Senator Dave Hildenbrand
 
 
open in browser image
 
Sen. Dave Hildenbrand's Legislative Update
 
MARCH 2018
 
Taxpayers Can Receive State Income Tax Answers through Treasury Self-Serve

Michigan taxpayers with questions about their state income taxes can receive answers online through Treasury Self-Serve, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Treasury Self-Serve enables taxpayers to check the status of tax refunds, ask general and specific questions, change addresses and see the status of letters sent to the state Treasury Department. The online platform is the convenient way for taxpayers to ask state income tax-related questions, with responses typically given within 24 to 48 hours.

"If you have a question about your state income taxes, please use Treasury Self-Serve to get your answers," said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury's Tax Administration Group. "Taxpayers can ask questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

To ensure taxpayer privacy and security, the following information is required when using Treasury Self-Serve:
Individuals can find their AGI on line 10 of the MI-1040. Total Household Resources are found on line 33 on the MI-1040CR or line 34 on the MI-1040CR-7.

To get started with Treasury Self-Serve, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax and click on "Where's My Refund?" within the left column.

Senator Hildenbrand backs bills to help Michigan taxpayers

Senate Republicans led a recent effort to preserve the personal exemption on state and local income taxes and provide more tax relief for Michigan families.

While federal tax reform simplified the tax code and lowered tax rates, it effectively ended the federal personal exemption. Senate Bill 748 makes the necessary changes to ensure taxpayers can claim the personal exemption on their state income taxes while Senate Bill 750 does the same for city income taxes. In addition, the tax reform boosts the state personal exemption by $600 to $4,900 by 2021 to help taxpayers keep more of their own money.

The legislation was signed by the Governor March 6th and is now Public Act 39 of 2018.

Senator Hildenbrand supports legislation to eliminate driver responsibility fees

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, offered the following statement regarding Wednesday's vote to repeal driver responsibility fees:

"Michigan residents who have been burdened with onerous driver responsibility fees will soon be able to put the debt behind them and get their driver's license reinstated.

"Enacted in 2003 to help balance the state budget, the driver responsibility fees initiative has been a failed experiment. It has created havoc in people's lives, including the loss of driving privileges and financial stress. The legislation passed today is a huge step in getting people back on their feet and ensuring they are able to have a better quality of life here in Michigan."

Treasury: Taxpayers Can Check State Refund Status Online

As the state of Michigan enters the second week of individual income tax season, the Michigan Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers who filed a 2017 state return to check the status of their refund online by going to www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund.

Individuals who e-filed can check their refund status two weeks from the date confirmation was received that the state return was accepted. The status of paper-filed tax returns can be viewed from six to eight weeks after postmarking.

The most up-to-date information about a taxpayer's refund is on the "Where's My Refund?" website. Taxpayers interested in learning the status of their refund are encouraged to use the website.

"Michigan taxpayers look forward to receiving their refunds during the income tax season," said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury's Tax Administration Group. "Whether a return was e-filed or sent through the mail, taxpayers can go to this website to check the status of their refund."

More than 5 million individual income tax returns are processed annually, with more than 4.1 million returns being e-filed.

Last year, approximately 3.7 million returns provided nearly $2 billion in refunds. More than two-thirds of the refunds issued were directly deposited into a taxpayer's bank account.

Required Information for Checking Refund Status

To ensure taxpayer privacy and security, the following information is required when checking the status of a refund at www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund:
  • Social Security Number
  • Tax Year
  • Filing Status
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Total Household Resources (THR)
Individuals can find their AGI on line 10 of the MI-1040. Total Household Resources are found on line 33 on the MI-1040CR or line 34 on the MI-1040CR-7.

Tax-Related Identify Theft Protections

In an effort to protect Michigan taxpayers, the state Treasury Department continues to implement security measures to stop tax-related identity theft. As a result, some state income tax returns may be selected for identity confirmation.

If a state income tax return has been selected for identity confirmation, the taxpayer will receive a letter from Treasury asking them to confirm their identity by completing a short online quiz or submitting paperwork. A phone option is available for those with functional needs or are not computer savvy.

After a taxpayer confirms his or her identity, their tax refund will be issued in about a month.

Taxpayers who have been recent victims of identity theft are asked to report their circumstances to the state Treasury Department. Reporting identity theft helps thwart cybercriminals who attempt to file returns and steal state tax refunds.

In 2017, increased security measures protected more than 4,000 taxpayers who confirmed their identity was stolen and used to request state of Michigan refunds. This prevented more than $16 million from being distributed to scammers.

To learn more about identity theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft. For more information about Michigan's individual income tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax.

Treasury: First Step to Scholarships and Other Assistance is Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding students and their families that the very first step to take when applying for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FASFA.

Priority consideration for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) and the Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) programs are given to students whose FAFSA is received at the federal processor on March 1 or earlier.

