Retired vets can get pension tax break this year

Published 8:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2017

ST. PAUL — Retired veterans living in Minnesota are eligible for a new tax break on this year’s filings, top state officials said Wednesday.

After years of stalled efforts, Minnesota’s Legislature approved a measure last year that exempted military pension payments from the state income tax. But top state officials have worried that a change that could give retired veterans a big financial boost has flown under the radar ahead of next week’s tax filing deadline.

With several veterans at their side, Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner General Larry Shellito and a key Republican lawmaker who championed the change held a news conference Wednesday to remind veterans about the new benefit. Rep. Bob Dettmer estimated that the state’s 19,000 retired veterans would save a total of $23 million this year alone.

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“It’s important that they take advantage of this,” said Jerry Kyser, vice chairman of the United Veterans Legislative Council.

Minnesota was one just five states that offered no tax breaks on military pensions. While a tax bill failed last year, the pension tax exemption was included as part of a different bill.

Those eligible must file a special income additions and subtractions form with their taxes to claim the benefit. The deadline for filing taxes is Tuesday.

Shellito says he hopes the tax help makes Minnesota even friendlier for retiring veterans. And Dettmer said he hopes it makes younger veterans give Minnesota a longer look as a possible home.

“Minnesota is an option now for those who want to come back to the Midwest,” Dettmer said.