Minnesota Rewards Political Contributions To Winners Or Losers

Election contributions were flowing in Minnesota in 2020. Did you get into the thick of it with a contribution to your favorite candidate? Hope you kept the right receipt.

Politically active Minnesotans can find at least some reward for their donations in state codes. The Political Contribution Refund promises to repay as much as $50 (individual) or $100 (married couple) for gifts to Minnesota office-seekers and political parties in the state last year.

To claim it, you need only to be a registered voter, or just be eligible to become a voter. Of course, you also must have given one or more contributions during 2020.

Here’s the caution about the receipt. To back up their donations, contributors must submit the original receipt – Form EP-3 – issued by the candidate or party. (No, even a handwritten thank-you from the candidate won’t work.)  Minnesota Department of Revenue warns that, without that EP-3, “We will send your (application) form back to you.”   

Let us mention one other important detail. Taxpayers should not send in the Form PCR with an income tax return. Minnesota Revenue says that could delay processing of both the refund and the return.  See the form with its instructions at https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/2019-12/pcr_20.pdf

The instructions give some specifics about the state offices and political organizations qualifying for contributions and the refund.

The due date for the 2020 Form PCR is April 15, 2021, the same day as for income tax returns. By the way, the PCR for tax year 2021 also is already online at the Minnesota Revenue site.

 Eric Buechler, owner of EricJohn Ltd., can dig deeper into this Minnesota refund or take on more complicated issues in preparing your state or federal taxes.