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Minnesota Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion Laws

We’ve all heard the famous saying: the only certainties in life are death and taxes. And just as certain as taxes being levied is tax collection being enforced. The Internal Revenue Service takes care of strict enforcement of income tax collection at the federal level, while states are in charge of enforcing their own tax laws. Normally, states will use financial incentives like fines, interest, and liens to enforce payment.

In the North Star State, tax evasion and fraud could be punished by a penalty totaling 50 percent of your unpaid tax bill. While penalties are less severe for late payment, they can increase with time. Here is a brief introduction to tax fraud and tax evasion laws in Minnesota.

Tax Evasion and Fraud Statutes in Minnesota

Minnesota's tax evasion and fraud laws are highlighted in the following table.

Code Section

Income Taxes: MN Statutes §289A, et seq.

Property Taxes: MN Statutes §272, et seq.

Penalties and Interest for Unpaid Taxes

MN Statutes §289A.60
Late Payment Interest: for 2014, 3% of the unpaid tax and penalty from the return due date until the tax is paid

Late Payment Penalty: 4% of the unpaid tax within 180 days of the due date, after which an additional 5% penalty applies to any unpaid tax

Penalties for Fraud and Evasion

Intentional Fraud: 50% of the fraudulently claimed refund plus 50% of any understated tax

Right to Appeal?


Tax Fraud and Evasion Enforcement

The Minnesota Department of Revenue is in charge of tax enforcement in the state. The DOR will initiate criminal investigations concerning any suspected violation of the states tax laws, and sometimes relies on tips from citizens to go after suspected tax law evaders. Minnesota also posts the penalties and interest you could be charged for not complying with state tax laws.

State tax laws aren't the only ones you'll have to worry about. Minnesota residents are also subject to the Internal Revenue Code that covers taxes at the federal level. The tax code is complicated and tax forms can seem impossible to comprehend. Since the majority of us aren't accountants or tax professionals, it's possible that we might make some mistakes or underpay our taxes. We should always be as careful as possible when filling out our tax forms, but in most cases there's no need to worry about being convicted for tax evasion because of an innocent error.

In order to be charged with a crime, states and the IRS must prove that you deliberately tried to underpay your taxes. If you simply make an honest mistake filling out your taxes, you'll probably only have to pay what you should have paid if you got your tax filing correct, with the possibility of a late fee. But in most cases you won't be subject to the time, expense, and penalties of a criminal trial.

Minnesota Tax Evasion and Fraud Laws: Related Resources

Minnesota's tax laws can be some of the most confusing areas of the law. You contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney or tax attorney if you would like legal assistance with a tax matter. You can also find additional information and resources in FindLaw's section on Tax Evasion and Fraud.

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