Minnesota leaders highlight new child tax credit available

On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz and state leaders gathered at a tax preparation office in St. Paul to urge Minnesotans to take advantage of the state’s new child tax credit. The credit was part of last year’s state tax bill and could help nearly 300,000 lower-income households save hundreds of dollars this tax season.

Tax season opened on Januay 29th with the deadline on April 15, 2024.

Under the bill Walz signed last summer, some Minnesotans can claim a credit of up to $1,750 per child on their 2023 returns. Lawmakers are hoping it will reduce child poverty by one-third.

“We set a goal of making Minnesota the best state in the nation to grow up in. Our Child Tax Credit will mean thousands of dollars for families with children to meet their basic needs – whether that’s school supplies, new shoes, or a new water heater,” Governor Walz said in a release. “With dozens of free tax preparation sites available across the state, Minnesotans have the opportunity to make sure they’re getting every possible refund available. That’s money back in the pockets of hard-working Minnesotans.”

Most taxpayers who are eligible to claim the new Child Tax Credit are also eligible for free tax preparation assistance. Learn more about income requirements and qualifications on the Child Tax Credit webpage. 

According to the governor’s office, there are over 170 sites offering free tax preparation assistance. The sites are staffed by certified volunteers and offer in-person and virtual options and Gov. Walz proclaimed February as Volunteer Tax Preparer Appreciation Month.

Changes are also in play at the national level for taxes — the U.S. Senate is still considering the federal child tax credit. Many experts are encouraging families to wait to file taxes until those changes are finalized so they don’t have to amend returns later.

The federal credit would be $1,800 for 2023 tax returns, $1,900 the following year and eventually $2,000 per child for the 2025 tax returns.

Minnesotans can get help at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site if any of the following apply. Here is the criteria for free tax preparation:

  • You are age 60 or older.
  • You are a person with a disability.
  • You speak limited or no English.
  • Your annual income is less than $64,000.

The AARP Tax-Aide program offers free tax preparation for all Minnesotans, particularly those age 50 or older. Unlike VITA sites, AARP Tax-Aide sites do not have income restrictions.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue also notes that while many taxpayers file their property tax returns at the same time as income tax returns, the state can’t start processing those until July 1 so taxpayers can wait on property taxes.