Minnesota Military Personnel Income Tax Fact Sheet

The following post has been adopted from a Minnesota Department of Revenue Fact Sheet.
Minnesota forms you may need: M1, M1B, M1C, M1CD, M1CR, M1ED, M1LTI, M1M, M1MA, M1NR, M1PR, M1WFC, M1X, M14, M99, M23

This fact sheet is intended to help answer military personnel questions about their Minnesota income tax obligations.

  • where to file their income tax returns,
  • which forms to file,
  • which sources of income are taxable, and
  • what refunds or credits they are entitled to.

What’s New in 2013:

Credit for Past Military Service

Effective January 1, 2013 — If you (and/or your spouse if filing a joint return) are a veteran of the military (including the National Guard and Reserves), you may qualify for a nonrefundable credit reducing your income tax by as much as $750 for past service.You can qualify for this credit if you’ve been separated from service and meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • You served in the military for at least 20 years;
  • You have a service-related disability rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs as being 100 percent total and permanent; or
  • You were honorably discharged and receive a pension or other retirement pay for service in the military.

To qualify for the full credit, your Minnesota adjusted gross income (as shown on Schedule M1NC) must be $30,000 or less. Your credit will be reduced by 10 percent of any income more than $30,000. Veterans with income more than $37,500 are not eligible for the credit. See Schedule M1C, Nonrefundable Credits.

Military Subtraction

United States/United Nations Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard)

All income earned from federal active service in the US/UN Military is allowed a subtraction. Federal active service includes service or duty under U.S. Code. Title 10; as required by federal law, regulation or order; and travel to or from that service or duty. Federal active service also includes being on medical hold under active duty orders for community-based health care operations while recuperating from an injury.

National Guard and Reserves

Income earned for service in the National Guard (including state active duty pay) or Reserves is allowed as a subtraction with one exception: income earned for active service in Title 32 AGR status in the National Guard or Reserves is not eligible for the subtraction.

Determining Residency

Members of the military and their spouses remain domiciled in the state in which they have established permanent residency until they take the necessary steps to change their residency (see Military Spouse Residency Relief Act on page 2). This is true regardless of where you are stationed during the year. Therefore, if you enter the armed forces as a Minnesota resident, you remain domiciled in Minnesota unless positive action is taken to abandon your Minnesota residency and establish a domicile in another state.

If you are a resident of another state who is stationed in Minnesota, being in Minnesota for over half of the year does not make you a resident of Minnesota. The 183-day rule does not apply to military members or their spouses, unlike civilian nonresidents. (For details on the 183-day rule, see Fact Sheet 1, Residency.)

If you are a military person who lives with your spouse, both you and your spouse will usually have the same state of residence for tax purposes (see Military Spouse Residency Relief Act on page 2). An exception to this rule is if you and your spouse had different states of residence at the time of your marriage. In this case, you may maintain your separate states of residence until positive action is made to change your residency.

For more information on residency, including instructions on how to change residency, see Fact Sheet 1, Residency.


If you have had an actual change of residence, be sure to change your state of residence with your paymaster (use Military Form DD2058). Keep in mind that changing your state of residence with your paymaster or moving from one duty station to another does not in itself constitute a change of residence.

Income and Filing Requirements

Once you’ve determined where you are a resident, you can determine what Minnesota forms you need to file, what income is taxable and any credits you may be eligible to claim.Minnesota


If you are a resident of Minnesota for the entire year and are required to file a federal income tax return, you must also file Minnesota Form M1, Individual Income Tax Return. However, you are not required to file a Minnesota return if your gross income included on your federal return, minus any compensation received for federal active service, is less than the minimum filing requirement for the year.

Do not file a Schedule M1NR, Nonresident and Part-year Residents, unless:

  • You (or your spouse) are a part-year resident of Minnesota, or
  • You (or your spouse) are a non-resident.

Example: Nate is a Minnesota resident who enlisted during the tax year. He is stationed in another state. Unless Nate takes the necessary steps to change his state of residency, he remains a Minnesota resident and will not file Schedule M1NR. He does need to file Form M1, Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return.


As a Minnesota resident, you must pay Minnesota tax on taxable income you received from all sources. However, you are allowed a subtraction for military compensation, if included in federal taxable income. Use Schedule M1M, Income Additions and Subtractions, to claim these subtractions. If you had nonmilitary income taxed by another state while you were a Minnesota resident, you may qualify for a credit on taxes paid to another state (see Schedule M1CR, Credit for Income Tax Paid to Another State).

Part-Year Residents and Nonresidents of Minnesota

Even though your military pay is not taxed by Minnesota during the period of time you are a nonresident, you may be required to pay Minnesota tax on other types of income you received or earned in Minnesota, such as income from a civilian job, business income and gambling winnings.

