Income Tax



As of March 30, 2023, the Income Tax Processing Center is currently completing refund returns received on March 1, 2023. For taxpayers who filed before that date and have not yet received a refund, email incometax@cityofeastlansing. For taxpayers who filed after March 1, returns will be processed in the order they were received. The Income Tax Processing Center will update these dates on a weekly basis.


Taxpayers can find current instruction guides and income tax forms on the Income Tax Forms webpage.  


The City of East Lansing's income tax took effect on January 1, 2019. The tax will expire after 12 years and revenue from the tax will be dedicated for specific purposes: 20% for police and fire protection, 20% for infrastructure and 60% for supplemental payments for unfunded pension liabilities. Residents (working in East Lansing or another community) will pay a 1% tax and non-residents working in East Lansing will pay a 0.5% tax.


The City of East Lansing is required to provide a 1099G tax form to anyone who received a tax refund during 2022. The 1099G is issued to the person whose name and social security number are indicated as primary on the return. Furthermore, the City is required to report that amount to the Internal Revenue Service. For those who itemize deductions on their federal tax return, this refund amount may need to be reported on their 2022 federal tax return. For those who take the standard deduction on their federal tax return, the 1099G should be kept for their records. 


Non-residents who have been working from home, rather than from their workplace in East Lansing, will be able to allocate the time spent working outside the City. This only applies to time actually spent working from home. This doesn't apply to those being paid to stay home (being on-call) and not working except for answering occasional e-mails or phone calls. Wages paid for staying home and on-call are treated similarly to pay related to holidays and time off (sick, vacation, etc). 

If an individual is eligible to allocate their time inside and outside the City, the East Lansing Income Tax Office requires a letter from their employer verifying the information on their return. This does not need to be an overly formal letter. It can be from a direct supervisor, as long as it is on the employer’s letterhead. This letter must be submitted along with the individual's return. The City will also accept a detailed log of the time worked inside and outside the City instead of a letter. An individual's refund cannot be processed until after this documentation is received.  

This wage allocation only applies to non-residents who choose to allocate their time. Residents are taxed on all wages, no matter where they are earned.


There have been some questions on how sick, vacation and holidays impact the allocation of time worked within and outside the City. The following example explains how the numbers should be reported on the “Wages and Excludible Wages Schedule – Attachment 2-1.” 

Total Working Days for the Year: 260
Sick, Vacation & Holidays for the Year: 30
Days Worked within East Lansing: 100
Total Wages per Box 1 of the W-2: $75,000

Calculation of Taxable and Excludable Wages:
Total Working Days for the Year: 260
Sick, Vacation & Holidays for the Year: (30)
Actual Days Worked: 230
Days Worked within East Lansing: 100
Percentage Taxable: 43.48%
Total Wages: $75,000
Total Taxable Wages: $32,610
Excludable Wages: $42,390


After submitting their completed EL-SS-4, employers can use the City of East Lansing's new Employer Withholding Tool to set up their withholding tax account and complete their withholding tax reporting and payment. 


The City of East Lansing has created an interactive Income Tax Boundary Map using Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping technology. This interactive map shows the area where the income tax will be assessed and is searchable by address, parcel number and MSU building name.  


View the City of East Lansing's income tax fact sheets for individuals and businesses: