A Bill for Taxes Due - Final Assessment was properly delivered to the taxpayer by certified mail to the last known address of the taxpayer. [Hatherly Associates, Inc. v. Michigan Department of Treasury, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 291100, June 29, 2010,Michigan Court of Appeals]
A final Michigan use tax assessment for a motor home that was purchased in another state was properly delivered by certified mail to the taxpayer's last known address. Accordingly, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT) properly dismissed the taxpayer's appeal of the assessment for lack of jurisdiction because the appeal was not timely.
The taxpayer alleged that the MTT erred when it found that the Michigan Department of Treasury satisfied the notice requirement because the department could not produce the green card proving receipt by the taxpayer. However, the requirement of certified mail to the last known address did not require production of documentation establishing proof of receipt. Rather, certified mail was a postal service classification that provided a mailing receipt to the sender and a record of delivery at the office of address. The purpose of certified mail was to record the date of mailing and to prevent stale claims.
The issue of whether the department's efforts provided legally sufficient notice was a question of law and in this case the MTT applied the law correctly. The department mailed the final assessment by certified mail, had information that the final assessment was delivered, and had no information to the contrary. There was no dispute that the department used the correct address. Therefore, the department took steps reasonably calculated to inform the taxpayer of the assessment.