Eligible Iowans Urged to Use Free Tax Filing Program

By Rod Boshart, Reporter

DES MOINES – Lower-income Iowans who will be filing state and federal income tax returns are being urged to use the Iowa Free File program that is available to taxpayers with a yearly adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less.

During a Monday news conference, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Courtney Kay-Decker, director of the Iowa Department of Revenue director Courtney Kay-Decker, urged qualifying Iowans to access the Free File program that helps them file their federal and state taxes easily online at no cost.

The program can be accessed via the Iowa Department of Revenue website: www.iowa.gov/tax and by clicking on the "e-file electronically" logo, officials said.

"Free File not only helps save taxpayers' time and money, but also saves Iowa's government money by encouraging electronic filing and reducing errors," said Courtney Kay-Decker. "E-filing is the fastest, safest and easiest way to file your taxes, and the Iowa Free File program makes it even easier."

The governmental cost of processing a paper return is $1.76 while processing an electronic return is $.18 – a savings of $1.58 per return, said Kay-Decker, who noted that about 87 percent of Iowans filed their tax returns electronically during last year's tax season.

The error rate for paper returns is 33 percent while it is only 8 percent for electronic returns, she added, also noting that the revenue agency issues 96 percent of individual income tax refunds to those who filed electronically within 2 weeks of filing.

Iowa is one of 21 states, plus the District of Columbia, that sponsors a State Free File program, allowing eligible residents to easily and accurately complete both their federal and state taxes with trusted name-brand tax preparation software of their choice. Free File empowers taxpayers to claim eligible deductions and credits for which they qualify -- including the often missed Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), according to department officials.

"The Iowa Free File program helps Iowans save money during tax season and assists in obtaining maximum tax deductions," Reynolds said. "It takes the stress out of tax season and puts hard-earned money back in taxpayers' pockets. The Free File program is an excellent example of how the government and private sector can work together to help our community."

According to the federal Internal Revenue Service, 40 million taxpayers across the country have prepared their federal returns through Free File since the program began more than a decade ago.

For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Revenue website: www.iowa.gov/tax and click on the "e-file electronically" logo and see this informative chart.

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@sourcemedia.net
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