MN Property Tax Refund Error

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The other day I received a letter from the MN Dept. of Revenue notifying me of a change to my property tax refund. The adjustment was made because line 32 of my schedule M1NC, federal adjustments, was a positive amount and should have been included as additional income on line 5. This added $8040 (Unemployment compensation) to to my Minnesota Income. As I recall, this was excluded from federal income tax. This amount was reported on my MN income tax form, so I don’t expect any adjustments there. But, somehow it was excluded from the property tax refund form, which I filled out online. This reduced my refund by $558.

I imagine that I wasn’t the only one that had this adjustment. At least this didn’t delay the refund. They made the correction and deposited the refund in my account a few weeks later. I will use some of the refund to pay down the loan principle and the rest will be used for 3 months of mortgage payments. My mortgage payment is now down to $363 per month. The interest rate is currently 3.25%. You can get a 15 year fixed rate loan for under 2%, but no bank wants to refinance a mortgage with $17,000 left on it. The refinance fee would cost more than the money I would save. As it is, the interest amounts to $47.54 per month. That comes to about $570 per year to have the bank manage my property tax payments.

I could invest $17,000 in a closed end fund like Eaton Vance Tax Advantaged Global Dividend fund (ETG) paying a 7.21% monthly dividend. That amount would buy 785 shares @ $21.64 per share. This would generate $102 in monthly income. Or, $1224 per year, which is more than twice as much as my mortgage interest payment.

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