Some dedicated Iowans will spend part of their weekends working on their federal tax returns, which are due in less than a month. C-P-A Jeff Strawhacker, of West Des Moines, says whether you’re using a preparer or doing your taxes yourself, consider electronically filing the returns when you’re done.
Strawhacker says his office files returns electronically for clients unless they specifically ask for paper filing. "We like the system. It works. It’s a great way to get the returns there, get them filed, documented and get the refunds back to the clients quickly." With direct deposit, he says you may get your refund in a matter of a week to ten days versus several weeks with paper returns. Strawhacker says as you’re getting ready to prepare your return, organization is key.
He says to never rush through pulling tax documents together. Look at your return from last year and use that as a guideline for organizing the necessary documents. One new federal refund this year is the telephone excise tax and it’s worth between 30 and 60 dollars to virtually every taxpayer who has a phone. Strawhacker says there are also changes in how you can donate money to charity — everything has to have written documentation. He has one other tax tip for Iowans:
Strawhacker says "There’s a credit for residential energy improvements, so if somebody’s put in new windows, new exterior doors, insulation materials, there are some federal tax credits that can be claimed for those. So if you did that in 2006 or if you’re planning in 2007, you want to make sure you keep those receipts."