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Last Updated: 9/5/2018

Commissioner Filed Returns (also see Tax Orders)

Our taxing division may file a Commissioner Filed Return (CFR) if you fail to file a tax return within 30 days of the due date. A CFR is prepared by using an estimated tax amount. (See Minnesota Statute 270.33, subdivision 3.) This is a valid assessment, and it does not satisfy your obligation to file your own return.

Criminal penalties may be added for unfiled returns and unpaid tax. (See Minnesota Statutes, section 289A.63.)

Notification of Commissioner Filed Returns


If you have an unfiled Withholding or Sales and Use Tax return, we will send you a Demand to File letter that states you must file your return by the due date on the letter or we may prepare a CFR. Your business may later file an original return to replace the CFR.


If you have an unfiled Individual Income Tax return, we usually send the following letters before collection action begins:

  • Request for Missing Returns. This letter states we believe you should have filed a Minnesota tax return based on information we received from the IRS. It gives you 30 days to:
    • verify you already filed a return
    • verify you are not required to file a return
    • file the return

  • Notification of Commissioner Filed Return. This letter notifies you we prepared a Minnesota tax return based on available information. It explains how we calculated the tax and provides a breakdown of the tax, penalties, and interest. You have 60 days to:
    • pay
    • file an original return
    • appeal to tax court


We do not take collection action during your appeal period unless there is a jeopardy situation. After the appeal period is over, we send a Demand to Pay letter giving you another 30 days to pay your debt.

Time Limits for Refund Claims on a Commissioner Filed Return

You may replace a CFR at any time, even if you pay it in full. However, there is a time limit on the refund claim if you paid more than the resulting tax amount due on your original return. A refund claim must be filed within one year of the assessment date or within 3 1/2 years of the original return due date, whichever is later. Beyond that limit, you cannot claim a refund. (See Minnesota Statute 289A.40, subdivision 1.)