The Taxation Section, as a representative of the legal profession, shall serve its members and the public through education and leadership in efforts to achieve an equitable, efficient, and workable tax system.

Letter to Governor Whitmer Regarding State Income Tax Deadlines

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, The Taxation Section wrote a formal letter to the Office of Governor Whitmer requesting the extension of due dates for filing state income tax returns and payment of state income taxes with respect to the 2019 and 2020 taxable years, as applicable. Read the full letter PDF

NOTICE: Tax Policy Guidelines—March 2021

More Information PDF

Welcome From the Taxation Section Chair

Dear Members of the Taxation Section:

I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Prior to the pandemic, our Section had approximately 1,300 active members. During the pandemic occurring during the prior fiscal year and continuing during this fiscal year, we continue to enjoy a national reputation as one of the leading state bar taxation sections.  Our prior chair, James Combs, delivered on commitments by Tax Council despite the pandemic ensuring programs moved to virtual programs and he led an increasing in grants to recipients so that taxpayers with the greatest needs for professional tax advice were served.  Mr. Combs delivered during our “new normal” and for that we should all be thankful for his efforts, years of leadership, professional insight and guidance. 

As the Taxation Section continues to deal with this new normal, we will continue our broad-based activities including: a high quality tax journal; active subcommittees; a variety of continuing legal educational programs (addressing needs for new and experienced tax practitioners); a grant program to assist low income tax clinics, and outreach events dedicated to young lawyers and law school students with an interest in tax law. 

In order to deliver those activities, the Tax Section welcomes new and returning volunteers to their roles and committees. Please welcome the committee chairs for the upcoming fiscal year:

  • Lena Gionnette – Employee Benefits
  • Buzz Leach – Estates and Trusts
  • Christopher Attar – Federal Income Tax
  • Andrea Crumback – State and Local Tax
  • Negah McKevitt – Young Tax Lawyers

Thank you for stepping up to serve and to the officers and all on council who chose to return to service.  I invite each of you reading this today to reach out to the committee chairs (or to me) with your ideas, topics or questions. 

My priority this fiscal year is to deliver meaningful opportunities for interest tax lawyers to participate in the section.  Those opportunities come in many different activities as outlined above.  However, as you read this MTL, I hope that you will consider how you can participate in the Section this year.   Consider any of the following activities:

  • attending a committee event;
  • attending the annual tax section conference;
  • drafting a timely article for broad consumption in your area of expertise;
  • presenting at a committee event;
  • participating in an amicus brief;
  • working on an ad hoc committee for a federal comment letter or an amicus brief; or
  • attending the Tax Boot Camp.

As we prepared this version of the Michigan Tax Lawyer, I recognize some of the challenges we face during the new normal makes some of the participation above difficult.  While the preference may be to meet in person we are reluctantly doing many of the activities above remotely or virtually.  I have been surprised how many of our Tax Section members who normally do not attend meetings attended the annual meeting last fall or other meetings virtually.  The opportunities for broadening the geographic diversity of participants has naturally increased due to the general acceptance of online meetings.  One of my goals this year will be to continue to encourage and foster the participation by tax professionals more broadly across the state.  Perhaps this broader geographic participation is a combination of savings of resources and time that have made it convenient to attend.   

Please plan on attending our annual (virtual) Tax Conference in May.  Look for the morning coffee networking in the morning prior to attending.  While the conference will be virtual this May, 2021, the morning coffee will allow for networking with your fellow tax professionals. I look forward to seeing you all there.  We again look forward to hearing our lead speaker discuss perspectives from the Hill and views on post-election tax reform. Please register for the conference at the earliest opportunity.

It is a privilege to serve this community and I am looking forward to working with the Section’s Council and Committees to build upon the solid foundation laid by my predecessors. In short, stay tuned as we have more in the works. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please get in touch with me at wlentine@wnj.com.

William C. Lentine, Taxation Section Chair

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