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Legislative update

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

I have received several questions on the progress by the Minnesota Department of Revenue concerning state income tax returns and the change in state law that made the federal unemployment insurance (UI) tax exempt for state income tax purposes. The change in law occurred after the deadline date for filing state income tax returns.

The Department of Revenue (DOR) recently provided an update on this matter. The DOR is currently working through the 2020 income tax returns that are involved. It will adjust as many returns as it can on its end and then send out a refund. If the DOR cannot adjust a taxpayer’s return, it will be reaching out directly to individual taxpayers advising them they will need to amend their return.

Starting later this month, the DOR indicates it will be sending out regular updates via email through “GovDelivery,” as well as posting updates on the DOR website to inform taxpayers of their progress and when DOR will be issuing refunds. Visit this website to sign up for “GovDelivery” emails from the DOR. For more information on Minnesota tax law changes visit this link.

Minnesota agriculture continues to suffer from a punishing drought that is negatively impacting both crops and livestock. Both the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture have several assistance programs available. The MN Department of Agriculture maintains an excellent website titled “Drought Resources” that provides details on all the current assistance programs. Here are some examples:

Minnesota Disaster Recovery Loan Program - Zero-interest loans are available to Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering due to extreme drought conditions under the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Disaster Recovery Loan Program. This loan is available to help cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance. Click here for more.

USDA Disaster Assistance for Drought Recovery - Producers who experience livestock deaths and feed losses due to natural disasters may be eligible for the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and a Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). This program also provides eligible producers with compensation for expenses associated with transporting water to livestock physically located in a county that is designated as level “D3 Drought - Extreme” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Also, livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought in 2021 may be eligible for compensation through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). Visit this link for more information on these federal programs.



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