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COVID-19 Update: Read CCAPS's operational updates or visit the Safe Campus website for the University's operational updates.

Income Tax Short Course

US Capitol Building in pink and gold light, at dusk

Due to COVID-19, the 2020-21 Income Tax Short Course is moving online!

  • Credits: 16 IRS hours | 16 CFP credits | 13 CLE hours in Minnesota
  • Dates: Nov 5 & 6, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, Dec 8 & 9, and Jan 8 & 9, 2021
  • Fees: $345 for registration at least 4 weeks from course date | $395 within 4 weeks of course date
  • Registration: Open now! 
    Please register at least two weeks in advance of your chosen course date to ensure delivery of course materials. We cannot guarantee timely delivery of class materials for any registrations received after the two week period. 
  • Virtual Format: This year’s tax schools will be held virtually using the Zoom Webinar platform. Further information can be found below.
  • Technical Support: 612-301-4357 or help@umn.edu
  • For: Tax practitioners working with individual and small business returns (including CPAs, enrolled agents, lawyers, insurance personnel, VITA volunteers)

The Income Tax Short Course is an annual two-day 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 Manual2020 National Income Tax Workbook, and online access 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.
IRS-Approved Continuing Education Provider logo

Dates and Registration

2020-21 Dates 

  • Nov 5 & 6
  • Nov 9 & 10
  • Nov 16 & 17
  • Dec 8 & 9
  • Jan 8 & 9, 2021


The fee for this course is $345 at least 4 weeks from course start date, and $395 within 4 weeks of course date.

The course fee includes the 2020 LGUTEF National Income Tax Workbook and the Minnesota Department of Revenue Individual Income Tax Manual.

New This Year

In lieu of a CD with past book information, we will be providing a password to an online searchable archive of past books that will also include a PDF of the current year’s book. You'll be only be able to access the online information for a limited time (ending October 1, 2021). We strongly encourage you to download and save any information you wish to keep. Password information will be sent to you on the first day of your course. 

To insure delivery of course materials before the beginning of the course please register two weeks in advance of the start date for the course. We can not guarantee timely delivery of class materials for any registrations received after the two week period. 

We strongly encourage you to register online. Online registration is the safest and fastest way to register for the Income Tax Short Course.

Please contact us if you are eligible for the VITA rate. 

You may also purchase the course materials by themselves online (no course). Books will be shipped in late October. No CPEs awarded.


We'll issue a refund for cancellations two weeks before the course start date, minus a 50% processing fee. No refunds will be given after two weeks of the course start date. Cancellation requests are required in writing to ccapsreg@umn.edu or via fax to 612-624-5359.

Registration questions: 612-625-2900 | ccapsreg@umn.edu


Day 1

Time Activity Instructor
7:20 a.m. Webinar Opens  
7:40-7:50 a.m. Welcome and Introduction  
7:50-8:40 a.m. New Legislation Part 1 Alan Gregerson, Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service
8:40-9:30 a.m. New Legislation Part 2 Alan Gregerson, Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service
9:30-9:45 a.m. Break  
9:45-10:35 a.m. Agriculture and Natural Resource Issues C. Robert Holcomb, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management, University of Minnesota Extension, Enrolled Agent
10:35-11:25 a.m. IRS Issues Alan Gregerson, Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service
11:25-12:10 p.m. Lunch break  
12:10-1:00 p.m. QBI Deduction & Tax Rates and Useful Tables C. Robert Holcomb, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management, University of Minnesota Extension, Enrolled Agent
1:00-1:50 p.m. Rulings and Cases Ruth Ann Michnay, CPA, MBT, Enrolled Agent, USTCP
1:50-2:05 p.m. Break  
2:05-2:55 p.m. Minnesota Department of Revenue Mark Krause, Tax Professional Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Revenue
2:55-3:05 p.m. Break  
3:05-4:45 p.m. Ethics Ruth Ann Michnay, CPA, MBT, Enrolled Agent, USTCP
4:45 p.m. Adjourn  

