Income Tax FAQs
Who must file a Big Rapids income tax return?
Every resident, non-resident, or part-year resident of Big Rapids, including renters, who had a gross income of $600.00 or more (from sources listed under "What is Taxable Income") must complete and file a return by April 30 of the following tax year.
If you wish to claim a refund because the tax withheld or paid is more than the tax due, you must file a return.
If you filed a Declaration of Estimated Tax, you must file a return even though there is no change in tax liability.
What is the definition of resident and non-resident?
A Big Rapids RESIDENT is a person domiciled within the Big Rapids City limits. "Domicile" means a place where a person has a true, fixed and permanent home. A NON-RESIDENT is a person domiciled outside the City limits.
I attend Ferris State University. Is there anything different about my return?
Married students, living in Big Rapids, where one or both are attending Ferris, are considered residents, unless you are maintaining a permanent residence elsewhere.
Single students, living in Big Rapids and attending Ferris are considered residents unless you are maintaining a permanent residence elsewhere (including parents home) or are registered to vote elsewhere.
Are there any requirements for persons married filing jointly or separately?
Married persons may file either a joint or separate return.
Residents filing jointly must include all income of both spouses.
Non-residents filing jointly must include Big Rapids earned income of both spouses. In the case of a non-resident, where only one spouse has Big Rapids earned income, you can claim your spouse as an exemption, however, both must sign the return. If you file jointly, both names must be listed in the heading and both must sign the return. If you file separately, dependents can only be claimed by the spouse who would be entitled to claim such dependents under Federal Internal Revenue Code.
What about deceased taxpayers?
A return for a taxpayer who died during the taxable year should be filed on the same basis as he/she would have filed if he/she had lived. Please mark at the top of the return "FINAL RETURN." If a refund is due on the return and the check is to be made payable to a person(s) other than the surviving spouse, a letter of explanation must be attached.
What is the due date of my Big Rapids tax return?
Your return is due on or before April 30 of the current year, or within four months after the end of the fiscal year as accepted by the Internal Revenue Service.
The due date of your Big Rapids return may be extended for a period not to exceed six months. When an extension for filing a Big Rapids tax return is required, a City of Big Rapids Application for Extension must be filed by the due date of the return. You must also attach a copy of your federal extension to the Big Rapids Application for Extension.
When a City extension is granted, tentative tax must be paid by April 30 of the current year. Applying for a federal extension does not satisfy the requirement for filing a City extension, an application for a Big Rapids extension must still be filed and any tentative tax due must be paid by the due date.
1099 Miscellaneous Income Forms
Please send copies of 1099 Miscellaneous Income Forms along with the 1096 Transmittal Form from the IRS. (According to Public Act 211 of the State of Michigan, all employers who have employees working in the City are required to do this.) 1099 Miscellaneous Income Forms only pertain to those employees who worked in the City of Big Rapids.
What is taxable income - residents?
A resident is subject to tax on all items included in total Federal income (Subject to certain exclusions as listed in "What is Non-Taxable Income."). Taxable income would include:
- Salaries, bonuses, wages, commissions, fees, vacation pay, profit sharing plan income, severance pay, tips, sabbatical pay, sick pay, and other compensation regardless of where earned.
- Fair market value of merchandise or services received as compensation.
- Net profit or loss from the operation of a business or profession or other activity regardless of where earned.
- Income from a partnership, interest from an estate or trust, bank accounts, credit unions, saving and loan associations and other income regardless of where earned.
- Rental income, capital gains, and dividends.
- Winnings from the State Lottery and all gamblings.
- Scholarship and Fellowship Grant taxable under Federal Revenue Code.
- Alimony received.
- If you are a shareholder in a corporation that has elected to file under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code, you are not required to report any distributed income from Federal Schedule K-1, lines 1 through 11, nor may you deduct your share of any loss or other deductions distributed by the corporation. Distributions from an S corporation are taxable as if paid by a regular corporation as dividends.
What is taxable income - non-residents?
A non-resident is subject to tax on all items included in total Federal Income which are derived from or connected with Big Rapids sources as follows:
- Salaries, bonuses, wages, commissions, fees, vacation pay, severance pay, profit sharing plans and other compensation for services rendered as an employee in Big Rapids. Vacation pay, holiday pay, sabbatical pay, sick pay, institutional travel and a bonus paid by the employer are deemed to have the same tax status as the work assignment or work location and are taxable on the same ratio as the normal earnings of the employee.
