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Posted on: January 22, 2021

East Lansing Income Tax Office Provides Important Information, Reminders for Income Taxpayers

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Having completed the first year of income tax returns for the City of East Lansing, the East Lansing Income Tax Office has compiled some important information and reminders for East Lansing income taxpayers.

  • The mailing address for tax returns is P.O. Box 526, Eaton Rapids, Michigan 48827. This is the location of the City’s third-party processing center. Tax returns and other income tax mail can also be placed in a sealed envelope in the blue drop box located in the north parking lot of City Hall, 410 Abbot Road.

  • For 2020, non-residents who have been working from home, rather than from their East Lansing workplace, are eligible to allocate the time spent working outside the City. This doesn't apply to those being paid to stay home and be on-call or those working intermittently on a limited basis (occasional emails/calls). To assist in determining whether a non-resident is eligible to allocate their time, an additional form must be filled out and submitted with the individual’s return. If preparing a return through a software program, the form will be called CF-COV. If preparing a return by hand, the form is called EL-COV and is available at www.cityofeastlansing.com/incometax. An employer letter from a direct supervisor must also be submitted with the return verifying the information. This letter should be on the employer’s letterhead. If not allocating wages, the additional form and employer letter do not need to be submitted. This wage allocation only applies to non-residents who choose to allocate their time. Residents are taxed on all wages, no matter where they are earned.

  • While unemployment benefits may be taxable to residents on their federal return, these benefits are not taxable by the City. For 2020, if an individual is reporting taxable unemployment benefits on their Federal return, they should be excluded in Column B of the City return.

  • East Lansing residents who work in and pay taxes to another municipality with an income tax are entitled to a credit for the taxes they pay to the other municipality. This is reported on Box 24C of the East Lansing return. They will need to submit a copy of the other municipality’s tax return when filing their East Lansing return to verify the amount of the credit.

  • If an individual owes more than $100 in income taxes for the year, they are required to pay throughout the year. For most, this happens by their employer withholding from their paychecks. For all others, there are three options:

    1.) They can ask their employer to withhold East Lansing taxes from their pay. This is not required of employers outside of East Lansing, but they may elect to withhold if asked.

    2.) If they are married and file jointly with their spouse and his/her employer is withholding, they can increase his/her withholding to help cover the liability for the other spouse.

    3.) They can make quarterly estimated payments. For 2020, the East Lansing Income Tax office is waiving the requirement of quarterly payments. If payments are made by February 1, 2021, individuals will not be assessed penalties and interest for failure to make estimated payments. For 2021 and beyond, quarterly payments will be required. The forms to make these payments can be found at www.cityofeastlansing.com/incometax.

  • If an individual owes on their return and completed Section 31 of the City’s 1040 form to have the payment paid directly from their bank account, it may take up to six weeks for the payment to be withdrawn. Refund returns are processed first, while balance due returns are processed as time allows.

  • There are many properties with an East Lansing mailing address that are not located in the City. To determine residency, individuals can enter their address on an interactive map at www.cityofeastlansing.com/incometax.

  • Married individuals are encouraged to report all returns and payments under the same primary spouse’s social security number.

Taxpayers with questions can contact the East Lansing Income Tax office at (517) 319-6862 or incometax@cityofeastlansing.com.
                                                              

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