Woman gets prison for stealing $470K from veterans’ program, state of Michigan
LANSING - A co-conspirator in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Michigan Department of Treasury will spend two years in prison. Melissa Flores will also be required to pay $110,000 in restitution after the sentencing before Wayne County Circuit Court Visiting Judge Cynthia Stevens on June 17. Between 2013 and 2019, it is alleged that Quill and Flores defrauded the VA out of more than $430,000 and the Michigan Department of Treasury out of more than $40,000 in unclaimed property. “Fraudulently obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs is reprehensible and takes taxpayer dollars away from providing for deserving veterans,” said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Billingsley with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Central Field Office. However, on April 29, Judge Catherine Heise issued a bench warrant for Quill’s arrest after Quill failed to show at a pre-trial hearing.mlive.com
State waiving tax penalties, interest for Gaylord tornado victims
LANSING, MI – The state is providing tax relief to victims of the deadly EF3 tornado that hit Gaylord last month, WPBN/WGTU reports. RELATED: Mobile home park ravaged by Gaylord tornado to be bulldozed“Families and businesses in Otsego County need relief to recover from this tornado,” said Gov. “The last thing a tornado survivor should worry about right now is paying a state tax bill. Taxpayers need to focus on their recovery and there will not be any late penalties or interest if taxpayers need more time to file and pay because of the tornado. Letters can be sent to:Michigan Department of TreasuryAttn: Disaster Tax ReliefLansing, MI 48922READ MORE:Find all Gaylord tornado coverage here.mlive.com
More than $2M in marijuana tax money coming to Kalamazoo-area governments
KALAMAZOO, MI -- Taxing marijuana sales is a more than $2.1 million-dollar idea in Kalamazoo County. The total for the three governments in Kalamazoo County is $1,072,615.36. Kalamazoo County will receive that same amount - $1,072,615.36. Kalamazoo County will receive the fourth highest total in the state, tied with the more populated Kent County and Ingham County. Portage will get $282,267 from marijuana tax revenue.mlive.com
$1.2M grant aims to help Southwest Michigan through aftermath of nuclear power plant closure
COVERT, MI — Michigan State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks today applauded the announcement of a more than $1.2 million grant being awarded for economic recovery and planning as Southwest Michigan prepares for the closure of the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station in 2022. The federal funds will be matched with $242,316 in state and private funds provided by the Michigan Department of Treasury, Michigan State Housing and Development Authority and Consumers Energy, the Michigan Department of Treasury said in a news release. “Consumers Energy is committed to investing in Michigan communities as we transition to new energy resources to power our future,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. The EDA works with communities facing structural economic adjustments, including those impacted by nuclear power plant closures, according to the news release. Related:Michigan AG moves to intervene in Palisades nuclear plant transferFears about Palisades Nuclear Plant offset by money, talent it pumps into Southwest Michigan economy8 reasons why closing Palisades nuclear plant mattersNuclear plant could ‘sequester’ employees to live on-site under pandemic planmlive.com
Women created aliases to become fake heirs, inherit VA money from people who died, Michigan AG says
Two women are accused of creating aliases for themselves and becoming fake heirs to people who died so they could steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Veterans Affairs and Michigan Treasury, officials said.
Bay County scores $420K in marijuana sales tax revenue
BAY CITY, MI - Communities in Bay County are seeing green as the first round of tax revenue payments stemming from recreational marijuana sales begin making their way into the books. Bay County received $420,019.80 worth of recreational marijuana tax payments, ranking second in the state for the county with the highest amount of collected payments. Washtenaw County came out on top with $616,029.04 in county marijuana tax revenue. As for the county’s municipalities, Bay City received $84,003.96 a marijuana tax revenue payment. However, he said he would hope to see it used to bolster economic development and recovery in Bay County.mlive.com
Michigan communities with recreational marijuana dispensaries to split $10M in tax revenue
click to enlarge ShutterstockIt’s payday for communities in Michigan that allowed recreational marijuana dispensaries to open.The Michigan Department of Treasury is doling out nearly $10 million this week to more than 100 municipalities and counties from excise taxes generated from recreational cannabis sales in the 2020 fiscal year. Every dollar helps now.”The excise tax also generated about $11.6 million for schools and $11.6 million for roads. The adult-use market launched on Dec. 1, 2019.Unlike medical cannabis, recreational marijuana has a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax. Excise tax revenue goes to local governments, schools, and roads.In 2019, the Senate Fiscal Agency projected recreational marijuana would rack up $150 million in sales and excise taxes in the 2020-21 fiscal budget, which began in October. By 2022-23, the agency estimates the tax revenues will reach $262 million.Since the sales of recreational marijuana became legal in December 2019, more than 175 recreational dispensaries have opened.metrotimes.com
Michigan to begin processing individual income tax returns mid-Feb.
