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Last Updated: 4/4/2016

Statute of Limitations

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The Minnesota Department of Revenue uses statute of limitations (SOL) to define the period of time in which collection action can occur, a refund can be claimed or a tax assessment can be made.


The department applies a five-year limit to collecting tax debt and other agency debt (OAD). The department cannot take enforced collection action on a tax debt if the SOL has expired.

Extended Statute of Limitations

Tax Debts

The department may have additional time to collect a tax debt in the following circumstances:
  • Overpayments are credited to other delinquent taxes that have been assessed within the past 10 years. View the statute (M.S. 270C.64).
  • The debtor and the department may agree to extend the period to collect taxes in writing. View the statutes (M.S. 289A.42).

Tax and Other Agency Debts

The department may have additional time to collect both tax and other agency debt in the following circumstances:
  • The department filed a lien against all real and personal property in the state. A lien must be filed within 5 years after the assessment date of the tax, and extends the SOL by 10 years. View the statute (M.S. 270C.63).
  • The department filed a lien to extend the SOL date for the collection of other agency debts. View the statute (M.S. 16D.08).
  • The time to collect is extended the equal length of time a debtor was in bankruptcy. The additional time applies to debts not discharged by the bankruptcy and that did not have a lien filed on them prior to the bankruptcy. View the statute (M.S. 289A.41).
  • A vendor claims the right to offset for 10 years after the tax assessment date. View the statute (Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.65).


Taxpayers have 3½ years from the date the return was due to file and claim a refund. For property tax refunds, the period is one year from the original return due date.
If an overpayment exists because of a replaced commissioner filed return (CFR), the debtor is only entitled to a refund if it was replaced less than one year from the CFR assessment date or 3½ years from the original due date, whichever is later.

Tax Assessments

If no return has been filed, there is no time limit for the department to assess tax, penalties or interest. The department may file a CFR at any time.
If a return has been filed, the department must assess personal liability within 3½ years of the original filing date, or within 1 year of the assessment date of an audit or notice of tax due (“tax order”).