Minnesota's Department of Revenue has some advice for taxpayers: Please wait.
Given a new tax relief law in place, after quick legislative action last week, the agency is asking taxpayers who could benefit to wait until April 3 to file their taxes. By then, the agency, software vendors and tax preparers should have updated forms in place to process the tax breaks.
The department also wants taxpayers who have already filed their returns -- and about half of Minnesotans have -- to wait for the department to contact them about getting refunds if they will benefit from the new law. It may take months, but the agency expects that it will simply send out checks to the taxpayers who overpaid or contact them for further information.
"This is a pretty complex task," said Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans. "This is not something you normally want to do this late in the filing season."
Last week, after some hullabaloo, the Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton approved a $444 million tax relief package. The tax relief, coming after a year when Democrats raised taxes by nearly $2 billion, gives Dayton and lawmakers a popular talking point now that they're up for re-election.
Only about a quarter -- $57 million in tax cuts -- will apply to 2013 taxes, meaning those who filed already will get refunds and those who have yet to file will pay less in taxes. Individual taxpayers will end up paying about $49 million less in taxes this year and businesses will pay an estimated $8 million less.
The tax cuts will apply to about ten percent of all taxpayers this year, or about 250,000 to 270,000 Minnesotans.
The people who will benefit fall into 22 different categories. A dozen of those are businesses. Others include low income families, college students, parents who adopted children last year and educators who paid for classroom supplies.
See the full list of individual taxpayer categories below. See the department's general guidance for individual taxpayers here.