As a part-year resident or nonresident of Minnesota, you are required to file Form M1 if your Minnesota gross income meets the minimum filing requirement for the year.

Minnesota gross income includes income you received from all sources (including sources not in Minnesota) while you were a Minnesota resident, and any income you earned in Minnesota or from sources in Minnesota while you were a nonresident.

If you and/or your spouse (See Military Spouse Residency Relief Act, for spouses who keep their state of residence when moving to be with their military spouse) were part-year residents or nonresidents, your gross Minnesota income includes:

  • wages (not including nonresident military pay), salaries, fees,
    commissions, tips or bonuses for work performed in Minnesota
  • deferred income wages earned in Minnesota, such as severance pay, equity based pay and other non-statuatory deferred compensation
  • gross rents and royalties from property located in Minnesota
  • gains from the sale of land or other tangible property located
    in Minnesota
  • gains from the sale of a partnership interest, to the extent that
    the partnership had property or sales in Minnesota
  • gain on the sale of goodwill or income from an agreement not to compete connected with a business operating in Minnesota, to the extent that the income of the business for the year preceding the year of sale was assigned to Minnesota
  • gross income from a business located in Minnesota or a profession conducted partly or entirely in Minnesota including any Minnesota gross income you may have received as a shareholder of an S corporation or as a partner of a partnership
  • gross winnings from gambling in Minnesota
  • The non-military spouse is in Minnesota solely to be with the military member, and
  • The non-military spouse has the same state of residency or domicile as the servicemember.

Although gross income determines whether you must file a Minnesota return, only net income is taxed.

If you’re required to file a Minnesota return, part-year residents and nonresidents must also complete Schedule M1NR, Nonresidents/Part-Year Residents, to determine the income taxable to Minnesota.If you’re a resident of another state required to file a Minnesota return, you are allowed a subtraction for your active duty military pay (see Schedule M1M), and your military pay is removed when calculating Minnesota tax (see Schedule M1NR). If you’re not required to file a Minnesota return and Minnesota taxes were withheld from your income or you paid estimated tax, you must file Form M1 and Schedule M1NR to receive a refund. Follow the steps provided in the instructions for Schedule M1NR. See Fact Sheet 2, Part-Year Residents, or Fact Sheet 3, Nonresidents, for more information.

How to File

If you are a Minnesota resident with a nonresident or part-year resident spouse, do not include your excluded military pay (pay taken as a subtraction on Schedule M1M) in Column B of Schedule M1NR when determining the income ratio.

The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

Federal legislation signed into law on November 11, 2009 amended the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to allow spouses of active duty members of the military to keep their state of residence when moving with their military spouse. This legislation prohibits states from taxing the income for services performed by the non-military spouse who is a nonresident.

Resident Spouse of a Military Member Stationed Outside of Minnesota

Spouses of active duty military members may now keep their state of residence when moving to be with their military spouse. If your nonmilitary spouse is a Minnesota resident, his or her income is fully taxable to Minnesota and a return is required to be filed with Minnesota when they are required to file a federal return. If your spouse is not required to file a return, he or she may wish to file in order to claim any refundable credits for which they may be eligible. The income exclusion applies to “personal service income,” outlined on page 3.

Your non-military spouse should apply for exempt status with their employer so that withholding to the other state is not taken out of their pay. However, they may be required to make estimated tax payments to Minnesota, since there will be no withholding to Minnesota on that income.

Nonresident Spouse of a Military Member Stationed in Minnesota

For Minnesota income tax purposes, a spouse of an active duty military member may be exempt from Minnesota tax on personal service income performed in Minnesota, if the following four requirements are met:

  • The servicemember is present in Minnesota in compliance of military orders,
  • The servicemember is a resident or domiciled in a state other than Minnesota,
  • The non-military spouse is in Minnesota solely to be with the military member, and
  • The non-military spouse has the same state of residency or domicile as the servicemember.

If your nonresident spouse meets these requirements, they should apply for exempt status with their Minnesota employer. If withholding was taken out of their wages, they must file a return with Minnesota in order to get the money refunded using Form M1 and Schedule M1NR.

Since most of Minnesota’s credits are based on the percentage of income taxable to Minnesota, you may not qualify for credits.

Documentation To support your non-military spouse’s exempt withholding status, you should provide the following documents when requested:

  • a copy of your current military orders, assigning you to your post of duty, and
  • Form DD 2058, State of Legal Residence Certificate.

Personal Service Income

Personal service income is considered compensation derived from the performance of personal or professional services provided by the taxpayer. This income is subject to Social Security tax. Business income, such as income from rents, royalties, estates, trusts or partnerships, which is not subject to Social Security, is not eligible for the exclusion and should be assigned to Minnesota based on the three-factor formula when the business is partially located here.