New for academic year 2018-19, all students must file the FAFSA to be considered eligible for any state aid program.

"The FAFSA is a federal application and in most cases is the gateway to financial assistance for many students," said Anne Wohlfert, director of Treasury's Student Financial Services Bureau. "Remember the first 'F' in FAFSA means 'Free.' There is no reason to pay to submit the FAFSA."

Prior to completing the online FAFSA, the student and at least one parent must obtain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at www.fafsa.gov. This ID serves as a legal signature and confirms an applicant's identity when accessing financial aid information through certain U.S. Department of Education websites.

To get started with the FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.gov. To learn more about state of Michigan scholarships and other financial assistance programs, go to MI Student Aid's website at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid or follow @MiStudentAid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.


Senator Hildenbrand supports new laws to improve specialty courts

Laws that take effect this month will help improve outcomes for some offenders and cut down on the rate of recidivism.

Under Public Acts 161-164 of 2017, specialty or "problem-solving" courts, including veterans treatment, sobriety, drug treatment and mental health courts, will follow the same evidence-based practices and uniform guidelines as part of a new certification process. The new laws will help give participants the best opportunity for success and create a more consistent approach for the courts.

Michigan's specialty courts reach 97 percent of the state's population, helping offenders access treatment to address underlying issues such as alcohol or drug abuse.

Senator Hildenbrand backs bill to help people with limited mobility

Many seniors and others with limited mobility depend on easy access to disability parking.

Senator Hildenbrand recently supported legislation to give physical therapists the same ability as physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to certify a patient's disability in applying for free parking stickers, disability windshield placards, license plates and parking permits. As health professionals with specialized knowledge in recognizing and providing treatment for mobility problems, these individuals also have the training and experience to determine a disabling condition. Senate Bill 582 has been sent to the House for consideration.

Pure Michigan Hunt update

Three lucky hunters recently received a congratulatory call from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as the 2018 Pure Michigan Hunt winners. The winners will receive elk, bear, spring and fall turkey and antlerless deer licenses and a base license to be used in 2018 as well as first pick opening morning of the waterfowl season at any managed waterfowl hunt area. Each hunter also will receive a package of donated hunting gear worth more than $4,000.

The 2018 drawing had a total of 35,214 applications, generating more than $176,000 for habitat restoration and improvements. Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing will be available starting March 1. Visit www.mi.gov/pmh for more information.

Report a pothole

Michigan's seasonal freeze-thaw cycle takes a toll on pavement! According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, as moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and thaws, it creates a gap in the pavement. As vehicles drive over the gap, the pavement weakens, leading to a pothole.Motorists can report a pothole on any state road (roads beginning with M, I or U.S. designations) at www.michigan.gov/mdot (click on How Do I) or by calling 888-296-4546. For potholes on other roads, contact your county or local unit of government.

Free tax preparation guides available

Download graphics to view this imageSenator Hildenbrand is pleased to provide a free resource that may be helpful in filling out state income tax forms for the 2017 tax year.

Though not a substitute for the Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets, the Michigan Taxpayer's Guide 2018 provides useful information on Michigan's individual income taxes, property taxes and tax credits. The publication includes copies of the most commonly used tax forms as well as a list of important property tax dates and deadlines and state tax agency tax assistance contact information. It's important to note that the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 does not affect individual income taxes for 2017.

Please visit Senator Hildenbrand's website for a link to the tax guide or contact my office for a print copy.


OK2SAY: Michigan's student safety program

Download graphics to view this imageMichigan's OK2SAY student safety program enables students, parents, teachers, friends and others to confidentially report anything they feel threatens their safety or the safety of others. Tips can be submitted by email at OK2SAY@mi.gov, telephone at 855-565-2729 (8-555-OK2SAY), text message at 652729 (OK2SAY) or online at OK2SAY.com. A mobile app is available through Google Play and iTunes. More than 11,000 tips have been received since the program launched in September 2014. Most tips reported suicide threats, bullying, assault, self-harm and drugs.
 
 
 
 
School Groups Visit the State Capitol
School Groups
Almost every week, I have the privilege of welcoming students from the Grand Rapids area to the Michigan capitol building. During their visit, I always try to welcome them and take a quick photo. To see these pictures, please visit this page on my website.
 
 

Contact Senator Hildenbrand’s Office

Senator Dave Hildenbrand
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Toll-Free: (866) 305-2129 or (517) 373-1801

www.SenatorDaveHildenbrand.com

Email: SenDHildenbrand@senate.michigan.gov.

Please include name, address, and phone number.

FacebookYouTube

The purpose of this E-Newsletter is to provide a timely update of Senator Hildenbrand's activity at the State Capitol to the residents and organizations of the 29th Senate District. Electronic newsletters will only be sent out on a monthly basis. You will not be inundated with e-mails.