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Last Updated: 10/29/2018

Tax Debt Relief for Deceased Active-duty Military

Minnesota provides tax relief to the family of any military member who dies during active service in the United States or United Nations armed forces. The Minnesota Department of Revenue does not tax a military member’s income in the year of their death. We may also abate (forgive) any unpaid tax debts or penalties from prior years they were in active service.

May I claim a refund on behalf of a deceased military member?

Yes, if you are an heir of the military member. You must file a refund claim within seven years of when the military member filed their return or when the tax was paid or collected. Follow these steps to claim a refund:

1. File Form M1X, Amended Minnesota Income Tax, for the deceased military member.

2. Note on Form M1X that the refund claim is for an armed forces member who died during active service.

3. Include a copy of the death certificate and Schedule M23, Claim for a Refund for a Deceased Taxpayer.

For more information, see Minnesota Statute 289A.39, subdivision 6 and the example below.

Example: John joined the U.S. Marines in 2014 and died while serving in Iraq in 2017. John filed returns and paid income tax to Minnesota for tax years 2014, 2015 and 2016. For 2017, Minnesota will not tax John’s income. John’s heirs may file Form M1X for 2014, 2015, and 2016 to claim a refund of taxes he paid.

What if I am the surviving spouse of a deceased military member?

Follow these steps to calculate the amount of tax refunded (or tax debt abated):

1. Determine how much income tax you and your spouse would have paid if you had filed separate returns. Use the “married filing separately” column in the tax tables for the appropriate year.

2. Add you and your spouse’s tax amounts.

3. Divide your spouse’s tax amount (step 1) by the total (step 2). The result is a percentage.

4. Multiply the actual tax paid by this percentage (step 3) to determine the refund amount.