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COVID-19 Update: The University of Minnesota has suspended in-person instruction and will offer online, or alternative, instruction through the end of summer semester 2020. Read the latest operational CCAPS updates as well as an April 2 update from Dean Bob Stine. For the latest information on the University’s response to COVID-19, please see the Safe Campus website.

Income Tax Short Course

small classroom of professionals

The Income Tax Short Course is an annual two-day in-person course that will give you the tools to maintain your business and stay on top of the latest tax legislation affecting tax returns for current and future years. The course fee includes the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue Individual Income Tax Manual and the 2019 National Income Tax Workbook and CD (with multiple years of tax workbooks in a searchable format).

Earn IRS-approved continuing education credit hours in the following areas:

  • 2 ethics hours
  • 3 federal tax law update hours
  • 11 federal tax law hours
  • 1 hour of MNDOR Update (not reported to IRS).

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.
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Qualified Business Income Deduction – Nonspecified Service Trades or Businesses. This chapter discusses how to calculate the qualified business income (QBI) deduction for proprietorships, partners in partnerships, and S-corporation shareholders. This chapter contains comprehensive examples of the income that qualifies for the deduction and two limitations on the deduction: the taxable income limit and the W-2 wage and capital limit. This chapter also explains when trades or businesses can be aggregated, how to net and carryover QBI losses, and how pass-through entities must allocate and report QBI items.

Qualified Business Income Deduction – Specified Service Trades or Businesses. This chapter defines a specified service trade or business (SSTB) and explains how to calculate the SSTB limitation on the QBI deduction. It includes detailed examples of the SSTB limitation for a taxpayer with taxable income below, above, and within the phase-in range. This chapter also covers the de minimis rule that allows a business to have a small amount of specified service activity and an anti-abuse rule that prohibits certain business arrangements that avoid the SSTB limitation.

Ethics. This chapter discusses important issues that help tax practitioners comply with their ethical obligations. Topics include:

  • Initiating, maintaining, and terminating representation of a client with diminished capacity
  • Validity and scope of a power of attorney, and when to revoke an IRS power of attorney
  • Due diligence under the centralized partnership audit regime; large, suspicious, or unusual items on a tax return; and due diligence for social media and email marketing
  • Ten case studies that illustrate real-life ethical scenarios

Limited Liability Tax Issues. This chapter reviews important tax issues for LLCs, including the choice of entity rules, husband-and-wife LLCs, allocation of profit and loss, calculate of inside and outside basis, and basis elections upon the death of a member or the sale of an LLC interest. This chapter also discusses LLC compensation issues and the tax implication of conversion of a single-member LLC to a multimember LLC (and vice versa).

Religious Organization Tax Issues. This chapter provides a comprehensive discussion of tax issues that arise for religious organizations, their service providers, and their members. It explains the requirements for tax-exempt status, unrelated business taxable income, taxation of compensation paid to employees and contractors, and IRS audits of religious organizations. It also explains some unique tax issues for Amish and Mennonite members.

Agriculture and Natural Resource Issues. This chapter covers emerging topics that affect farmers and ranchers, including:

  • Conservation easements, including recent case law on the scope and purpose of the easement
  • The QBI deduction for cooperatives
  • Tax planning for farms
  • Farming C corporations that elect S-corporation status
  • Getting out of the business of farming

Business Issues. This chapter discusses some of the issues that tax practitioners encounter when they prepare returns for clients who operate a business. Topics include:

  • Travel and transportation expenses
  • The business interest limitation
  • The excess business loss disallowance rule
  • Taxation of health care plans for small businesses

Real Estate Tax Issues. This chapter covers a broad range of tax issues for the real estate investor, including short-term rentals, passive-activity loss limits, the QBI deduction for real estate activities, and investing in opportunity zones. It also explains the ramifications of a disposition of real estate, including capital gains and losses, depreciation recapture, and installment sales. Finally, this chapter discusses important information for the real estate owner, including the deduction for business use of the home, and the exclusion of gain on the sale of a principal residence.

Foreign Tax Issues. US persons with foreign income or assets may have reporting and disclosure requirements. Penalties for failure to comply are high. This chapter gives an overview of the more common reporting and disclosure requirements. It also covers the new foreign tax laws and the withholding rules that apply to a non-US person who is selling US real property.

Individual Issues. This chapter covers several issues tax practitioners encounter when preparing individual income tax returns, including:

  • The charitable contribution deduction and the limits on the deduction
  • Tax credits, such as the earned income credit, the child tax credit, and the credit for other
  • dependents
  • Taxation of the earned and unearned income of children
  • Gambling income and losses

Investment and Retirement. This chapter covers investment and retirement tax planning issues, including:

  • Virtual currency
  • Annuities and life insurance
  • Retirement planning for small businesses
  • Stock options and employee stock option plans

Trust and Estate Issues. This chapter discusses estate planning to preserve the increased exemption amount before it expires at the end of 2025, and the continued need for A−B trust planning. It reviews how to determine basis in inherited assets and the tax ramifications of below-market loans. This chapter also explains when a trust or estate (or its beneficiary) can claim the QBI deduction and how to calculate that deduction.

