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270.07 Power to abate; correction of errors.

Subdivision 1. Powers of commissioner; application for abatement; orders. (a) The commissioner of revenue shall prescribe the form of all blanks and books required under this chapter and shall hear and determine all matters of grievance relating to taxation. Except for matters delegated to the various boards of county commissioners under section 375.192, and except as otherwise provided by law, the commissioner shall have power to grant such reduction or abatement of net tax capacities or taxes and of any costs, penalties or interest thereon as the commissioner may deem just and equitable, and to order the refundment, in whole or in part, of any taxes, costs, penalties or interest thereon which have been erroneously or unjustly paid. Application therefor shall be submitted with a statement of facts in the case and the favorable recommendation of the county board or of the board of abatement of any city where any such board exists, and the county auditor of the county wherein such tax was levied or paid. In the case of taxes other than gross earnings taxes, the order may be made only on application and approval as provided in this paragraph. No reduction, abatement, or refundment of any special assessments made or levied by any municipality for local improvements shall be made unless it is also approved by the board of review or similar taxing authority of such municipality.

(b) The commissioner has the power to grant reductions or abatements of gross earnings tax. An application for reduction of gross earnings taxes may be made directly to the commissioner without the favorable action of the county board and county auditor. The commissioner shall direct that any gross earnings taxes that may have been erroneously or unjustly paid be applied against unpaid taxes due from the applicant.

(c) The commissioner shall forward to the county auditor a copy of the order made by the commissioner in all cases in which the approval of the county board is required.

(d) The commissioner may refer any question that may arise in reference to the true construction of this chapter to the attorney general, and the decision thereon shall be in force and effect until annulled by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(e) The commissioner may by written order abate, reduce, or refund any penalty or interest imposed by any law relating to taxation, if in the commissioner's opinion the failure to timely pay the tax or failure to timely file the return is due to reasonable cause, or if the taxpayer is located in a presidentially declared disaster area.

(f) An appeal may not be taken to the tax court from any order of the commissioner of revenue made in the exercise of the discretionary authority granted in paragraph (a) with respect to the reduction or abatement of real or personal property taxes in response to a taxpayer's application for an abatement, reduction, or refund of taxes, net tax capacities, costs, penalties, or interest.

Subd. 1a. Examination of application; reductions; appeals. The commissioner shall examine all applications submitted by a county board pursuant to section 375.192, subdivision 3. If the applicant has previously submitted a claim for property tax relief pursuant to chapter 290A based on the property taxes payable prior to receiving the abatement, the commissioner may approve the application in an amount reduced by the relief provided pursuant to chapter 290A.

An appeal may be taken to the tax court from an order of the commissioner made pursuant to this subdivision.

Subd. 2. Correction of errors. The commissioner of revenue, on application of the county auditor with the approval of the county board, may order the correction of any administrative and clerical errors in the assessment, levy and extension of ad valorem taxes other than valuation.

Subd. 3. Additional powers of commissioner. Notwithstanding any other provision of law the commissioner of revenue may,

(a) based upon the administrative costs of processing, determine minimum standards for the determination of additional tax for which an order shall be issued, and

(b) based upon collection costs as compared to the amount of tax involved, determine minimum standards of collection, and

(c) based upon the administrative costs of processing, determine the minimum amount of refunds for which an order shall be issued and refund made where no claim therefor has been filed, and

(d) cancel any amounts below these minimum standards determined under (a) and (b) hereof, and

(e) based upon the inability of a taxpayer to pay a delinquent tax liability, abate the liability if the taxpayer agrees to perform uncompensated public service work for a state agency, a political subdivision or public corporation of this state, or a nonprofit educational, medical, or social service agency. The department of corrections shall administer the work program. No benefits under chapter 176 or 268 shall be available, but a claim authorized under section 3.739 may be made by the taxpayer. The state may not enter into any agreement that has the purpose of or results in the displacement of public employees by a delinquent taxpayer under this section. The state must certify to the appropriate bargaining agent or employees, as applicable, that the work performed by a delinquent taxpayer will not result in the displacement of currently employed workers or layoff from a substantially equivalent position, including partial displacement such as reduction in hours of nonovertime work, wages, or other employment benefits.

Subd. 4. Erroneous remittances. If a remittance is erroneously made payable to the commissioner of revenue and the commissioner had knowledge that the proper payee is a state or local official of this state, the commissioner may endorse such remittance to the proper state or local official. The commissioner of revenue is also authorized to return a remittance if the records indicate that it has been erroneously submitted.

Subd. 5. Credit of overpayment to delinquent tax liabilities. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in the case of an overpayment of any tax collected by the commissioner of revenue, the commissioner may credit the amount of such overpayment against any uncontested delinquent tax liability on the part of the taxpayer who made the overpayment. An overpayment may be credited under this subdivision only if the uncontested delinquent liability has been assessed within ten years of the date on which the overpayment is credited. However, this limitation shall not be applicable if the delinquent liability has been entered into judgment or if legal action is pending for collection of the liability or for renewal of the judgment. An amount paid as tax shall constitute an overpayment even if in fact there was no tax liability with respect to which such amount was paid.

Subd. 6. Abatement of penalty. (a) A request for abatement of penalty under subdivision 1, under section 289A.60, subdivision 4, or under paragraph (c), must be filed with the commissioner within 60 days of the date the notice was mailed to the taxpayer's last known address, stating that a penalty has been imposed.

(b) If the commissioner issues an order denying a request for abatement of penalty, the taxpayer may, except as limited under subdivision 1, file an administrative appeal as provided in section 289A.65 or appeal to tax court as provided in section 271.06.

If the commissioner does not issue an order on the abatement request within 60 days from the date the request is received, the taxpayer may appeal to tax court as provided in section 271.06.

(c) The commissioner shall abate any part of a penalty or additional tax charge under section 289A.25, subdivision 2, or 289A.26, subdivision 4, attributable to erroneous advice given to the taxpayer in writing by an employee of the department acting in an official capacity, if the advice:

(1) was reasonably relied on and was in response to a specific written request of the taxpayer; and

(2) was not the result of failure by the taxpayer to provide adequate or accurate information.

HIST: (1983) RL s 801; 1909 c 96 s 1; 1911 c 339 s 1; 1923 c 145 s 1; 1941 c 454; 1949 c 45 s 1; Ex1959 c 59 s 1; 1965 c 357 s 1; 1965 c 506 s 1; 1969 c 97 s 1; 1971 c 479 s 1; 1973 c 457 s 1; 1973 c 582 s 3; 1975 c 377 s 1,2; 1976 c 134 s 78; 1977 c 307 s 29; 1978 c 767 s 3; 1982 c 523 art 2 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 719 art 5 s 84; 1989 c 324 s 4; 1989 c 329 art 13 s 20; 1990 c 604 art 1 s 3; 1992 c 511 art 9 s 4; 1993 c 375 art 17 s 6; 1996 c 471 art 3 s 3; 1997 c 31 art 1 s 1; 1999 c 243 art 16 s 4

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes