Sen. Clausen Provides Important Information on Your Tax Refunds

ST. PAUL, MINN – State Senator Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley) supported legislation in late March that provides hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans with immediate tax relief. The legislation aligned Minnesota’s tax laws with the federal government’s, and also repealed the business-to-business sales tax increases passed last session.

Up to 400,000 Minnesota taxpayers who filed taxes by the April 15 deadline will see lower tax bills — and in some cases, higher refunds — because of federal tax conformity changes included in the bill. These changes mean more money in Minnesotans’ pockets – particularly the 650,000 married couples who will start saving an average of $115 a year beginning in 2015.

“We’ve also expanded the Working Family Tax Credit to reach 16,000 new Minnesotans and increased the credit by an average of $334 for the more than 300,000 other Minnesotans who already qualify,” Sen. Clausen said. “Students and parents paying for college will see tax relief in the form of student loan interest deductions and higher education tuition deductions, and K-12 teachers who invest their own money into their classrooms will be able to deduct some of those expenses.”

The legislation also provided tax relief for Minnesota businesses by eliminating all three business-to-business taxes on April 1. These include a tax on electronic and commercial equipment repair and maintenance, telecommunications equipment, and warehousing and storage services. The Angel Investment Tax Credit, which supports entrepreneurs across the state, has been extended two additional years. The annual allocation for this program has been increased, and the money is targeted to ensure suburban businesses have a better shot at benefitting from these investments.

The tax bill also proposes to transfer $150 million into the state budget reserve in July and sets an automatic threshold for future surplus revenues. This will increase our state’s total reserve to $810.9 million. “As our state’s economy continues to grow and add jobs, we have ensured that our state budget has adequate revenue for future years that will support our schools and other essential services,” Clausen said.

According to Clausen, the Department of Revenue will be taking the following steps to ensure all Minnesota taxpayers receive the additional refunds if they qualify for them.

After April 15, the Department of Revenue (DOR) began reviewing tax returns that qualify for the new tax law changes. The first step in the process involves manually reviewing returns filed before April 2. On April 18 the DOR began manually reviewing returns that were filed before the law change on March 21. So far, 3,600 returns have been reviewed and adjusted as needed. On April 21, the department began manually reviewing returns that were filed between March 21 and April 2. Thus far, 850 returns have been reviewed and adjusted as needed.

To shorten the review time, DOR is currently programming the integrated tax system to automate some of the reviews and adjustments. They anticipate that by May 12 our tax system will begin automatically reviewing some returns and notifying taxpayers that one of three things will happen:

1. The DOR will adjust your return and issue a refund, if due
2. The DOR will request more information from you, adjust your return if possible, and issue a refund, if due
3. If the DOR cannot adjust your return, they will notify you to file an amended return

The DOR will continue reviewing returns daily until they have completed the review of those returns that qualify for the new tax law changes.

Taxpayers who have changed addresses since their last filing should notify the department of their new address [ http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/individuals/individ_income/Pages/Changing_your_address.aspx ] so DOR can send refunds and correspondence to the correct place.

Check the status of your refund online using the “Where’s My Refund” application:
[ https://www.mndor.state.mn.us/tp/refund/_/1 ].

For complete tax law change information, visit the department’s website [http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/Pages/law_changes.aspx ].

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Senator Greg Clausen
Greg Clausen lives in Apple Valley and represents District 57 in the southern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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