Income Tax Short Course

Income Tax Course Government Building
  • Cost: $335 early bird | $395 within 4 weeks of course start date | $220 for VITA 
  • Credits: 16 IRS hours | CFP credits | 13.75 CLE hours
  • Dates and Locations: Ten offerings October−January across Minnesota
  • For: Tax practitioners working with individual and small business returns (including CPAs, enrolled agents, lawyers, insurance personnel, VITA volunteers)

Earn IRS-approved continuing education credit hours to renew your IRS certification in this two-day course.

  • Stay on top of the latest tax legislation that affects tax returns for 2018 and future years
  • Get the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue Individual Income Tax Manual and the 2018 National Income Tax Workbook and CD (with multiple years of tax workbooks in a searchable format)
  • Earn 16 CPE credits
    • 2 ethics hours
    • 3 federal tax law update hours
    • 11 federal tax law hours
    • 1 hour of MNDOR Update (not reported to IRS)

Dates & Locations 2018

Location Date
Grand Rapids, Timberlake Lodge Oct. 29–30
Brooklyn Park, Edinburgh USA Oct. 30–31
Saint Cloud, River's Edge Civic Center Oct. 31–Nov. 1
Detroit Lakes, Holiday Inn Nov. 1−2
Rochester, Kahler Apache (Formerly Ramada Hotel & Events) Nov. 5–6
Mankato, Mankato Country Inn & Suites Nov. 6–7
Marshall, Ramada Inn Nov. 7–8
Owatonna, Holiday Inn

Nov. 12–13

South Metro, Eagan Community Center Nov. 19–20
Saint Paul, University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center Jan. 4−5, 2019




Learning Objectives

Through this course, the tax practitioner will:

  • understand the legislative changes to federal and state tax law and regulations
  • review basic tax law and its application to selected situations
  • be equipped to deal with individual taxpayer and business tax issues
  • acquire skills to develop a tax research process
  • be able to apply recent court rulings and cases in their practices
  • appreciate the value of ethical behavior



New Legislation (late in 2016 and in 2017)

  • Summary of each provision

  • Effective dates when provisions expire

Rulings and Cases

Selected rulings and cases issued from September 2016 through August 2017, an update on issues that are being addressed by the IRS and the courts.

Agriculture and Natural Resource Issues – at outstate locations

  • Agricultural income and expenses

  • Buying and selling farmland

  • Equipment and land rentals

  • Demolition of structures

Business Entity Issues

  • The new partnership audit rules

  • Practical considerations in partnership reorganizations and liquidations

  • New developments for tax-exempt entities

  • Organization, taxation, and reporting for homeowners’ associations

Loss Limitations

Determining whether a loss is limited. Including at-risk and passive activity loss limitations, basic limitations for an S corporation shareholder and a partner in a partnership, and hobby loss and vacation home loss limitations.

Business Issues

  • Expensing real estate improvements

  • Start-up and organizational expenses

  • Electing out of Subchapter K

  • Tax on marijuana and hemp sales

Like-Kind Exchanges

  • The tax implications of an exchange, including basis adjustments and the recognition of gain or loss; and the requirements for a reverse or deferred exchange

  • Exchanging a vacation residence, timberland, easements, and long-term leases

Trusts and Estates – at metro locations

  • Electing portability

  • Basis consistency rules

  • Types of trusts

Ethics Part One

  • When client communications are confidential and/or privileged

  • Ethical obligations upon the sale or discontinuance of a tax practice

  • Nondisclosure rules when hiring independent contractors

  • Tax practitioner’s responsibilities when encountering fraud or other misdeeds

  • Case studies

Ethics Part Two

  • Cybersecurity

  • Risks of a data security threat and how to mitigate those risks

Individual Issues

  • Tax issues for individuals in the military

  • Charitable contribution deductions, valuation, and substantiation

  • New developments under the Affordable Care Act

  • Disaster tax relief

  • Taxes and the sharing economy (e.g., renting a spare bedroom or providing car rides or household chores)

Foreign Tax Issues

  • Reporting and tax requirements for US citizens living in foreign countries

  • The foreign earned income exclusion

  • Reporting, withholding, and tax requirements for nonresident aliens with US income

Tax Practice

  • Offer in compromise

  • Collection statute of limitations and rules that stop the statute from running

  • Third party liability, such as transferee and nominee liability

IRS Issues

  • The most prevalent identity theft and impersonation scams

  • E-Services online tools for tax professionals

  • The new IRS use of private debt collectors

  • How to use IRS audit techniques guides


  • Comparing different types of retirement plans

  • Distributions from retirement plans, including early distributions and required minimum distributions

  • The impact of income on social security benefits and Medicare premiums

Tax Rates and Useful Tables



Course instructors vary by location.

Karen Brehmer, Internal Revenue Service | Karen Brehmer is a stakeholder liaison with the Communications and Liaison Division of IRS. Karen began her IRS career in 1987 in the Taxpayer Assistance Center in Duluth, Minnesota, transferring to the Minneapolis Taxpayer Assistance Center shortly after that. She worked for 19 years as a revenue officer (tax collector) in the Twin Cities. In July 2009, she joined the Stakeholder Liaison division.

Alan Gregerson, Internal Revenue Service | Alan Gregerson is a senior stakeholder liaison specialist with the Communications and Liaison Division of IRS. He has held positions as a revenue agent in Examination, taxpayer service specialist answering technical calls at the nationwide call site, assisted the volunteer income tax assistance program with technical and electronic filing expertise, and currently is a senior stakeholder liaison specialist who works with business organizations and practitioners speaking and developing issues for outreach and resolutions of those issues. He has 31 years of IRS experience.

