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Last Updated: 1/13/2012

Public and Private Data

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Use of Information

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About This Page

All the data that government entities keep is public, unless there is a state or federal law that classifies the data as nonpublic, private or confidential.

Public data

Data related to the following kinds of taxes is public:
  • Lawful gambling tax
  • Petroleum tax
  • Cigarette tax
  • Tobacco tax
  • Liquor tax
  • Property tax
  • Hazardous waste generator tax
  • Metropolitan solid waste tax
  • Landfill tax
  • Deed tax
  • Mortgage registry tax
  • Insurance premium taxes
  • Mining taxes (except for certain nonpublic mining valuation data)

Private or nonpublic data

Data related to the following kinds of taxes is private (for individuals) or nonpublic (for businesses):
  • Individual income tax
  • Withholding tax
  • Corporate franchise tax
  • Property tax refunds
  • Sales and use taxes
  • MinnesotaCare taxes
  • Estate and fiduciary taxes
  • Solid waste management tax
  • Fur clothing tax
  • Sports bookmaking tax *
  • Controlled substances tax *
 *These taxes are reported and paid anonymously

Use of information

Whenever we ask you for data about yourself, we must tell you:
1. Why we want the data and how we will use it;
2. If you are legally required to provide the data, or if you can refuse to provide it;
3. What the consequences are if you supply—or refuse to supply—the data; and
4. Who else is allowed by law to receive the data.
In general, all information on your tax returns is private. It cannot be given to others without your permission, except to the Internal Revenue Service, other states that guarantee the same privacy and certain government agencies as provided by law.
Your name, address and Social Security number are required for identification. Your address is also required to verify your state of residence. Your date of birth is not required, but it helps ensure that your information is correctly assigned to you alone. The only other information not required is your phone number. However, we ask for it so we can contact you quickly if we have questions.
The other information we ask for is necessary to determine your correct tax.
If you don’t provide all of the required information, we may return your form to you. This may delay your refund, or if you owe tax, your payment may not be processed and you may have to pay a penalty for late payment. There are penalties for failing to include all taxable income and for errors due to intentionally, or purposely, disregarding the instructions or laws.
Also, there are civil and/or criminal penalties for failing to file a Minnesota tax return and for filing a false or fraudulent Minnesota return.
The information on your return may be compared with other information you have given to the Department of Revenue.
For a specific explanation of how this information may be used, see the instructions for the following tax types:
Individual Income Tax
Property Tax Refund
Sales and Use Tax
These forms have specific use of information statements:
 Power of Attorney, Form REV184
 Application for Business Registration instructions