Business men work with calculator and laptop on the white table at officeThe state of Michigan will process individual income tax returns beginning Friday, Feb. 12, officials announced Wednesday. The Michigan Department of Treasury says it will begin processing state income tax returns at the same time the IRS does -- on Feb. 12. “We coordinate with the IRS to process tax returns and issue refunds,” said State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks. Michigan income tax returns and payments of taxes owed must be received by the state by April 15, 2021. You can learn more about individual income tax in Michigan at the treasury’s website here.
Michigan sending $500 hazard pay checks to teachers, $250 to school staff by Feb. 25
LANSING, MI - Hazard pay checks to teachers and school staff that worked through the pandemic will be sent by the end of February, according to an update by the Michigan Department of Treasury. The “MI Classroom Heroes Grants” would send $500 bonus payments to teachers and $250 checks to staff by Feb. 25 per the update. Read more: Michigan teachers eligible for $500 hazard pay as recognition for teaching through COVID-19The $500 grants are only for K-12 full-time or part-time teachers. Teachers and staff in local and intermediate school districts, as well as public school academies, are eligible for grants. Eligible teachers and staff are encouraged to ensure their address information with the district is up-to-date, said the Department of Treasury.mlive.com
Michigan gives certain businesses affected by COVID-19 extra time to make tax payments
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is giving certain businesses, including restaurants, that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic extra time to make tax payments. Restaurants that depend on indoor dining and most entertainment and recreational venues are included in this extension, according to state officials. “Businesses impacted by COVID-19 have made incredible sacrifices to protect their communities, their employees and their customers,” Michigan Gov. 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. 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.
Michigan businesses affected by COVID-19 epidemic orders provided tax assistance
The state Treasury Department will waive all penalties and interest for 31 days. “Allowing small businesses affected by COVID mitigation protocols more time to pay their taxes will provide some crucial support to business owners that are struggling right now,” said Michigan Gov. “Changing some tax deadlines will provide some help to businesses as they navigate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.”The waiver is not available for accelerated sales, use or withholding tax filers. Businesses with questions should call the Treasury Business Tax Call Center at 517-636-6925 or through Michigan Treasury Online. To learn more about Michigan’s taxes, go to www.michigan.gov/taxes or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.
Detroit Public Schools Community District expected to be released from state oversight
DETROIT – For the last 11 years the Detroit Public Schools Community District has been under the auspices of some type of state supervision -- but in five days that will change. For the first time since 2009, the Detroit public schools system is poised to be released from state supervision. READ: Detroit public schools, teachers union agree to 1-year contractRobert Bob was brought in as an emergency financial manager of the school system when it was facing debt and mismanagement. READ: Volunteers go door-to-door to find lost Detroit studentsIn 2020, with a painful mix of cuts, controversy and work -- the district now has 110 schools, 49,000 students and a $0 deficit. Detroit schools will have full independent command and autonomy over its finances and structure.
All bottle returns must reopen immediately in Michigan
Michigan stores must start accepting bottle and can returns and give refunds again regardless of whether they have return machines or not. The Michigan Department of Treasury announced the change on Thursday, Oct. 15, effective immediately. Previously, only stores with machines were required to reopen – meaning places that collected bottles by hand weren’t required to reopen. Even though all must reopen now, facilities must still follow COVID-19 protocols set by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Any place that sells drinks in returnable containers must accept the bottles and cans and provide the 10-cent refunds, per state law.mlive.com
All bottle, can collection services to resume at Michigan stores amid pandemic
All Michigan retailers that accept bottle and can returns must immediately resume their collection services, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. Michigan retailers initially paused empty bottle and can collection amid health and safety concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. By June 15, retailers were required to resume certain bottle and can collecting operations following a “phased reestablishment” outlined by the state Treasury. In June, Michigan businesses offering collection services were only allowed to resume operations if they had “minimal or no person-to-person contact.” Now, as of Thursday, all Michigan retailers must resume bottle and can collection operations, regardless of the process in which they are collected. Michigan residents can again redeem their 10-cent deposit for empty bottles and cans at any retailer that accepts returns.
