 517-636-6925
  • Flow-Through Withholding
  • 517-636-6925
  • Single Business Tax
  • 517-636-6925
  • Tobacco Tax
  • 517-636-0680
What is the Michigan Accounts Receivable Collection System (MARCS) and why do I have to deal with them?
MARCS is a Treasury program operated by a privately owned collection agency that has contracted with the State of Michigan to collect debts on behalf of the Department of Treasury. They may be reached by phone at 1-800-950-6227. Their fax number is 517-272-5562.

Operating hours are:
Monday – Thursday8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM – noon
Can I overnight or Fed Ex my payment?

Yes, however be advised that using a specialized mail service other than standard mail through the U.S. Post Office will delay processing of your payment.

You may also make a payment using:Collections e-Service Logo

The Treasury Building is located at 7285 Parsons Dr., Dimondale, MI 48821.

Why am I being held responsible for a corporation's debt?

Public Act 3 of 2014 was enacted with immediate effect on February 6, 2014, amending section 205.27a(5) of the Revenue Act (PA 122 of 1941). It provides the following:

"If a business liable for taxes administered under this act fails, for any reason after assessment, to file the required returns or to pay the tax due, any of its officers, members, managers of a manager-managed limited liability company, or partners who the department determines, based on either an audit or an investigation, is a responsible person is personally liable for the failure for the taxes described in subsection (14). The signature, including electronic signature, of any officer, member, manager of a manager-managed limited liability company, or partner on returns or negotiable instruments submitted in payment of taxes of the business during the time period of default, is prima facie evidence that the person is a responsible person…"

> General Overview of the Corporate Officer Liability Process
> Corporate Officer Liability FAQ's

Where do I send my payment?
If your account is assigned to the Michigan Accounts Receivable Collection System (MARCS), please mail your payment to the following address:
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 77437
Detroit, MI 48277-0437
If your account is assigned to anyone other than MARCS, please mail your payment to the following address:
Michigan Department of Treasury-Office of Collections
P.O. Box 30199
Lansing, MI 48909

 

- Make your check payable to "State of Michigan - Office of Collections".
- Write your assessment number and account number on the check.
- Include the payment coupon from the bottom of your billing notice.
- Please allow 10 - 14 days for mailing and processing of your payment.
- You may also make a payment using:Collections e-Service Logo

What should I do if I cannot pay my debt in full?

Making Payments BEFORE a "Bill for Taxes Due" is issued:

If you have not received a "Bill for Taxes Due" (Form 168, Intent to Assess) or "Final Bill for Taxes Due" (Form 169, Final Assessment) from the Office of Collections, you will not be eligible for consideration of an Installment Agreement/payment plan

You may still submit payments prior to receiving your "Bill for Taxes Due". Submit any late or partial payments by check or money order to the Michigan Department of Treasury, P.O. Box 30727, Lansing, MI 48929. Be sure to include your social security number and tax year on the check or money order. Any payment(s) received after April 15th will be considered late and subject to Penalty and Interest charges.

Making Payments AFTER a "Bill for Taxes Due" is issued:

After you receive a "Bill for Taxes Due" (Form 168, Intent to Assess) or "Final Bill for Taxes Due" (Form 169, Final Assessment) the Department of Treasury may consider an Installment Agreement if your situation meets certain criteria.

Taxpayers may be asked to complete a Collection Information Statement, listing their income, expenses, assets and liabilities. In addition, taxpayers will be required to sign an Installment Agreement form which includes the payment amount, as determined by Treasury.

Installment Agreements are subject to Treasury review and approval. Upon approval you will receive a confirmation letter indicating your monthly payment amount, the due date as well as pre-identified payment coupons to use for directing payments to the Office of Collections. Please make payments as proposed during the time that your Installment Agreement request is under review.

If your Installment Agreement is denied, you will receive instructions from the Office of Collections on how to proceed.

The Office of Collections will file liens on Real and Personal property to protect the State's interest as a creditor. Liens will be filed even when a taxpayer has made payment arrangements and is current with all payments.

Caution! Once a lien is filed, the taxpayer's credit rating could be harmed and, in most cases, property cannot be sold or transferred until the past-due tax is paid. A lien filed at a county Register of Deeds becomes a public record. Credit reporting agencies may obtain and publish the lien information. A lien filed against an individual or business that is picked up by a credit reporting agency will remain part of that credit history for the next seven to ten years.

Payments will be applied to the taxpayer's liability at Treasury's discretion.

Apply for an Installment Agreement

For Installment Agreements for 24 months or less, the taxpayer must sign and return the installment agreement (Form 990). The agreement requires a proposed payment amount that will be reviewed for approval by Treasury. All highlighted areas of the form are required and must be filled in completely before your request for an installment agreement will be considered for approval. Failure to complete the required areas will result in a delay of processing and expose the taxpayer to continued collection efforts.

For Installment Agreements longer than 24 months, the taxpayer must complete a Collection Information Statement, listing their income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Please contact the Office of Collections to request the form and additional information. The Office of Collections will file liens on Real and Personal property to protect the State's interest as a creditor. Liens will be filed even when a taxpayer has made payment arrangements and is current with all payments.

