The state and federal tax-filing season officially opens on Friday, February 12. Taxpayers have until April 15, 2021, to file income tax returns for Tax Year 2020. This year, there are many items to consider when filing taxes:
Federal Recovery Rebate: The Economic Impact Payments (“stimulus checks”) distributed by the federal government in 2020 were based on taxpayers’ 2018 or 2019 tax return data. Some taxpayers did not receive the full stimulus payments or did not qualify at all. Those taxpayers should examine potential eligibility for a federal Recovery Rebate on their federal taxes, which is based on 2020 tax information. The IRS website provides more information on the Recovery Rebate Credit, but it particularly applies to:
- Those who lost wages in 2020 compared to 2019
- Recent college graduates
- Anyone who did not receive the full amount of the first EIP of $1,200 ($2,400 married-joint) or the second EIP of $600 ($1,200 married-joint)
Free state income tax filing: Free electronic filing of Minnesota taxes is available for Minnesotans whose Adjusted Gross Income is $72,000 or less or who meet certain other requirements, which vary based on the electronic tax-filing system used. To determine eligibility for each program, visit the Department’s website.
Free tax preparation: Taxpayers may qualify for free tax preparation help for federal and Minnesota income tax returns if they meet one of these criteria: be age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have income less than $57,000 per year. There are more than 200 free tax preparation sites across Minnesota offering help from IRS-certified volunteers. Most sites are open February 12 through April 15 and can be found on the Department’s website.
Fraud prevention: The Department of Revenue reviews and verifies information on all tax returns to make sure the right refund goes to the right person. Learn more about identity theft and see tips on how to protect financial information on the Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud page.
Track refunds: Taxpayers can track the status of their refunds by using the Where’s My Refund? system on the Department of Revenue’s website. The system will alert filers whether any additional action is needed and will display the exact date any refunds are sent.
Property tax refunds: Renters and homeowners in Minnesota may be eligible for property tax refunds. The applications must be filed separately from income tax returns and refunds will not be distributed until after August 2021. Forms may be found here.