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Revenue Dept. Highlights Tax Cuts, Says Wait Until April 3 To File

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) – Minnesota tax officials are scrambling to put in place new tax cuts passed by the legislature just six days ago. In a rare move, they’re asking taxpayers who might qualify for tax cuts to wait until April 3 to file. The department needs until then to program the tax cuts into its computers and instruction forms.

Now, the Minnesota Revenue Department says it wants taxpayers to know about new tax cuts that might not have been getting widespread attention:

• Last year’s gift tax is now repealed.

• Former students can deduct their student loan interest, an average tax cut of $176.

• Working families: eligible for a tax cut averaging $334.

• Homeowners who had a foreclosure or a short sale: a tax cut averaging $2100.

That last one is a major relief for people like Brenda Scandin, who owed thousands of dollars in taxes on the short sale of her home.

“When it happened to me, I saw what could really happen to someone in a short amount of time — that you can lose everything,” Scandin said.

The Revenue Department is also highlighting a controversial warehouse tax: It was supposed to go into effect April 1. It’s now gone. So is tax on farm equipment repairs.

Not only is the Revenue Department publicizing lesser-known tax cuts, it’s willing to review tax returns and automatically send a check.

“We will review all gift tax returns that have been filed since last year and if there was a payment, we will refund that payment directly,” Myron Frans, the Minnesota Revenue Commissioner, said.

The Revenue Department is asking taxpayers to visit its website and click on the orange “Tax Law Changes” icon to see if they qualify for new tax cuts. And it’s asking Minnesotans who use popular computer tax programs, like TurboTax, to watch carefully for updates, which are coming soon.

“The key is that they accept those updates and run those through their software, to make sure they have the updates on their desktop,” Frans said.

On Thursday, Revenue Department said 1.5 million people have already filed, and another million will file after April 3. If you’ve already filed, they say do nothing. Tax officials are reviewing income tax forms, and they will contact you if you are getting more money back.

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