With the tax rebate on the way, many Minnesotans are still wondering how much they will actually receive when the checks arrive.
The formula to receive the tax rebate is more than a little confusing. If you filed a 1997 state income tax return, or if you filed a 1997 property tax, the amount of the rebate is based on taxable income.
There is one exception to this, though. Minnesotans who are claimed as a dependent are not eligible for the rebate.
If a couple filed jointly in 1997, and have since separated, the Department of Revenue will split the rebate checks as long as it has separate addresses. Either member of a couple can request separate payment as long as the check has not been cashed.
The money will go back into the state's fund if they can't locate the recipient, or if the rebate check has not been cashed by Jan. 1, 2001.
The rebate checks will be arriving in different stages for everyone for two reasons.
According to area Rep. Al Juhnke the first reason is to try and stop check theft from occurring. The state feels if people know exactly when the checks are arriving there could be a lot of rebate checks that could wind up stolen.
Juhnke also said the second major reason is because if the checks are all sent at one time, the post office probably wouldn't be able to handle it all at once.
Juhnke said there was a reason the Legislature chose to give a sales tax rebate instead of an income or property tax rebate.
"We felt this was the most fair way to give a rebate," said Juhnke. "Odds are that everyone in the state at one time or another has paid the sales tax."
Juhnke went on to say some people don't own property, so a property tax rebate wasn't totally fair. And there are people who make less than minimum level to pay an income tax, so it wouldn't be totally fair to give an income tax rebate either.
The minimum rebate for a married couple is $358 and the maximum is $5,000. The minimum for a single person in the state is $204 and the maximum is $2,500.
"I believe the average for this area will be about $650.
The state will be using the adjusted gross income to determine how the rebate will be paid.
All rebates should be received before Labor Day.
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