More bottle return machines will reopen soon in Michigan
Another batch of bottle return facilities will be required to reopen in Michigan starting on Monday, Oct. 5. All bottle and can return facilities with automatic machines – called reverse vending machines – will be required to reopen in the state, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. Some were mandated to reopen June 15, but only if the machines were located at the front of a store or in a separate area. Now, facilities must reopen regardless of their location if reverse vending machines are used. Other types of bottle return facilities, like ones staffed by employees, can reopen at their discretion starting Oct. 5.mlive.com
Phase 2 Of Michigan’s Bottle Recycling To Begin in October
In a press release from the Michigan Department of Treasury, they announced Phase 2 of Michigan’s bottle return begins on October 5th. What this means for residents is, all grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, and other retailers with reverse vending machines must reopen their bottle returns and resume taking collections on returnables. According to BridgeMI, the closing of Michigan’s stores from the Coronavirus pandemic caused a huge backlog in bottle returns people were stashing at home. Since implementing Phase 1 and now with phase two, it would appear soft drink and recycling industries are finally catching up to that backlog. All stores operating in Phase 2 must operate under all of Michigan’s mandated safety procedures.detroit.cbslocal.com
Michigan man seeking fraudulent $9.8M state tax return charged with multiple felonies
LANSING – A Dearborn man who allegedly filed for a fraudulent tax refund of more than $9.8 million has been charged with multiple felonies. Suspect Dashonta D. Warren, 41, allegedly sought to defraud the Michigan Department of Treasury by filing a false income tax return in 2018, according to a news release from the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “My office stands ready to defend Michigan taxpayers from bad actors who are trying to defraud the system and steal something that isn’t rightfully theirs,” Nessel said in a statement. “Intentionally submitting tax return filings that are misleading or factually inaccurate is a felony offense, and it will not be tolerated in Michigan.”The Treasury referred the case to the AG’s office after receiving the alleged suspicious filings from Warren. He also allegedly filed multiple fraudulent Uniform Commercial Code financing statements with the Michigan Department of State that identified the Treasury and Parkside Livonia Credit Union as debtors.mlive.com
Scam tax collection letters threaten to seize property, Social Security benefits
LANSING, MI - An “aggressive” tax collection scam is targeting Michiganders with past-due tax debts and luring them into making a payment to criminal, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. In the scheme, taxpayers receive a letter about an overdue tax bill telling them to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve the state tax debt. The letter “aggressively threatens” to seize the recipients' assets ― including property and Social Security benefits ― if the debt is not settled. Postal Service that provide several options to resolve outstanding debt and information outlining taxpayer rights. A customer service representative can log scams, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.mlive.com
Michigan women seek $27M refund from state in tampon tax lawsuit
Michigan currently imposes a 0.06% sales tax on most goods, including menstrual products. In administering and enforcing the (tampon tax), the (state Treasury) maintains a tax on women.The lawsuit comes as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to negatively financially impact Americans -- particularly, and disproportionately, Michigan women, the plaintiffs argue. According to the complaint, Michigan women comprised 49 percent of the U.S. workforce but accounted for 55 percent of job losses in April amid the pandemic. A bill was introduced to the Michigan Legislature in 2016 regarding ending the tampon tax, but no real change came of it. Some states, including Montana, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania no longer tax menstrual products.
Macomb County business owners arraigned, allegedly failed to report more than $165,000
MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. A Macomb County couple has been charged with filing false tax returns and possession of an automated sales suppression device after it was determined the couple allegedly failed to report more than $165,000 in sales tax since 2013, the Michigan Attorney Generals office announced Thursday. According to a news release, 73-year-old Ki Yon Ahn and 62-year-old Seo Jong Yoo, along with their business Ki Wa Jip Inc. d/b/a Chung Ki Wa in Sterling Heights, was charged with six counts of filing a false sales tax return. which is a five-year felony, as well as one count of possession of an automated sales suppression device, also a five-year felony. The suppression device, or a zapper, is software which retailers can use to alter the point of sale (POS) database. According to the Michigan AGs office, the Michigan Department of Treasury inspected the business sales after receiving information that the couple likely used a zapper.
Heres what to do if you missed Michigans income tax return filing deadline on July 15
Individual income tax returns were supposed to be filed by July 15 in Michigan -- an-already extended deadline amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. State income tax returns can be claimed within four years. For Michigan tax filers who missed the July 15 deadline, the state treasury listed the following actions to consider:Filing a return to claim an outstanding refund. Taxpayers risk losing their state income tax refund if they dont file a return within four years from the due date of the original return. For more information or an application, visit www.michigan.gov/oicOfficials say the last three options listed above should be filed separately from the state income tax return.
