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29 Dec 2016


You may qualify for up to a $500 credit on your MN tax return if you are paying student loans. This is in addition to the federal deduction. We will need 3 vital figures to determine if you are eligible, so you will need to do a little homework before your appointment. Please bring in the following:

Total payments made to your student loans in 2017

Total interest paid on your loans in 2017 (on your 1098E tax form)

The original amount of your loan (this will likely require a phone call to your loan servicer)


529 Plan Tax Deduction and/or Credit - Starting in 2017, you may now get a deduction of up to $3000 or a credit of up to $500 for contributing to 529 educational savings accounts. Contributions can be for any beneficiary, not just your own kids either! So tell Grandma and Grandpa they can deduct up to $1500 each for contributing to your child’s 529 plan! Get your contributions in by December 31st for the 2017 deduction. If your income is low enough, the credit of $500 is available if you put in at least $1000 (which is an amazing deal if you qualify!) You will need to know the total contributed as well as the account numbers for each account you funded in 2017.

Income and Contribution Limits for the Credit can be found here.

Info on the $1500/person deduction is listed here.


The IRS is trying harder to combat tax fraud and errors regarding dependents and is now requiring tax preparers to collect proof that children reside with parent/guardian for ALL taxpayers claiming child tax credits. So if you are claiming a dependent on your tax return, please bring one of following to prove qualifying dependent lives with you: School record, landlord statement, medical statement, child care provider statement, placement agency statement, Place of Worship statement, Employer statement, or something else showing child lives at your residence.

If you are claiming a child that doesn’t live with you at least half time. We must retain a signed Release of Claim to Exemption Form 8332 so please have the dependent’s custodial parent sign this form and bring it to your appointment. There will be a fee for holding your return for this form, so please help us keep your fees down and bring this form to your appointment.


If you have more than $10,000 in investments or other assets outside the U.S., you need to file an FBAR online–and deadline was moved up to April 15th instead of June 30th! Not only do you have to report the income from these accounts, but you will need to list the details of the assets held (value, type, account info, etc.). Please let us know if this applies to you when it comes to tax time!


Everyone with health insurance will need to bring in their 1095 form as proof of coverage. Form 1095-B should be coming from your health insurance company, and Form 1095-C will be given out by employers who have 50 or more Full Time employees. You may get just one or both! If you have insurance through MNSure or Federal Healthcare Exchange (if you had a Medal level plan: Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc..), you will get Form 1095-A. Please watch for these as we also need those to finish your taxes this year. 


If you donate more than $250 to any one organization during the year, you must have a written acknowledgment from the non-profit organization before you can claim the deduction on your return. Please bring receipts for those in to your appointment. If you donate more than $500 worth of goods to a non profit (Goodwill, DAV, but NOT Savers), you will need to itemize and value your donations prior to your appointment. A helpful website to keep track of this type of donations here.


For rental property or business expenses, please note that the IRS now lets you use either $500 or $2500 as a limit for expensing items as a supply/repair vs Equipment/Improvement. Please keep that in mind as you tally your deductions! Use the Equipment Worksheet for the over $500 items and put the smaller things in the supplies, repairs, or office expense categories. Then you can discuss the $500-2500 items with your tax preparer. More information on new Tangible Property Regulations can be found here.