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Waiting on tax law changes to file your taxes? Don’t, says revenue commissioner

File now, but stay tuned.

That’s the advice from Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty, if you haven’t yet filed your income taxes. A one-month extension from the typical April 15 deadline for submitting tax forms to the federal and state governments is up on Monday, which is, coincidentally, when the Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn.

But if you’re waiting to find out if tax law will change by Monday, you should assume it won’t. And, if you already have filed your taxes, Doty told the Tax Conference Committee Friday that his department will try to update as many returns automatically as possible. That said, he recommended taxpayers periodically visit for updates. You may be asked to file an amended return, depending upon what changes in Minnesota tax law.

The conference committee’s co-chair, Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), cited several potential changes in state law that could arise in the tax bill the committee is formulating, such as exemptions or subtractions for forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans, unemployment benefits, Small Business Administration and Economic Injury Disaster loans, and shuttered venue grants.

“We are going to try to adjust as many of those returns as we can automatically,” Doty said. “But there will be a significant number that we won’t be able to, dependent upon the complexity of the return. Once something is passed, we have to update our systems. We will also be able to communicate directly with taxpayers, ‘If your tax return contains A, B or C, this is something you may need to consider amending.’”

Doty said the state does not charge for amending a return, but later clarified that tax preparers and tax preparation software may. Filers would have three-and-a-half years to submit an amended return.

“In the past, when there’s been a big change, particularly around filing time, taxpayers file for extensions,” said Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope). “We have often had public service announcements and advice going out and that costs money. Since it looks like we won’t get this bill voted on until June, what kind of budget will you be asking the conference committee to give you for that?”

“I’ve not estimated any kind of a public relations budget, but I am committed to get information out,” Doty said. “We will be directing people to our website to get ongoing information. We will get as much information as we can out to taxpayers, to CPAs, and a large listserv of organizations.”

Doty said, as of Wednesday, 2.4 million tax returns have been filed and the state has sent out $1.5 million in refunds. He said 94% of filers have done so electronically, and most are receiving refunds in 11 to 12 days. Most of those filing paper returns are receiving their refunds within 25 days.

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