Check your snail mail: More Minnesotans to receive paper rebate check than expected
Gov. Tim Walz presents his budget to reporters at the Department of Revenue building in St. Paul on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Photo by Michelle Griffith/Minnesota Reformer.
You thought your Timmy Stimmy was just going to show up in your bank account, but it may arrive in your mailbox instead.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue decided to send more paper tax rebate checks than expected after switching over 700,000 Minnesotans to a physical check rather than a direct deposit for security reasons.
The Minnesota Legislature earlier this year allocated $1.1 billion to send out one-time rebate checks to over 2.1 million Minnesotans. Gov. Tim Walz campaigned on the rebates during his 2022 reelection, though the eventual $260 per person turned out to be much smaller than the $1,000 he lobbied for, as the Legislature directed more money to child and working family tax credits and other programs instead.
Many Minnesotans have already received their rebate checks. The Department of Revenue believes it will have all of them sent out by the end of September.
The Department of Revenue originally believed about 90% of the rebate checks would be directly deposited into bank accounts, and 10% of the checks would be snail mailed.
But now the department says about 55% of checks will be delivered through direct deposit and 45% will be paper checks.
The agency said the additional paper checks won’t cost the state extra money.
The department paid its contractor, Submittable Holdings Inc., $21.5 million to process the physical checks, administer direct deposits and for other administrative tasks. Be sure to check your mailbox for envelopes with a return address of Submittable Holdings in Montana.
“This has to do with security and making sure the right checks go out to the right people with the right amounts,” said Department of Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart. “We just take double precaution.”
When a person uses a tax preparer, like TurboTax for example, they have the option of deducting service fees to TurboTax from their tax return.
Shane Delaney, Department of Revenue spokesman, said when a person opts for this choice, their tax refund gets deposited into a bank account owned by TurboTax, which then deducts the service fee and sends the remainder to the tax filer. TurboTax acts as a middleman.
Delaney said the Department of Revenue wanted to avoid sending refunds to a bank account owned by a tax preparer like TurboTax, so they opted to send those people paper checks.
“We determined it would just be easier to revert those folks to a paper check so they could get their money,” Delaney said.
Delaney said the agency didn’t anticipate the wrinkle because this is the first rebate program like this in the era of online tax preparation.
“It’s things that we learn as we are administering this program, but I think the department always wants to err on the side of safety and fraud prevention,” he said.
Anyone that had to pay money on their 2021 tax return were always going to receive a physical check in the mail, Delaney said.
Here are the rebate check totals:
- $260 for individuals with adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less.
- $520 for married couples who filed a joint return with an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less.
- An additional $260 added for each dependent, with a maximum of three dependents totaling $780.
If you think you are eligible for a rebate check but haven’t received it by the end of September, contact the Department of Revenue.
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