Day 2

Time Activity Instructor
7:20 a.m. Webinar Opens  
7:40-7:45 a.m. Welcome and Introductions  
7:45-8:35 a.m. Business Entities Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
8:35-9:25 a.m. Individual Tax Issues Part 1 Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, H&R Block Advisors
9:25-9:40 a.m. Break  
9:40-10:30 a.m. Business Issues Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
10:30-11:20 a.m. Individual Tax Issues Part 2 Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, H&R Block Advisors
11:20-12:05 p.m. Lunch  
12:05-12:55 p.m. Trusts and Estates & Virtual Currency Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, H&R Block Advisors
12:55-1:45 p.m. S Corporations Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
1:45-2:00 p.m. Break  
2:00-2:50 p.m. Retirement Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, H&R Block Advisors
2:50-3:40 p.m. Financial Distress & PPP Loans/EIDL Advance Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
3:40 p.m. Adjourn  


How to Join the Virtual Course 

Printable Zoom Instructions 

Thank you for registering for the 78th Annual University of Minnesota Income Tax Short Course! In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s tax schools will be held virtually using the Zoom Webinar platform.  

We recommend that all registrants test their connection prior to the webinars using Zoom’s test meeting.  Additionally, if you are brand new to Zoom, we recommend you also review the Getting Started Guide. Here is a helpful video to get started: Joining & Configuring Audio & Video. Additional resources can be found on Zoom's website.

Due to the webinar format, there will be new requirements for receiving continuing education credits. The Income Tax Short Course will be following all guidelines set out by the Internal Revenue Service and Minnesota Board of Accountancy to track attendance.

Tax school attendees will receive a unique Zoom webinar link to each of the Day 1 and Day 2 webinars where they can access the webinar with their unique, personal email, login and password. Attendees will be required to confirm their name and email address to confirm their attendance at the beginning of each day. 

Tax school organizers will be launching polls throughout the webinars to verify attendance and participation. To participate in the polling, you will be required to use the Zoom desktop application. You can download the application for free here. To receive continuing professional or legal education credits, full attendance, as tracked by poll responses, is required.  

If your business/work computer prohibits downloading the zoom application, you may need to use your personal computer for the Income Tax Short Course in order to register your attendance for continuing professional or legal education (CPE or CLE).

Short Practice sessions will be held prior to each tax school.  These practice sessions will allow tax school attendees a chance to log in, adjust headset or speaker volume, and answer some sample polling questions.  This will allow everyone to work out any technical issues prior to the actual school. We will notify registered attendees of the practice session schedule when that is determined. 

The tax course sessions will take place live and will not be recorded for viewing at a later time.

Tax school organizers will send a follow-up email with similar detailed instructions to the registered attendees outlining the requirements for the successful completion of CPE or CLE requirements. These emails will also provide detailed instructions about how to access the webinar, INCLUDING YOUR UNIQUE SIGN-IN LINK and have contact information if attendees have questions or concerns.

Thank you, and please reach out to ccapstax@umn.edu with any questions.

University of Minnesota Income Tax Short Course Team 

Course Topics

Financial Distress. This chapter discusses the tax consequences of foreclosures, repossessions, and abandonments. It explains when cancellation of indebtedness must be included in income and when it can be excluded. This chapter provides comprehensive examples of the reduction in tax attributes that must occur when cancelled debt is excluded from income. This chapter also explains the bad debt deduction for business and nonbusiness bad debts.

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

  • Due diligence for a tax practitioner who helps a self-employed taxpayer claim the earned income credit, who prepares a return for a taxpayer who does not have records to substantiate material participation, or who performs valuations of a business
  • Best practices in making and accepting referrals, including referrals from an online referral service
  • When a tax practitioner can disclose information through the IRS Whistleblower Program
  • Ethical considerations for tax practitioners using online faxing, digital storage and backups, and online portals
  • Ten case studies that illustrate real-life ethical scenarios


Qualified Business Income Deduction Issues. This chapter discusses select issues related to the section 199A deduction. It explains how to calculate the qualified business income (QBI) deduction and the limitations on the deduction. This chapter also explains when trades or businesses can be aggregated, how to net and carryover QBI losses, and when a taxpayer can claim the QBI deduction for rental real estate income.

S Corporation Tax Issues. This chapter reviews important tax issues for S corporations, including the choice of entity rules and the S corporation election. It explains issues that the IRS has identified in its compliance campaigns, including S corporation distributions, the built-in-gains tax, and S corporation loss limitations. This chapter also includes an explanation of calculating basis and required basis reporting on Schedule E (Form 1040).

