Minnesota Rewards College Savings Accounts

On Wednesday this week, taxpayers who help to pay for college educations officially could celebrate. Did you take time out to cheer National 529 College Savings Day? Well, it probably wasn’t high on the day’s to-do list for most of us.  But, Minnesotans who contribute to a college savings plan ought to take a hint from the observance and look into two of the state’s educational tax breaks. Many will be eligible for either the Education Savings Account Contribution Credit or the similar Education Savings Account Contribution Subtraction. Both of these allowances are broad. They apply to contributions to any … Continue reading

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Minnesota Gives Tax Salutes To Its Military

One way Minnesota recognizes its military members and their service comes in their tax returns! The state Department of Revenue decided that this month, which is National Military Appreciation Month would be a good time to recap the list of tax deductions and other courtesies available to Minnesota’s men and women in the Armed Forces. They often include Minnesota residents serving actively with regular forces, reserves or National Guard You can look up a list of tax breaks at one Internet address. Minnesota Revenue’s military information page  is:  https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/individuals/individ_income/Pages/Members_of_the_Military.aspx Here are a few to note: Active duty military pay subtraction … Continue reading

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Storm-struck Counties Get One More Week To File Minnesota Taxes

Storm-struck Counties Get One More Week To File Minnesota Taxes Minnesota authorities have extended the April 15 tax deadline by one week for taxpayers in 64 counties hit hard by last week’s winter storm. The Minnesota Department of Revenue said individual taxpayers and businesses now have until April 22 to file their state income tax returns. They will not face late penalties or interest for submitting returns during that extra week. The extension affects only Minnesota tax returns.  Federal returns still are due on April 15. The new deadline follows Gov. Tim Walz’s declaration of an emergency because of Winter … Continue reading

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Still Figuring? Extend Tax Deadline– Automatically!

If the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t heard from you yet, it’s time to think about taking an extension! April 15 really is Tax Day this year; there are no weekends or holidays pushing back the filing deadline, as in some previous years.  And, while there’s been some talk in Congress about giving everyone more time to file, those proposals haven’t turned into law yet. Nonetheless, the government does give taxpayers six more months to file the paperwork. An extension can be filed online or by mail. Better yet, it’s automatically approved. The IRS won’t ask you why you need it. … Continue reading

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A Special Dispensation For Farmers and Fishers

Both the Internal Revenue Service and Minnesota’s Department of Revenue agree.  Taxpayers who farm or fish for a living deserve a break this time around! Most Individual farmers and commercial fishermen make a single estimated tax payment on Jan. 15 each year. If they don’t pay by March 1, they normally can be hit with penalties. But, the IRS changed some rules for 2018 returns and apparently sowed some confusion into the mix for many of those taxpayers.  Specifically, the IRS says it “anticipate(s) that farmers and fishermen may have difficulty accurately determining and paying their tax liability for the … Continue reading

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This Could Get A Little Complicated!

Minnesota taxpayers now are discovering that what works on their federal income tax returns doesn’t always work on state returns. There is an unusual disconnect between the two systems this tax season. In short, the federal government made sweeping changes that began in the 2018 tax year, and Minnesota’s government hasn’t yet coordinated with them as it has in the past. The result?  Minnesotan and their tax preparers now are dealing with numerous adjustments and some extra forms to undo those federal changes when filing state returns. Let’s take a couple of examples that affect most taxpayers. The tax reforms … Continue reading

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Despite Federal Lapse, Tax Season Arrives On Schedule

While the federal government largely remains on “Stop!”, the month-long shutdown apparently will not stand in the way of a normal beginning to the tax filing season. The Internal Revenue Service has called in about two-thirds of its work force to start processing of 2018 tax returns on Monday, Jan. 28. Of course, those 46,000 workers will be working without pay, like other government employees caught in the partial shutdown. The Minnesota Department of Revenue also kicks off its annual income tax rush on Monday.  Minnesota Revenue did note that many individual taxpayers who use tax professionals or tax prep … Continue reading

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Too Late To Trim Some Taxes?

It’s New Year’s Eve and the clock has just a few hours to tick away until the beginning of 2019! Benevolent taxpayers might still be able to reduce their 2018 income taxes with a very last-minute donation to a favorite charity. In fact, some non-profits have been reminding their benefactors about an opportunity to contribute. Making a donation online today or mailing a check in a letter postmarked on Dec. 31 are two ways that often can beat the year-end deadline. However, from a tax standpoint, donors also will want to remember that their gifts still are itemized deductions. Last … Continue reading

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Uncle Sam Will Still Split The Dinner Check!

The tax status of a business meal with a client has been a perplexing problem for companies and their tax pros since last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect. Deductible? Not allowed? Partially taxed? It’s been clear that businesses no longer can deduct 50 per cent of entertainment expenses bought for clients – tickets to events, golf outings, fishing trips, night clubs, hotel stays, etc. – even if they are business-related. But, in the words of the Internal Revenue Service, “the Act does not specifically address the deductibility of expenses for business meals.” Well, in October, the IRS … Continue reading

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Sales Tax Talk Just In Time For The Holidays!

’ Tis the year’s big selling season and those sales come with sales taxes. New business owner, seasoned proprietor with tax questions and bookkeepers in all industries can delve into the details of Minnesota’s state and local sales taxes without spending too much time on Dec. 6. The Minnesota Department of   Revenue is bringing its free Basic Sales and Use Tax class from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to the Heintz Center of Rochester Community and Technical College. The Center is at 1926 College View Road East. The course covers information about sales and local taxes, exceptions to them, and … Continue reading

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