The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 28, 2014

State tax changes have preparer's phones ringing

Taxpayers look for more refund, some money back

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That sum will grow substantially next year, when an estimated 650,000 filers will become eligible for larger deductions with the elimination of the so-called marriage penalty.

Some 1.4 million Minnesotans — just over half of the state's income taxpayers — have filed this year's returns, according to the state.

The tax changes align Minnesota's tax laws more closely with the federal tax code. If taxpayers have already claimed the new benefits on their federal tax returns, they will be reflected in less taxable income on their state returns.

These 10 categories of taxpayers qualify for the new tax breaks:

— Families with incomes between $25,000 and $45,000 can qualify for the Working Family Credit.

— Homeowners who paid mortgage insurance premiums.

— Former homeowners who sold a house in a "short sale" or foreclosure can exclude the amount of debt forgiven from their income.

— K-12 school teachers who bought school supplies with their own money.

— Students or parents who paid college tuition.

— Former students who paid interest on college loans.

— Parents with K-12 students who used funds from a Coverdell Education Savings Account to pay school expenses.

— Health professionals who received certain types of federal financial aid.

— Workers who received employer-paid education, adoption or transit financial assistance.

— Taxpayers over 70 1/2 who made charitable contributions from an IRA.

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