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

  • Family members working for each other on farm or ranch, including the reinstated kiddie tax rules
  • Farm or ranch employer-provided meals and lodging
  • Special use valuation
  • Depreciation of farm property
  • Self-employment tax on agricultural activities

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 the following:

  • Tax issues for a taxpayer engaged in a multi-level marketing business
  • Opportunity zones
  • Bonus depreciation
  • New health reimbursement arrangements for small businesses

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

  • Deductions for health insurance and other health expenses
  • Casualty losses and gains
  • Deductions, credits, and exclusions for education
  • Who can claim the child tax credit, credit for other dependents, education credits, and other individual income tax credits

Business Entity Issues. The chapter reviews new partnership reporting requirements. It discusses the taxation of section 501(c)(7) social clubs and 501(c)(10) fraternal organizations, including eligibility for exemption, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and income tax issues. This chapter also includes new rules, regulations, and filing requirements for nonprofit entities.

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

  • Required minimum distributions and the SECURE Act modification of the required distribution rules
  • Planning for IRA beneficiary designations under the new rules
  • Testamentary charitable remainder trusts
  • Qualified charitable distributions
  • Taxation of common investments such as interest-bearing bank accounts, certificates of deposit, and savings bonds

Trust and Estate Issues. This chapter discusses estate planning to preserve the increased exemption amount before it expires at the end of 2025. It reviews the definition of a gift, use of the annual gift tax exclusion, and when it is necessary to file a gift tax return. This chapter also explains how a tax practitioner can identify different types of trusts, and how those trusts report income tax to their beneficiaries.

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

  • Cybersecurity
  • Virtual currency
  • IRS Withholding Estimator
  • Taxation of the gig economy
  • IRS information sources

New and Expiring Legislation. This chapter covers recently enacted tax legislation and procedures, including comprehensive coverage of the tax provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It is organized by subject to help participants quickly find topics of interest and includes the following:

  • 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 when they expire
  • A table of tax provisions that expired or are set to expire

Rulings and Cases. This chapter summarizes selected rulings and cases that were issued from September 2019 through August 2020. 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. 


Course instructors vary by date.

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 77 years of experience providing income tax information and resources.

Can I register the day of the course?

Yes, although you won't have the course materials, which will be referred to during the course. If you want to have the course materials to follow during class, you'll need to register at least 14 days in advance.

What is the course agenda?

We recommend you join online 10 minutes before the start of each day's class.

Day 1

7:20 a.m. Webinar opens

7:40 a.m. Course begins

4:45 p.m. Course ends

Day 2

7:20 a.m. Webinar opens

7:40 a.m. Course begins

3:45 p.m. Course ends

How will each course be delivered online?

    The course will be delivered using Zoom. If you have never used Zoom, please also take some time before the course to familiarize yourself with Zoom and make sure you'll be able to successfully join. Below are a few helpful videos to get started:

    How are you tracking attendance? 

    Tax school organizers will be launching polls throughout the webinars to verify attendance and participation. To participate in the polling, you will be required to use the Zoom desktop application. You can download the application for free here. Organizers will be releasing four polling questions per hour throughout the webinars. Attendees can receive one credit per hour based on polling participation. To receive full continuing professional or legal education credits for the hour, attendees must respond to at least three of the four poll questions per hour. Participation and receiving credit is based on submitting an answer, not choosing the correct answer.

    When will I get my materials?

    Materials will be shipped 10 days prior to the course. 

    When will I get the Zoom links for the course?

    Zoom links will be sent one week prior to the course. 

    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:

    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - 16 IRS credit hours including 2 ethics hours, 11 federal tax law hours, and 3 federal tax law updates hours
    • 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) - 16 continuing education credits
    • Continuing Legal Education (CLE) - 13 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.

    CLEs 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 email a request to ccapstax@umn.edu.

    Contact CCAPS

    Program Questions 

    Abigayle O'Keefe: 612-625-2765ccapstax@umn.edu

    Registration Questions

    612-625-2900 | ccapsreg@umn.edu

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