- Fair market value of merchandise or service received as compensations.
- Net profits from the operation of a business or profession or other activity conducted in Big Rapids (See Schedule 2 for business allocation.) If Business is located inside the City limits, the entire amount of net profits are taxable.
- Net profits from rental or real and tangible property located in Big Rapids.
- Net profits from sale or exchange of personal property located in Big Rapids.
- Do not include on this return any losses or other deductions from a Subchapter S Corporation. All Corporations, including Subchapter S, taxable under the City Income Tax Ordinance must file as conventional corporations with the City of Big Rapids.
What is non-taxable income for both residents and non-residents?
The following types of income are non-taxable both to a resident and non-resident:
- Gifts, inheritances, bequests and distributions of principal from estates and trusts.
- Proceeds from insurance, pensions, annuities and retirement benefits (including SOCIAL SECURITY) even if taxable under the Federal Internal Revenue Code.
- Amounts received for personal injuries, sickness, and disability are excluded only to the extent provided by the Federal Internal Revenue Code.
- Unemployment compensation, supplemental unemployment benefits, welfare relief payments, workmen's compensation.
- Interest from obligation of the United States, such as Savings Bonds and Treasury Notes, obligations of the states, or subordinate units of government of states.
- Dividends on an insurance policy.
- Compensation received for service in the armed forces of the United States, including Reserves.
- Conventional IRA or Roth IRA payments made on income taxed by the City only. Conventional IRA or Roth IRA distributions after age 59 1/2 are NOT taxable income. You must attach a copy of your Federal Form. Federal guidelines are followed.
- Penalty on early withdrawals of savings.
- Ordinary, necessary, reasonable and non-reimbursed expenses paid or incurred by an individual in connection with the performance of services as an employee. Use Form BR2106.
What is non-taxable income for non-residents only?
The following items are non-taxable to non-residents only:
- Interest, dividends and royalty income.
- Income from trusts and estates.
How do I obtain a Big Rapids withholding booklet?
The City of Big Rapids Employer's Withholding Tax Forms and Instructions booklet are no longer mailed. All forms and instructions can be downloaded and printed from our web site.
2019 Big Rapids Withholding Tax Forms and Instructions can be found here.
What mailing address do I send my completed Big Rapids income tax return to?
All Big Rapids individual, corporate, partnership, and employer withholding income tax returns/forms should be mailed to either of the following addresses:
What documents, attachments, and schedules need to be submitted with my Big Rapids income tax return?
All W-2's, appropriate schedules, and a copy of the 1st & 2nd page of Federal 1040 must be attached to your Big Rapids income tax return. Failure to attach documentation or attaching incorrect or incomplete documentation will delay processing of the return and may result in corrections being made to the return.
Copies of each W-2 showing the amount of BIG RAPIDS tax withheld and having the locality name as Big Rapids (or an equivalent indicating the tax was withheld for Big Rapids) must be included with your return. Credit for Big Rapids tax withheld will not be allowed without a supporting Form W-2.
Can I file my Big Rapids income tax return electronically?
The City of Big Rapids at this time does not accept tax returns to be filed electronically. Regardless of what software/online tax program you use to prepare your own federal and state returns, you cannot electronically file your Big Rapids return.
You must print your Big Rapids return, attach all required additional documents (W-2's, 1099's, Page 1 & 2 of the Federal Return, any Federal Schedules, etc.), sign and date the return, and mail it to the correct address.
What is the BR-COV form and who may use it?
The BR-COV form is a new form for 2020 that can be used by non-residents only. Non-residents may be able to allocate wages for work performed remotely outside of Big Rapids for your Big Rapids employer during the stay at home order. You may allocate wages for days on which you worked remotely outside of Big Rapids for hours approximating your regular shift. You may not allocate wages for vacation days, sick days, holidays, or days for which you collected unemployment and days on which you were not in Big Rapids but only answered occasional work-related emails or phone calls. Unemployment compensation is not taxable by Big Rapids.
You must attach a signed copy of form BR-COV to your 2020 BR-1040 if you are allocating wages for COVID-related wage allocation. You must also attach a letter from your employer that is on company letterhead, confirms the dates you worked remotely outside of Big Rapids and is signed by your supervisor or Human Resource Department.