Relationship Test Not Satisfied By Common Ownership
In Winget v. Department of Treasury, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 302190, October 16, 2012,
affirming the lower court, the appellate court held that taxpayers were not permitted to combine business income from separate entities for Michigan personal income tax purposes.
The court did not permit the taxpayers to add the property, payroll, and sales of multiple S corporations to establish a single property factor, a single payroll factor, and a single sales factor. Michigan law does not allow separate entities to be treated as a unitary business in the absence of some common ownership at the entity level, and being owned by the same individual taxpayer is insufficient to trigger this relationship requirement. In this case, the taxpayers' S corporations were legally separate and distinct business entities and there was no common ownership at the entity level. Therefore, separate apportionment percentages were properly applied to each S corporation.