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Michigan gives certain businesses affected by COVID-19 extra time to make tax payments

Restaurants, entertainment venues, recreational venues included

Signs requiring face masks and social distancing. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Signs requiring face masks and social distancing. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is giving certain businesses, including restaurants, that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic extra time to make tax payments.

Businesses that require social gatherings for customers and have had their operations disrupted due to the pandemic can postpone filing their monthly or quarterly sales, use and withholding tax payments until Feb. 20, 2021, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced.

Restaurants that depend on indoor dining and most entertainment and recreational venues are included in this extension, according to state officials.

If they were scheduled to make sales, use and withholding tax payments for December 2020 and January 2021 or for the last quarter of 2020, those businesses they can now postpone filing and payment requirements until Feb. 20, the state announced.

Officials with the Treasury Department said they will waive all penalties and interest for 33 days.

“Businesses impacted by COVID-19 have made incredible sacrifices to protect their communities, their employees and their customers,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “From the beginning, my administration has been working around the clock to provide our businesses with some crucial support as we work to end the pandemic, and I will continue to do so long after we beat this virus. Remember, Michiganders: mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where the virus can spread easily from person to person. We will get through this together.”

Click here for more information from the state’s website.

Could indoor dining return next month?

If Michigan restaurants are allowed to reopen their doors to indoor dining at the beginning of next month, it will be with new and strengthened COVID-19 safety rules, according to state officials.

On Wednesday, Michigan Whitmer said the state hopes to resume indoor dining at restaurants by Feb. 1, as long as COVID-19 metrics meet state standards.

READ: 13 takeaways from Gov. Whitmer’s COVID update Wednesday (Jan. 13)

If they do reopen, restaurants will face increased restrictions, Whitmer said.

“We’re working on a path to allow indoor dining at restaurants with safety measures such as mask requirements, capacity limits and a curfew, starting on Feb. 1,” Whitmer said.

More specific details about the topic will be released in the coming days, according to the governor.

“The governor spoke about reopening restaurants -- that is something we plan to do on Feb. 1,” said Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Gordon said indoor dining is inherently risky in terms of spreading COVID-19 because it requires people from different households to remove their masks while indoors.

“We will have more to say soon about steps to mitigate these risks as best as possible, based on our experience with the pandemic,” Gordon said.

Reducing the number of people inside restaurants and improving ventilation, in particular, will be addressed in the mitigation of those risks, Gordon said.

He said whether or not restaurants actually reopen Feb. 1 will depend on what happens with COVID-19 cases between now and the end of the month.


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