IRS Issues. This chapter covers issues the IRS targets as key issues for practitioners. Topics include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Penalty abatement
  • The impact of bankruptcy on tax debt
  • Taxpayer liability for the trust fund recovery penalty
  • The paycheck checkup

New and Expiring Legislation. This chapter covers recently enacted tax legislation and procedures. It is organized by subject to help participants quickly find topics of interest and includes:

  • A summary of each provision
  • Cross-references to other chapters to help participants find further information
  • Effective dates to help participants keep track of when provisions begin and expire
  • A table of tax provisions that expired in 2017 or 2018, and provisions that are set to expire from 2019 through 2027

Rulings and Cases. This chapter summarizes selected rulings and cases that were issued from September 2018 through August 2019. It gives participants an update on issues that are being addressed by the IRS and the courts.

Tax Rates and Useful Tables. This chapter reports the tax rates, deduction limits, credit limits, and income thresholds and limits that change each year. It includes information for 2018, 2019, and 2020 to the extent that information is available.

Dates, Location, and Registration


Date Venue Location
Oct. 26 & 27 Timberlake Lodge Grand Rapids
Oct. 27 & 28 Shoreview Community Center Shoreview
Oct. 28 & 29 River's Edge Convention Center St. Cloud
Oct. 29 & 30 Hjemkomst Center Moorhead
Nov. 2 & 4 International Event Center Rochester
Nov. 4 & 5 Country Inn & Suites Mankato
Nov. 5 & 6 Ramada Marshall Marshall
Nov. 9 & 10 Owatonna Country Club Owatonna
Nov. 16 & 17 Eagan Community Center Eagan
Jan. 8 & 9 Continuing Education and Conference Center Saint Paul

Registration information coming in March. 




Course instructors vary by location.

Karen Brehmer, Internal Revenue Service | Karen Brehmer is a stakeholder liaison with the Communications and Liaison Division of the 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 the IRS. He has held positions as a revenue agent in Examination, taxpayer service specialist answering technical calls at the nationwide call site, and assisted the volunteer income tax assistance program with technical and electronic filing expertise. Currently he serves as a senior stakeholder liaison specialist working with business organizations and practitioners, speaking and developing issues for outreach and resolutions of those issues. He has 33 years of experience.

Rob Holcomb, EA | Rob Holcomb has been an Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota since 2004. Rob works on the development and delivery of educational programs dealing with agricultural risk management with emphasis on taxation, farm analysis, business planning and labor management. Rob has been an instructor for the Minnesota Income Tax Course since 2010 and in 2011 began serving as the tax school faculty director. Additionally, Rob serves on the National Extension Tax Education Committee. Rob holds a bachelor of science degree from Iowa State University in Agricultural Education and also a master of education degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Rob and his family reside in Marshall, Minnesota.

Mark Krause, Minnesota Department of Revenue | Mark Krause is the tax professional outreach coordinator for the Income Tax and Withholding Division of the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Mark’s primary role is liaison to the tax professional community by providing education and support to tax preparers. Mark was previously a revenue tax specialist in the Special Taxes division. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Ruth Ann Michnay, CPA, MBT, EA, USTCP principal of Ruth Ann Michnay PA | Ruth Ann Michnay is a certified public accountant and a US Tax Court Practitioner with a practice in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she concentrates in tax representation, tax preparation—individual and small business—and accounting services and consulting. She served on the AICPA IRS Practice and Procedures Committee (2004−2007, 2012−2015) and is a member of the MN CPA Society Legislative Committee. Ruth Ann has also been a community faculty member at Metropolitan State University, Inver Hills Community College, and several other universities in the area. She is a member of the AICPA, MN CPA Society, NAEA, the MN Society of Enrolled Agents, and the Better Business Bureau. She recently completed the NAEA NTPI Fellow program.

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 over 45 years ago. In that time, 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.

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 ccapstax@umn.edu 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 hours including 11.5 standard hours, 1.5 Ethics hours in Minnesota

    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.

    CLE's are self-reported and should be reported through the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education. To find a course, use the course title "University of Minnesota Income Tax Short Course" and enter the start date of your respective course. Sponsor name is "University of Minnesota." 

    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 and Cancellations


    Need to change dates or locations? Email your request to ccapsreg@umn.edu at least six days prior to the course. 

    If you cancel your registration at least five business days before the course start date, we'll issue a refund minus $50. No refunds will be given after the five business days before the course start date. You may cancel your registration via:

    phone 612-624-4000 
    fax 612-624-5359
    email ccapsreg@umn.edu

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

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