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 | 13.5 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


Day 1

Time Subject Instructor
7:40–7:45 a.m. Welcome and Introduction  
7:45–8:35 New Legislation—Individual Part I* Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service: Karen Brehmer or Alan Gregerson
8:35–9:25 New Legislation–Individual Part II & IRS Issues* Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service: Karen Brehmer or Alan Gregerson
9:25–9:40  Break  
9:40–10:30 New Legislation—Business Part I C. Robert Holcomb, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management, University of Minnesota Extension, Enrolled Agent
10:30–11:20 New Legislation—Additional & Tax Practice* Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service: Karen Brehmer or Alan Gregerson
11:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Lunch Break  
12:20–1:10 p.m. Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues (Outstate Locations Only) Depreciation, Like-Kind Exchanges, and Urban Agriculture (Metro Locations Only) C. Robert Holcomb, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management, University of Minnesota Extension, Enrolled Agent
1:10–2:00 Rulings and Cases Ruth Ann Michnay, CPA, MBT, Enrolled Agent, USTCP
2:00–2:15 Break  
2:15–3:05 Minnesota Department of Revenue* Mark Krause, Tax Professional Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Revenue
3:05–3:20 Break  
3:20–5:00 Ethics Ruth Ann Michnay

*Instructors vary by location

Day 2

Time Subject Instructor
7:40–7:45 a.m. Welcome  
7:45–8:35 Tax Rates and Useful Tables, Business Issues Part I  Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
8:35–9:25 Retirement Part I Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, Block Advisors
9:25–9:40 Break  
9:40–10:30 Business Entity Issues Part II Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
10:30–11:20 Individual Issues Part I Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, Block Advisors
11:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Lunch Break  
12:20–1:10 p.m. Individual Issues Part II & Foreign Issues Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, Block Advisors
1:10–2:00 New Legislation Business and Payroll & Estimated Tax  Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT
2:00–2:15 Break  
2:15–3:05 Retirement Issues Part II and Estimated Tax Clarice Westall, Enrolled Agent, H&R Block Premium Services
3:05–3:55 Business Entity Issues    Eric Nelson, CPA, MBT


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 – Business. This chapter covers business tax legislation that was enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). It is organized by code section 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 when they expire.

New Legislation – Individual. This chapter covers individual tax legislation that was enacted by the TCJA. It is organized by code section 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 when they expire.

Rulings and Cases. This chapter summarizes selected rulings and cases that were issued from September 2017 through August 2018 to give participants an update on issues that are being addressed by the IRS and the courts. The rulings and cases are organized under topic headings that match the titles of other chapters. 

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

  • the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction for cooperatives
  • the depreciation of farm assets, and the new depreciation rules under the TCJA
  • qualifying a farm lease for the QBI deduction
  • the new excess business loss disallowance rules.

Business Entity Issues. This chapter discusses current issues in choice of entity and new laws and procedures for tax exempt-entities. Topics include how the TCJA impacts the choice of a business entity, the new exemption application for 501(c)(4) organizations, new rules that allow a 501(c)(3) organization to change its form or place of organization without a new exemption application, and other new developments for tax-exempt entities.

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

  • comprehensive examples that illustrate how to maximize the QBI deduction for a business
  • employee fringe benefits
  • calculating the QBI deduction for a real estate investor
  • flow-through of the QBI deduction to partners and S corporation shareholders
  • new rules that impact micro-breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

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

  • due diligence for FBAR reporting, marijuana clients, and claiming refundable credits or head of household status
  • practice continuation for the sole practitioner (including a sample practice continuation agreement)
  • best practices for providing tax advice by email
  • ten case studies that illustrate real-life ethical scenarios.

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

  • the child tax credit and the new tax credit for dependents
  • tax issues for divorcing spouses, including planning for repeal of the alimony deduction
  • choice of filing status, and TCJA provisions that may impact how to file
  • schedule A vs. the standard deduction, including ways to take advantage of charitable and other deductions for the taxpayer who claims the newly increased standard deduction.

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

  • data security, tax scams, and identity theft
  • passport revocations or denials for delinquent taxpayers 
  • the current-status of the IRS, including a review of the challenges the IRS is facing in trying to implement the new legislation.

Payroll and Estimated Tax. This chapter reviews payroll withholding requirements from the employer’s perspective and discusses estimated tax payments from the employee’s perspective. It includes information on the new wage withholding rules and updated IRS tools to help ensure the correct amount of withholding and estimated tax. 

Retirement and Savings. This chapter covers common retirement tax planning and savings issues including: 

  • IRA rollovers, conversions, and recharacterizations 
  • hardship distributions and plan loans 
  • new and existing rules for ABLE accounts and Section 529 accounts.

Tax Practice. This chapter contains important tax practices and procedures, including:  

  • when a partnership can and should opt out of the new partnership audit rules
  • IRS liens and levies
  • collection alternatives such as installment plans and currently not collectible status
  • when the taxpayer owes the IRS interest and when the IRS owes the taxpayer interest
  • requesting technical advice from the IRS

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 2017, 2018, and 2019 to the extent that information is available.


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.

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 to be the 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 St. 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 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.

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) - applied for 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.


    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 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 $30. 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

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

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