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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 16544
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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I am an online adjunct faculty member for multiple schools.

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I am an online adjunct faculty member for multiple schools. W-2s of 2 of the schools shows my home state of Maine in box 15. One shows the location of the school in box 15 (Minnesota). The school says this is how all adjuncts are handled. The other schools do not do this. I do not live in Minnesota and do not travel to Minnesota. I'm not earning the money in Minnesota, since the students are all over the world. How do I handle this on my taxes?

Megan C :

Thank you for your question, and thanks for using JustAnswer.com

Megan C :

For federal purposes, the amount will be claimed as income on your taxes, since it doesn't matter which state is attributed to the earnings.

Customer:

I need an answer to how I handle it from the state point of view. I know it's federal income.

Customer:

I want to know if I have to file a Minnesota return and a Maine return.

Megan C :

For your state tax, if MN tax was withheld then you will have to file a non resident tax return for MN and seek a refund of that withholding

Megan C :

If no MN tax is withheld, then there's no purpose to fill a MN tax return, either

Customer:

They didn't withhold anything. I filed a W-4 saying I was exempt.

Megan C :

You will still owe tax on the amount in Maine, as that is your state of residence

Customer:

Another faculty member was told by H&R Block that she had to file with MN for that money--and she had to pay in about $1200. She lives in Maine as well.

Megan C :

Let me double check MN state tax regulations, but I too am an adjunct and I've never had to file taxes in another state

Customer:

And, is the reason that I don't have to file with MN is that I never went to MN? Also, will the W-2 filed in MN trigger a request for money from them?

Customer:

yes, my other schools have ME in Box 15.

Megan C :

Was MN tax withheld?

Customer:

no, I filed the W-4 with the school claiming that I was exempt for MN withholdings. I can't remember what they told me when I first did this. I filed it back in 2009, I believe, and filed another one in January of this year.

Megan C :

You never physically worked in MN, therefore you do not have MN sourced income.

Customer:

I didn't think I wanted MN tax withheld, since I never set foot outside of Maine.

Megan C :

You are not taxed based on where your employer is located.

Megan C :

If you claimed exempt from MN and no MN tax was withheld, then there's no need to file a MN tax return

Customer:

awesome! Can you give me something in writing, so I can put it away with my 2012 tax paperwork--just in case someone asks.

Megan C :

http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/Forms_and_Instructions/w-4mn.pdf here's the W-4 from MN which has a line where you can claim exempt

Customer:

I'm going to file my Maine return like I've been doing right along.

Megan C :

There's not a ruling or link which specifically states this issue

Megan C :

Yes, and you have to pay tax in ME on the income from the MN school

Megan C :

http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/individuals/individ_income/factsheets/fact_sheets_fs3.pdf

Megan C :

There's the fact sheet from MN - it states your gross income includes amounts earned for work performed IN Minnesota.

Megan C :

If you did not perform services in MN then there's nothing to worry about.

Customer:

Okay, because I guess I'm one of the few who is not filing and paying tax on this income with the State of MN. And we're all adjuncts. That was my reasoning--that I'm not in MN.

Megan C :

Yes, but you have to perform the work in MN or be a MN resident to claim it on your taxes.

Megan C :

They are paying tax erroneously.

Customer:

okay, thank you.

Megan C :

You're welcome.

Customer:

only the school's server lives in MN

Megan C :

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