Examples of personal service income include:

  • wages, salaries, tips, commissions, and bonuses earned by employees in the course of their employment,
  • scholarship income that requires personal service for which the student receives a W-2 form, and
  • compensation to sole proprietors providing personal services. Common examples of professions or trades in which a taxpayer receives compensation as a sole proprietor include: accountant, attorney, barber, carpenter, doctor, engineer, insurance salesman, repairman, etc.

Federal Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

If you and/or your spouse earned income in a foreign country, other than military pay, you may qualify for the federal foreign earned income exclusion. If you qualify and your foreign earned income is excluded on your federal return, this income will not be taxed by Minnesota. For more information, see IRS Publication 54, federal Form 2555 or federal Form 2555EZ.

Military Pensions

Military pensions of Minnesota residents are taxable by Minnesota. Therefore:

  • if you move into Minnesota, your pension becomes taxable once you become a Minnesota resident, even if the pension was earned prior to moving to Minnesota.
  • if you move out of Minnesota and establish a new state of
    domicile, your pension is not taxed by Minnesota.

Home Sales

Minnesota follows the federal guidelines. You may exclude the gain on the sale of your Minnesota home if you excluded it federally. However, you must include the gain as household income when filing Form M1PR, Property Tax Refund.

Death While Serving in Armed Forces

If a military member dies while in active service, that member’s Minnesota income tax liability will not be imposed for that year, and any outstanding debts for prior year taxes and penalties will be abated. A claim for refund of any tax paid may be filed within seven years from the date the return was filed for any years in which the decedent was in active service.


Peter, a Minnesota resident, died in service in Iraq during 2012. He joined the U.S. Marines in 2010 and was in active service ever since. He filed Minnesota state income tax returns and paid tax to Minnesota for tax years 2010 and 2011. He filed the returns on April 15, 2011 and April 15, 2012, respectively. To the extent that there was any state income tax liability for 2012, it is forgiven. Peter’s heirs will have until April 15, 2018 and April 15, 2019 to file an amended return for a refund of the state taxes paid for 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Joint return

If the taxpayer filed a joint return for any year, the tax abated or refunded will be based on the following ratio: divide the tax liability the military member would have paid had he or she filed a separate return by the total tax liability they would have paid had they each filed separate returns.

Eligibility for Minnesota Credits

Military personnel are eligible for the same credits as civilians.

For example, if you:

  • are married, filing a joint Minnesota return and both you and your spouse have taxable earned income, taxable pension or taxable Social Security income, see Schedule M1MA, Marriage Credit.
  • paid state tax to Minnesota and to another state on the same
    income while a Minnesota resident, see Schedule M1CR.
  • have Minnesota source earned income and have child or dependent care expenses or had a child born during the year, see Schedule M1CD, Child and Dependent Care Credit.
  • qualify for the federal earned income credit and have Minnesota assignable earned income, see Schedule M1WFC, Working Family Credit.
  • had educational expenses for your qualifying child(ren) in grades K–12 and had Minnesota assignable income, see the M1 instructions, Schedule M1ED, K–12 Education Credit, and Income Tax Fact Sheet 8.
  • paid long-term care insurance premiums and have Minnesota assignable income, see Schedule M1LTI, Long-Term Care Insurance Credit.
  • served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, see
    Form M99, Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone.
  • are a partner, shareholder or beneficiary, see Schedule KPI, KS
    or KF you received from the entity for any pass-through credits.

For information on all available income tax credits, see the M1 instruction booklet. Some credits may be prorated for part-year residents or nonresidents.

Military Service Credit

If you served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area anytime on or after January 1, 2009, you may be eligible for a refundable credit.


The military service credit for service from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009 will expire October 15, 2013.

Credits from tax years before 2009 have also expired. However, individual circumstances may exist that extend the time allowed to file for these credits. Visit our website at www.revenue.state.mn.us, call our military line at 651-556-4710, or email us at Military. Tax@state.mn.us for more information.

Starting in 2009, the credit was increased to $120 for each month or part of a month you served in a combat zone, during which time your military records indicate Minnesota as your home of record.

To claim the credit based on your service, complete Form M99, Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone, and mail it to the department with the appropriate military records.

You can find the forms to claim this credit on our website at www.revenue.state.mn.us.

If the person is deceased, his or her estate, surviving spouse or dependent may qualify for the credit. To claim the credit, Form M99 must be filed with Schedule M23, Claim for Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer.

Minnesota Estimated Tax

If you have income taxable by Minnesota that is not subject to withholding (for example, rental, self-employment, business or unemployment income) and you expect to owe more than $500 in tax, you are required to pay quarterly estimated tax. For further information, see the Individual Estimated Tax Instructions, available on our website.

If you are a Minnesota resident who is stationed outside of Minnesota, you may want to ask your paymaster to withhold Minnesota income tax from your military pay to avoid having to pay estimated tax.

