The New Michigan Business Tax: Conquering the Most Complex Challenges

Anticipating and Resolving High-Level MBT Compliance Issues

***Advanced level CPE and CLE seminar***

Recording of a 100-minute CPE/CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Program Materials

This seminar will offer a high-level review of the most complex compliance challenges presented by the Michigan Business Tax system.


Corporations have by now wrestled with basic questions about the Michigan Business Tax — its calculation and base — for estimated payments to the state. Some also have dealt with more complex compliance issues on a first annual return, but calendar-year taxpayers now face an April 30, 2009 deadline.

In comparison with the former single business tax, the MBT pulls more corporations into its net by applying to both net income and gross receipts. It forces business taxpayers to work under new deductions and credits, apportionment and pass-through rules.

This teleconference will go beyond the basics for corporate tax professionals and counsel who have grasped the MBT's fundamentals but need an advanced briefing to resolve the more complex compliance challenges of the new tax regime.

Listen as our panel of veteran tax advisors, all highly experienced with the Michigan tax system, gives you a high-level review of the most difficult questions and hurdles they're seeing with the MBT.



  1. Understanding Recently Released Michigan Business Tax Forms
    1. Navigating ins and outs of the new forms and instructions
    2. Compatibility issues with the major tax software platforms
    3. Highlight of key complexities and difficulties with specific forms and line items
    4. Tips and best practices for completion
  2. Nexus Issues Associated With The MBT
    1. Revenue Administrative Bulletin 2008-4
    2. Dual nexus standard
    3. P.L. 86-272 protections
    4. Expansion physical presence standard
  3. The Modified Gross Receipts Tax Base
    1. What is included?
    2. What is excluded?
    3. What can be deducted?
    4. Determining what to include in the “purchases from other firms” category
  4. The Ownership Test For Unitary Groups
    1. Differences between a unitary group and an SBT controlled group
    2. Comparison with a federal affiliated group
    3. 50% ownership interest threshold
    4. Interpreting the “flow of value” concept


The panel will give you guidance to deal with these and other critical topics: 

  • Unraveling the complex new ownership test for unitary groups, particularly for domestic companies.
  • Understanding what is included in, or excluded or deducted from, the modified gross receipts tax base.
  • Uncovering what counts in purchases from other firms, and what doesn't.
  • Understanding the most problematic parts of the recently released new MBT forms.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Richard Spengler
Richard Spengler
Partner Multi-State Tax Consulting

He specializes in state income and franchise tax services. His background includes both federal and state tax...  |  Read More

Cynthia Knoll
Cynthia Knoll

State and Local Tax Principal
The Rehmann Group

She has over 15 years of state and local tax advisory experience. She has worked with clients in numerous industries,...  |  Read More

Steven Grob
Steven Grob

Dykema Gossett

He leads the firm's taxation practice group. He has over 33 years in state tax planning and controversy, as an attorney...  |  Read More

Gregory Nowak
Gregory Nowak


He leads the firm's state and local tax consulting practice in Michigan. He served as a technical advisor to the House...  |  Read More

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