Officials warn of ‘unclaimed property’ scam targeting Michigan residents
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Treasury issued a warning Tuesday that Michigan residents are receiving text messages regarding unclaimed property that is likely a scam. The department says multiple individuals have reported receiving text messages from an unknown source that offer to reunite the individual with their “unclaimed property.” These messages typically come with a link that the recipient is asked to click to claim their property. Michigan residents are urged not to interact with or respond to the text messages, as they are not affiliated with the state treasury. Unclaimed property such as assets in dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes and certificates are turned over to the state treasury by law once they are considered abandoned and unclaimed, officials said. Anyone concerned that they have unclaimed property can visit the state’s website here or call 517-636-5320 between 9 a.m.-noon on Monday and Friday or 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Extended deadline to file Michigan income tax return approaching
LANSING, Mich. The deadline to submit individual income tax returns for Michigan residents is approaching. State income tax returns are due on July 15. MORE: Coronavirus in Michigan: Heres what to know July 1, 2020Michigan taxpayers can submit their returns online or by mail before midnight on July 15. Officials are encouraging individuals to file their tax returns online. Residents who file online typically receive their refund about two weeks after the state accepts the tax return.
3 accused of stealing $470k by defrauding VA, Michigan Treasury
Two people have been arraigned on charges in connection with the defrauding of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Michigan Department of Treasury out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are accused of submitting fraudulent documents in support of claims for VA survivor benefits and Michigan Unclaimed Property. A third person has been charged, but has not been arraigned yet. Committing fraud against our state or federal agencies that directly give back to their communities will not be tolerated, Nessel said. The third person has been charged with conducting a criminal enterprise and multiple counts of false pretenses.
Michigan treasury offers installment plan to businesses deferring tax payments amid pandemic
LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Treasury announced Tuesday a new payment plan for business taxpayers deferring their sales, use and withholding (SUW) taxes amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Taxpayers that have deferred payments from February, March, April and May are eligible to participate in the installment plan. Providing an installment payment option enables businesses to spread out their obligations over the next six months without incurring additional cost. Businesses are not required to submit any documents to or contact the state treasury to participate in the plan. Read the full announcement from the state treasury on their website here.
Michigan Treasury extends tax payment deadlines for businesses amid coronavirus pandemic
LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Treasury announced Saturday that business taxpayers have additional time to pay their Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) taxes amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. MORE: Coronavirus in Michigan: Heres where we stand as of Saturday morningMichigan businesses can postpone SUW tax payments through June 20 without penalties or interest. Moving the sales, use and withholding tax deadline until June and providing other repayment options will help taxpayers navigate their way through this crisis.Officials say the deferment option is not available for accelerated SUW tax filers. The state Treasury will announce additional payment options available to business taxpayers in the future, officials said. Businesses with questions can learn more or contact the state Treasury at their website here.
State Treasury Providing Student Loan Assistance During COVID-19 Pandemic
LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) The Michigan Department of Treasury today announced Michiganders who have student loans guaranteed by the state will be provided assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collection activities on delinquent Federal Family Education Loan Program student loans, made by a financial institution and serviced by the Michigan Guaranty Agency, will be halted until Sept. 30, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is both a public health emergency and an economic emergency, State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. Some FFELP loans were made by private lenders, and guaranty agencies insured these funds. Since 2010, no new FFELP loans have been issued by the federal government.detroit.cbslocal.com
State of Michigan issues alerts about financial scams
Michigan's taxpayers and tax preparers should be extra vigilant for federal stimulus scams, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. The following notice has been issued by the State of Michigan:Michigans taxpayers and tax preparers should be extra vigilant for federal stimulus scams, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. Taxpayers and tax preparers must be vigilant for direct deposit scams, State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. The Michigan Department of Treasury does not administer the federal stimulus program or have information regarding federal stimulus checks. To learn more about Michigans tax system, follow the Michigan Department of Treasury on Twitter at @MITreasury.monroenews.com
Gov. Whitmer signs bills legalizing sports betting, internet gambling in Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills to legalize sports betting and internet gambling in the state of Michigan, she announced. Money raised through online gaming and sports betting will support the school aid fund and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund, Whitmer said. The bill package allows tribal casinos to participate in online gaming and sports betting at an equal level to the Detroit casinos. House bill 4916 creates the Lawful Sports Betting Act, which legalizes sports betting in casinos, online and mobile. This bill specifies that an internet sports betting wager received by a sports betting operator or its internet sports betting platform provider would be considered gambling or gaming that was conducted in the sports betting operator’s casino located in Michigan.
New Loan Program To Help Michigans Devastated Farmers
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