C. Robert (Rob) Holcomb, EA, extension educator, Ag Business Management | Rob Holcomb joined the University of Minnesota Extension as an educator in agricultural business management in October 2004. Rob works on the development and delivery of programs in the areas of farm business and risk management with emphasis on farm analysis and farm tax issues. Previously, Rob worked for Farm Bureau service companies in Iowa and Tennessee delivering income tax and analysis services to Farm Bureau members. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in agricultural education. Rob also holds an enrolled agent designation with the Internal Revenue Service and is currently working towards a master of education degree from the University of Minnesota−Duluth.

Ruth Ann Michnay, CPA, MBT, EA, USTCP principal of Ruth Ann Michnay PA | Ruth Ann Michnay is a certified public accountant with a practice in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she concentrates in tax representation, tax preparation—individual and small businesses, and accounting services/consulting. She served on the AICPA IRS Practice and Procedures Committee (2004−2007) and chairs the MN CPA Society Task Force on Registration of Tax Preparers. Ruth Ann has taught for the University of Minnesota Income Tax Course and is currently a community faculty member at Metropolitan State University and Inver Hills Community College. Ruth Ann is a member of the AICPA, MN CPA Society, NAEA, the MN Society of EAs, ASWA, and the Better Business Bureau.

Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT | Eric Nelson is a certified public accountant and sole proprietor of his own practice in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where he specializes in account and tax consulting for small businesses and individuals. Prior to having his own practice, Eric worked for Best Buy, Inc. as a Tax Senior Analyst, where he was responsible for audit defense on several tax positions including depreciation and fixed asset issues, deferred income recognition, and interest capitalization. Eric is a Member of the Minnesota Society of CPAs, AICPA Tax Section and the Tax Executives Institute.

Clarice Westall, EA, H & R Block | Clarice Westall started her tax preparation career with H & R Block 38 years ago. In those 38 years, she has filled a variety of roles: tax preparer, office manager, instructor, lecturer, audit representative, editor, director of premium service, and a specialist in nonresident alien tax returns. International taxes is her specialty and one of her favorite topics. She has been an enrolled agent since 1981 and is a member of the NAEA, MATP, and NSTP.

Debra Yerys is an IRS-enrolled agent, an Accredited Retirement Adviser, and an experienced income tax preparation instructor. She is the owner of an income tax service and a Rutgers University graduate.


A limited number of exhibit tables are available at each location for rent by companies and individuals who provide goods and services to tax preparers. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Why take a University of Minnesota tax course? Exceptional value and reputation!

  • This course is the only statewide course developed and delivered in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service and the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
  • The U of M is an IRS-approved continuing education provider for ethics, federal tax, and federal tax law updated instruction (provider #XODXH).
  • We have 75 years of experience providing income tax information and resources.

Can I register for the course on-site?

Yes, but seating is limited and we cannot guarantee there will be enough space or materials available if you do not preregister.

As an employee of the IRS of Minnesota Department of Revenue, may I attend these courses?

IRS and MDOR employees’ registrations must be approved centrally. No on-site registrations will be accepted without prior approval. Please contact for additional information.


What is the course agenda?

Day 1

7:00 a.m. Registration begins

7:40 a.m. Course begins

5:00 p.m. Course ends

Day 2

7:40 a.m. Course begins

3:55 p.m. Course ends


    What type of continuing education credit will I earn for attending University of Minnesota tax courses?

    We have applied for the following continuing education credits for the Income Tax Course:

    • Continuing Professional Education credits (CPE) - 17 hours including 2 ethics hours, 11 federal tax law hours, 3 federal tax law updates hours, and 1-hour MNDOR presentation. The MNDOR hour will not be reported to the IRS
    • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) - 17 continuing education credits
    • Continuing Legal Education (CLE) - 13.75 hours

    Note: The University has not been preapproved as a provider for insurance or real estate credits. However, you may apply for credit through the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and approval may be granted.

    The University’s tax course is exempt from having a NASBA "provider number." According to the MN Administrative Rules 3300 our courses are accepted for CPE credit by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy. Participants should list “University of Minnesota" in the area for the provider number on the application.


    Will my Continuing Education credits be reported to the IRS?

    If you are a CPA, enrolled agent, or tax return preparer with a PTIN and you would like to have your credits reported, you will need to provide your PTIN at the time of registration or when you are on site at the course. After completing the course, your name, PTIN, and the number of credits you received will be reported to the IRS. Note: Please ensure that you use the same name on your short course registration form as you used to obtain your PTIN or you will not receive credit from the IRS.


    How will I receive my certificate?

    Your certificate will be sent electronically via email, so please register with your correct email address to ensure that you receive your certificate after the course. If you would prefer to have your certificate mailed to you, please let one of the on-site staff know.


    Changes & Cancellations


    Need to change dates or locations? Email your request to at least six days prior to the course. 
    Want to cancel your registration? Notify us at least five business days before the course start date to avoid a 10 percent processing fee. No refunds are given after the course starts. You may cancel by:

    Still have questions? Give us a call! 612-624-4000.

    Supplemental Course Materials from 2017-2018

    View and print the PDF of instructor Ruth Ann Michnay's PowerPoint: Rulings and Cases

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