It's tax time! Assistance is now available

It's tax time! Assistance is now available

Minnesota taxpayers could begin filing their state income tax returns February 12, the same day the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began accepting federal returns.

The deadline to file both state and federal returns is Thursday, April 15 to file and pay state and federal income taxes.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, some traditional forms of tax assistance have changed. Libraries and community centers were help has been offered may not be open or may have limited hours.

The Minnesota Department of Revenueoffers tips to income tax filers as they prepare to file their taxes Some taxpayers may qualify for tax preparation. If Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $72,000 or less, a taxpayer may qualify to file electronically for free. Links on the website can be used to determine if free state and federal income tax filing is free.

One good source of information is United Way 211. Call 221 or go to the website to see what is available in your area. Go to https://www.211unitedway.org/

Free tax preparation sites available across Minnesota through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide programs. Some sites offer in-person options while others offer virtual services. Most sites are open through April 15. The state website lists free sites so taxpayers can see what is available in their home area.

File electronically and choose direct deposit. Electronically filing a return and choosing direct deposit for a refund is the most secure and convenient way to file taxes and get a refund. Learn more about electronic filing options and the benefits of choosing direct deposit.

Check for accuracy. Enter the taxpayer name, and any dependent’s names, exactly as they appear on Social Security cards, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) cards or letters. Double-check bank routing and account numbers used on tax forms for direct deposit. Incorrect information on tax forms can result in refund delays.

Save receipts and other tax-related documents. If certain deductions or credits are claimed, be sure to include all required documentation when filing and save copies in case those are needed to reference in the future.

File returns by the April 15, 2021 due date, even if more is owed than can be paid. Pay as much as possible and contact state and federal officials about any outstanding balance, to set up a payment plan if you owe more than you can pay. Payments can be made electronically.

After tax forms are filed, anyone expecting a refund can use online programs to track the progress of refunds and see what if any steps must be taken to complete the processing of a refund.

Do not spend a tax refund until the money appears in a bank account. Returns may take longer to process because of the increase in attempted refund fraud due to scams, stolen personal information, and identity theft. The department will take the time necessary to review returns to make sure money is kept out of criminals’ hands.

If a taxpayer must move after filing returns, let state officials know by calling 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094 (toll-free) to change an address.

The state is offering limited in-person services at its St. Paul office on weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The service desk will accept and process payments by check, money order, or cash. Visit our website for more information about the services available.

Get the latest news and updates from the Minnesota Department of Revenue by following the department on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up for its email subscription list. FFI: https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/minnesota-department-revenue