Minnesota lawmakers passed an omnibus tax bill (H.F. 9) in the wee hours of July 1, 2021, finally giving guidance to Minnesotan taxpayers who were financially impacted by the pandemic.
Prior to this bill, Minnesota followed the Federal tax rules as of December 31, 2018. This is because Minnesota’s income tax code falls under what is called “static conformity,” meaning it does not automatically follow any tax reform at the federal level; it must be passed through the state legislature. This leads to confusion and delays, as the federal tax return is prepared one way and Minnesota another.
Although the conformity was not very timely, as the original 2020 tax deadline has passed, many taxpayers will benefit from these retroactive provisions of H. F. 9.
Important provisions include:
- Exclusion from gross income for loan forgiveness through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and SBA subsidy payments (forgiveness in fiscal 2019, 2020-2022 tax years)
- It also allows for deductibility of associated expenses
- Suspension of tax on up to $10,200 of unemployment insurance compensation for taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Income less than $150,000 (tax year 2020 only)
- Special rules for the use of retirement funds – allows up to $100,000 per individual taxpayer of coronavirus-related distributions from a retirement account, following the federal rules and repayment options (tax year 2020 only)
- Exclusion from individual gross income of discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness (2018-2020)
- Clarification that no state addition is required for federal section 179 deduction claimed for tax year 2020 and thereafter
Many taxpayers decided to extend their 2020 returns and wait and hope for conformity to pass. Once the Minnesota Department of Revenue provides updated forms to the software providers, 2020 tax returns can be filed with these new provisions.
If you have already filed your affected tax return, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will attempt to manually adjust your return and send you a letter of explanation and a refund. If your return is too complex for them to adjust, they will reach out and ask you to amend your return. They are asking taxpayers to wait to amend their returns until they hear from the Minnesota Department of Revenue, hopefully in late summer.
See the full bill here https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/bs/92/2021-1/HF0009.pdf
See Minnesota Department of Revenue guidance here https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNREV/bulletins/2e66e61