Mail to: Office of Collections
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 30199
Lansing, MI 48909-7600
Phone: (517) 636-5265

I have an Installment Agreement and have been making timely payments. Why did Treasury take (offset) my refund?

Michigan statute allows for the offset of an Income Tax refund or credit to any assessed liability until the account is paid in full even if you are on an approved Installment Agreement. The Installment Agreement form also states that any refunds (Income Tax refunds, Lottery winnings, vendor payments) due to you from the State of Michigan will be applied as an additional payment on your debt. Your regular monthly payment must still be made to avoid defaulting on your Installment Agreement which could lead to enforcement action.

An account with an approved Installment Agreement will avoid enforcement actions such as levies on bank accounts and/or wage. Enforcement actions will not be taken as long as the installment agreement is not in default. Any delinquent account may be offset by Treasury. NOTE: A lien may still be placed while on an installment agreement.

What is a Notice of State Tax Lien?

A Notice of State Tax Lien is an instrument that gives the State of Michigan, Department of Treasury a legal right or interest in a debtor's property, lasting usually until a debt that it secures is satisfied. A Notice of State Tax Lien may attach to real and or personal property wherever located in Michigan. A Notice of State Tax Lien will be filed only after:

  • A tax liability has been assessed.
  • We have attempted to send you a Bill for Taxes Due (Intent to Assess) and/or a Final Bill for Taxes Due (Final Assessment) that tells you how much you owe in taxes; and
  • Your failure to fully pay the debt within the 35 days from the date shown on your Final Bill for Taxes Due.

Once these requirements have been met, a tax lien will be filed with the county Register of Deeds in the amount of your tax debt. Upon receipt of payment the lien is released and the Register of Deeds is notified.

The Michigan Department of Treasury, Office of Collections will also file a Notice of State Tax Lien on real and personal property with the Ingham County Register of Deeds with respect to individuals and business entities who reside, or whose business is located, outside the borders of Michigan as provided with the provisions of the Revenue Act, 1941 PA 122, MCL 205.1 et seq, the State Tax Lien Registration Act, 1968 PA 203, MCL 211.681 et seq and Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Form 4086).

What is the difference between a lien, a levy, a warrant and a garnishment?

Liens are filed with the county Register of Deeds and/or the Secretary of State as security that a debt will be paid from proceeds when a taxpayer sells real or personal property.

Levies are a specialized form of warrant and are generally used to withdraw funds from a taxpayer's financial institution account or garnish a taxpayer's wages. Levies are generally used when a taxpayer has failed to resolve a debt through voluntary payment.

Warrants are used to close a taxpayer's business and/or seize a taxpayer's real or personal property other than a financial institution account or wages. Warrants are generally used when a taxpayer has failed to resolve their debt through voluntary payments and the debt is continuing to escalate.

A garnishment is a court order, a legal procedure which the earnings or refund of an individual or entity are withheld for payment of a debt.  Third-party creditors (Plaintiffs) petition the court for garnishment or refund monies.

What does a tax lien do?

A Notice of State Tax Lien filed at a county Register of Deeds becomes a public record. Credit reporting agencies, legal news services and newspapers may obtain and publish the lien information. As a result, creditors may gain knowledge that the Michigan Department of Treasury has a claim against your property, including property you acquired after the lien was filed. Courts and financial institutions may use the lien to establish a claim/priority in certain situations, such as bankruptcy proceedings or during the sale of real estate.

Caution!
A tax lien will have a negative effect on your credit rating. You may not be able to obtain a loan to buy a house or a car, get a credit card, or sign a lease. A tax lien filed against an individual or business that is picked up by a credit reporting agency will remain a part of that credit history for the next 7 to 10 years. Therefore, it is important that the tax liability is resolved as quickly as possible before filing a lien becomes necessary.

Why did you place a tax lien on my property?
A tax lien was placed on your property because you are liable for a delinquent tax debt. The lien is security that proceeds due to you from a sale of real or personal property will be applied to the debt.
Where are the Registers of Deeds offices located?
A Register of Deeds office is located in each county. A listing of these offices is included on this website.
Will Treasury accept an Offer in Compromise?
Treasury does provide an "offer-in-compromise" program. This program allows taxpayers to submit an offer to compromise a tax debt for less than the amount due based on specific criteria. To determine if you qualify visit www.michigan.gov/oic.
How do I request a penalty waiver?
Requests for a penalty waiver must be in writing. Penalty may be waived on an assessment if you can show reasonable cause for your failure to pay on time. Reasonable cause includes serious illness or death, a fire or natural disaster, or criminal acts against you. Documentation may be requested to substantiate the reason for your penalty waiver request. Reference RAB 2005-3.

+ Bankruptcy

+ Billings

+ Locations and Field Offices

+ Corporate Officer Liability

+ Installment Agreements

+ Liens, Levy and Warrants and Garnishments

+ Monies Applied to Pay Your Debt (Offsets)

+ Payments

+ Penalty and Interest