With the year’s end only days away, some forward-thinking Iowans are consulting their C-P-A’s for tips on how to save a few bucks on their taxes before 2003 is a memory. Jeff Strawhacker, a West Des Moines certified public accountant, says despite what you may think, taxpayers have had a good year. Strawhacker says it’s been an exciting year as we have lower overall tax rates, increased bracket levels for the ten and 15-percent tax brackets, higher standard deductions and lower maximum tax rates on some dividends and capital-gains rates. He says many people will be pleasantly surprised come April 15th when they notice their taxes have dropped.Changes will help just about everyone with a lowering of their taxes, including a dropping of the ten and 15-percent tax brackets and the so-called marriage tax penalties being rolled back — with tax brackets for people who are married filing jointly being boosted to now equal twice that of singles. While many of those tax breaks involve federal moves, Strawhacker says some benefits are Iowa-specific. Iowa allows a 100-percent deduction for medical insurance premiums that are paid while federal has certain limitations. Also, in Iowa, only 50-percent Social Security benefits are taxed versus federal where it’s a maximum of 85-percent.
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