Minnesota revenue officials racing to get refunds out

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 6, 2014 - 9:37 PM

The tax break passed in the middle of filing season has revenue officials scrambling.

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Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans

 

State revenue officials are busy looking through the returns of 260,000 Minnesotans who might qualify for extra tax rebates.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has already manually reviewed about 52,000 of the tax filings and plans to ­finish the rest by June 27.

Between now and then, Minnesotans who qualify will receive an additional refund automatically or be asked for additional information or be told they need to file an amended return.

“We are making progress,” said state Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans.

Minnesota revenue officials are scrambling to review individual income taxes that were filed before Gov. Mark Dayton and legislators passed about $444 million in tax relief, including millions in retroactive tax breaks for the 2013 tax year. Legislators approved the retroactive tax relief in the middle of tax season, creating a frantic race by revenue officials to get the changes on the books even as completed tax returns were streaming in.

More than 1.1 million Minnesotans filed their income taxes after the new tax law took effect April 1, which means their filings would have come in under the new laws and would not require manual review.

The tax measure better aligns Minnesota’s tax code to federal deductions, and was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Those eligible for retroactive relief include college graduates paying off student loans and Minnesotans receiving tuition assistance from employers. Consumers who lost their home to foreclosure or sold them at a steep loss through a short sale will get some of the largest immediate relief.

Frans urged Minnesotans to hold off filing applications for additional property tax refunds and renters credits. Legislators are still wrestling over another proposal for an additional $100 million in tax breaks that could further alter property tax rebates and the renters credits.

Revenue officials will begin reviewing property tax refund applications after the legislative session and once they finish sorting out income tax rebates. So far, about 400,000 Minnesotans have submitted applications for renters and property tax credits, about half of the total number expected to qualify for the rebates.

House and Senate budget leaders are in the closing days of finalizing a second tax measure, selecting from a long menu of possible tax breaks. With about $600 million left to spend or throw into the state’s rainy-day fund, legislative leaders from both parties are committed to some level of additional tax relief. House DFLers are pushing hard for more direct property tax breaks, while Senate Democrats are pressing for a menu of other tax reductions to assist mostly middle-income Minnesotans.

Minnesotans with questions about refunds, please call 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094. Consumers can e-mail questions to individual.incometax@state.mn.us. Or check out the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website at www.revenue.state.mn.us.

 

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