GENERAL SALES TAX ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 167 of 1933
205.54i Bad debt; definitions; deduction; amount; payment of bad debt; liability; written election designating party claiming deduction; evidence required to support claim for deduction; change in tax rate; review; taxpayer under streamlined sales and use tax agreement.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Bad debt" means any portion of a debt that is related to a sale at retail taxable under this act for which gross proceeds are not otherwise deductible or excludable and that is eligible to be claimed, or could be eligible to be claimed if the taxpayer kept accounts on an accrual basis, as a deduction pursuant to section 166 of the internal revenue code, 26 USC 166. A bad debt shall not include any finance charge, interest, or sales tax on the purchase price, uncollectible amounts on property that remains in the possession of the taxpayer until the full purchase price is paid, expenses incurred in attempting to collect any account receivable or any portion of the debt recovered, any accounts receivable that have been sold to and remain in the possession of a third party for collection, and repossessed property.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), "lender" includes any of the following:
(i) Any person who holds or has held an account receivable which that person purchased directly from a taxpayer who reported the tax.
(ii) Any person who holds or has held an account receivable pursuant to that person's contract directly with the taxpayer who reported the tax.
(iii) The issuer of the private label credit card.
(c) "Lender" does not include the issuer of a credit card or instrument that can be used to make purchases from a person other than the vendor whose name or logo appears on the card or instrument or that vendor's affiliates.
(d) "Private label credit card" means any charge card, credit card, or other instrument serving a similar purpose that carries, refers to, or is branded with the name or logo of a vendor and that can only be used for purchases from the vendor.
(e) "Taxpayer" means a person that has remitted sales tax directly to the department on the specific sales at retail transaction for which the bad debt is recognized for federal income tax purposes or, after September 30, 2009, a lender holding the account receivable for which the bad debt is recognized, or would be recognized if the claimant were a corporation, for federal income tax purposes.
(2) In computing the amount of tax levied under this act for any month, a taxpayer may deduct the amount of bad debts from his or her gross proceeds used for the computation of the tax. The amount of gross proceeds deducted must be charged off as uncollectible on the books and records of the taxpayer at the time the debt becomes worthless and deducted on the return for the period during which the bad debt is written off as uncollectible in the claimant's books and records and must be eligible to be deducted for federal income tax purposes. For purposes of this section, a claimant who is not required to file a federal income tax return may deduct a bad debt on a return filed for the period in which the bad debt becomes worthless and is written off as uncollectible in the claimant's books and records and would be eligible for a bad debt deduction for federal income tax purposes if the claimant was required to file a federal income tax return. If a consumer or other person pays all or part of a bad debt with respect to which a taxpayer claimed a deduction under this section, the taxpayer is liable for the amount of taxes deducted in connection with that portion of the debt for which payment is received and shall remit these taxes in his or her next payment to the department. Any payments made on a bad debt shall be applied proportionally first to the taxable price of the property and the tax on the property and second to any interest, service, or other charge.
(3) After September 30, 2009, if a taxpayer who reported the tax and a lender execute and maintain a written election designating which party may claim the deduction, a claimant is entitled to a deduction or refund of the tax related to a sale at retail that was previously reported and paid if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) No deduction or refund was previously claimed or allowed on any portion of the account receivable.
(b) The account receivable has been found worthless and written off by the taxpayer that made the sale or the lender on or after September 30, 2009.
(4) Any claim for a bad debt deduction under this section shall be supported by that evidence required by the department. The department shall review any change in the rate of taxation applicable to any taxable sales by a taxpayer claiming a deduction pursuant to this section and shall ensure that the deduction on any bad debt does not result in the taxpayer claiming the deduction recovering any more or less than the taxes imposed on the sale that constitutes the bad debt.
(5) If a certified service provider assumed filing responsibility under the streamlined sales and use tax administration act, 2004 PA 174, MCL 205.801 to 205.833, the certified service provider may claim, on behalf of the taxpayer, any bad debt allowable to the taxpayer and shall credit or refund that amount of bad debt allowed or refunded to the taxpayer.
(6) If the books and records of a taxpayer under the streamlined sales and use tax agreement under the streamlined sales and use tax administration act, 2004 PA 174, MCL 205.801 to 205.833, that claims a bad debt allowance support an allocation of the bad debts among member states of that agreement, the taxpayer may allocate the bad debts.
History: Add. 1982, Act 23, Eff. Jan. 1, 1984
Am. 2004, Act 173, Eff. Sept. 1, 2004
Am. 2007, Act 105, Imd. Eff. Oct. 1, 2007
Compiler's Notes: Former MCL 205.54i, pertaining to tax exemption for qualified passenger automobile, claims for reimbursement, and sales agreements, expired by its own terms on August 1, 1980. Subsection (5) of former MCL 205.54i read:"This section shall expire August 1, 1980, except that it shall be effective for bona fide purchase orders submitted to and accepted by, before August 1, 1980, a person subject to tax under this act."Enacting section 1 of 2007 PA 105 provides:"Enacting section 1. This amendatory act is curative and shall be retroactively applied, expressing the original intent of the legislature that a deduction for a bad debt for a taxpayer under the general sales tax act, 1933 PA 167, MCL 205.51 to 205.78, is available exclusively to those persons with the legal liability to remit the tax on the specific sale at retail for which the bad debt deduction is recognized for federal income tax purposes, and correcting any misinterpretation of the meaning of the term "taxpayer" that may have been caused by the Michigan court of appeals decision in Daimler Chrysler Services North America LLC v Department of Treasury, No. 264323. However, this amendatory act is not intended to affect a refund required by a final order of a court of competent jurisdiction for which all rights of appeal have been exhausted or have expired if the refund is payable without interest and after September 30, 2009 and before November 1, 2009."
© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan