For more information contact: Austin Bleess 651-296-5529
St. Paul – State Representative Jenifer Loon (R – Eden Prairie) today introduced Legislation, HF 2388, in the Minnesota House of Representatives that would set a deadline for the Legislature to adopt federal tax code changes. HF 2388 would relieve citizens of the burden of filing amended returns for late changes to Minnesota’s tax code under certain circumstances.
Every year the United States Congress passes changes to the federal tax code after the Minnesota Legislature adjourns. When the legislature reconvenes they must work quickly to modify the state tax code to conform to the federal changes, allowing Minnesotans to accurately file their returns by the April 15th deadline. Those citizens impacted by the conformity measures who file their state taxes before these changes are implemented are currently required to file an amended return.
In discussing her bill Loon stated, "Taxpayers should not be penalized for the Legislature's inability to pass a tax conformity package, which is generally a very non-controversial bill, in a timely manner. This should be one of the first items of business when the Legislature convenes each year. My bill simply sets a deadline for our actions. If we miss the March 1st deadline, taxpayers owing a minimal amount are held harmless from the Legislature's procrastination."
Under the legislation proposed by Loon, taxpayers would not be required to file an amended return if the conformity changes were enacted after March 1st, and the amount of money owed to the state as a result of these changes is less than $100.
Rep. Loon said the inspiration for this bill came to her from a constituent who was negatively affected by the State’s delayed action this year. This year the tax conformity bill was not signed into law until April 3rd, just 12 days before Tax Day. Her constituent, who had already submitted his taxes, had to file an amended return to remit an extra $7 to the state and pay a tax preparer $100 to complete the amended return.
According to an April 1st press release on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website, approximately 60 percent of Minnesotans had already filed their 2008 tax returns by that date. The State’s delayed action on the federal tax conformity bill rendered many of these returns inaccurate.
“This is a very reasonable proposal, as evidenced by its strong bipartisan support from fellow Republicans and Democrats serving on the House Tax Committee,” said Loon. While this bill will likely not receive action this year, Rep. Loon said the House Tax Chair, Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL – Bloomington), has agreed to hear this bill next session.
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