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Last Updated: 2/23/2018

How to File an Income Tax Return on Paper

​Before beginning your Minnesota return, you must complete your federal return to determine your federal taxable income.

The Department of Revenue uses scanning equipment to process paper returns. To ensure that your return is processed quickly and accurately, it’s important you carefully follow the instructions and complete the steps below.

Paper Return Choices

  • Filing a paper Form M1 that you complete on the screen and print out.
    Download the onscreen version of Form M1, Individual Income Tax. To complete the form, click the cursor in the appropriate area and type in your information. In addition,
      • Use the Tab key to move from field to field on the form.
      • To mark an “X” in an oval box, click inside the oval.
      • To indicate a negative number, use the minus sign. When you use a minus sign, an “X” will automatically appear in the designated box.
      • When you print your completed return, make sure that "Auto-rotate” and “center pages" is checked in the print options. DO NOT check the "Shrink to fit" or "Expand to fit" boxes. If these boxes are already checked, click on them to uncheck. 
  • Filing a paper Form M1 that you print out from your computer and then complete by hand.
    Download Form M1. When filling out the form, use black ink. Do not highlight numbers, as this prevents our scanning equipment from reading the numbers. Use CAPITAL letters when entering your name and address.
  • Filing an original paper form
    Follow the instructions on page 7 of the Minnesota Individual Income Tax booklet.
  • Ordering tax forms
    If you are not able to download and print forms from our website, you can have forms mailed to you by calling us at
    651-296-3781 or 800-652-9094 (toll-free).
Note: For all of the above options, be sure you do all of the following:
  • Use whole dollar amounts.
  • Leave lines blank if they don’t apply to you or if the amount is zero.
  • Sign and date your return. (Your spouse must also sign if you are married and filing a joint return).
  • Behind your Form M1, assemble your Minnesota schedules according to the sequence number at the top of each. Place a copy of your federal return and schedules behind your Minnesota forms. Do not send in your W-2 or 1099 forms.
  • Do not use staples on your return. If you want to ensure that your papers stay together, use a paper clip.

Where to mail your Individual Income Tax return

Mail your return, with all attached forms and schedules in the printed envelope included in the Minnesota Individual Income Tax booklet. If you don't have the printed envelope, mail your return to:
Minnesota Individual Income Tax
Mail Station 0010
St. Paul, MN 55145-0010
Be sure to include enough postage to avoid having your forms returned to you by the U.S. Postal Service. You’ll probably need additional postage if you enclose more than three sheets of paper.
For information on when you must mail your return, see Due Dates for Filing Individual Income Tax Return.