Homestead Status and Property Tax Refund State-Paid Real Estate Tax (homestead) Credit

Homestead status is an important factor in determining residency; only Minnesota residents are eligible to claim homestead status. You may be asked by the department to supply information regarding your residency.

If you are a resident for property tax purposes, you are a resident for income tax purposes.

Homestead Status for Absent Military Members

Active duty military members who are absent from Minnesota solely for active duty are eligible for homestead status on acquired property even if the property has not been occupied as a homestead by the person or a member of their family.

To qualify, the military member must notify the county assessor in the county of purchase, and must identify that their absence is due to military service. Upon return from the service, the military member must notify the assessor, and will be granted an abatement for the difference between non-homestead and homestead taxes for the current year and the preceding two years, not to exceed the time in which the person owned the property.

Homeowner or Renter Refunds

If you are a Minnesota resident who is in the military—regardless of where you are stationed—and you own or rent a home in Minnesota, you may qualify for a property tax refund. See Form M1PR, Property Tax Refund, and instructions.

When applying for the refund, be sure to include any nontaxable income, such as combat or hazardous duty pay, as household income.

Nonresident military personnel do not qualify for property tax refunds, unless his or her spouse is a full or part-year resident of Minnesota.

Property Tax Exclusion for Disabled Military Members

Honorably discharged disabled veterans (or their family caregivers) are eligible for an annual exclusion from property taxes of up to $300,000 in market value on their homesteaded property.

To qualify for this exclusion, the veteran must be honorably discharged from the military (their discharge papers, such as Form DD-214, must signify this) and certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs as having a service connected disability. Veterans with a 70 percent disability rating or higher are eligible for a market value exclusion of up to $150,000, while those who are totally (100 percent certified) and permanently disabled are eligible for an exclusion of up to $300,000.

Agricultural homesteads are eligible for this exclusion on the house, garage and one immediate acre of land.

Application process.

Applications are available from the local county assessor’s office and must be submitted for the exclusion by July 1 of the current year’s market value for taxes paid in the next year. Those with a rating of 70 percent or higher must reap-ply every year. Veterans who are totally and permanently disabled do not need to reapply after the initial approval and the property will continue to qualify until there is a change in the ownership or use of the property. A surviving spouse can also continue to qualify under this provision for 5 additional years after the year of death, as long as they have not remarried and still own and reside on the property. Note: You may still qualify for the Property Tax Refund on the qualifying tax amount from line 1 of your property tax statement.

Military Extensions Federal Active Duty Military Personnel

If you are an active duty military personnel in a presidentially designated combat zone or contingency operation, you may file and pay your Minnesota income taxes up to 180 days after the last day you are in the combat zone or the last day of any continuous hospitalization for injuries sustained while serving in the combat zone. When you file your Form M1, enclose a separate sheet clearly stating that you were serving in a combat zone.

If you are stationed outside the United States but are not involved in combat zone operations, you have until October 15 to file your return. However, to avoid a late payment penalty, you must pay at least 90 percent of your total tax by April 15. Penalty and interest will be assessed on any tax not paid by the regular due date. Unlike the federal rules, Minnesota does not allow an extension to pay your tax.

Military Reservists and National Guard Members

For those in a combat zone, Minnesota follows federal rules. For those not in a combat zone, below are guidelines for extensions for Minnesota military reservists and National Guard members on federal active duty:

  • If you are called to active service in the United States, you qualify for a six-month extension.
  • If you are called to active service abroad, the extension is for the period you served abroad plus six months.

If you owe tax and the amount due is paid in full with the return by the extension date, no interest or late payment/filing penalties will be assessed.

If a married couple files “married filing joint,” your spouse gets the same extension. If a tax return is filed and the liability is paid within the extension period, there will be no penalty or interest assessed on the balance due. Keep in mind that the time you can generally be audited is three and one-half years from the due date of the return or the date you file, whichever is later.

If you qualify for a military extension, you do not need to file anything with the state of Minnesota prior to filing your return. When you file your Form M1, enclose a separate sheet stating that you are filing under the military extension.

Suspension of Statute of Limitations During Period of Disability

Taxpayers with a “financial disability” (defined in IRC section 6511(h) as someone who is unable to manage his or her financial affairs by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment) have the 3 ½-year time frame in which they must file suspended for the time in which they are disabled.

When filing a claim for a refund, you must provide proof of the disability (an explanation of the situation and a statement from a health care professional) along with the return or in response to an appeal denying the refund outside statutory claim.

Information and Assistance

Additional forms and information, including fact sheets and frequently asked questions, are available on our website. Website: www.revenue.state.mn.us

Email: Military.Tax@state.mn.us Phone: 651-556-7410 We will provide information in other formats upon request to persons with disabilities.
The following post has been adopted from a Minnesota Department of Revenue Fact Sheet.