The Iowa Department of Revenue is dropping its in-house system that let Iowa taxpayers file their returns on-line. Department Director Mike Ralston says you can still file for free through another program. He says it’s a national program that lets you file for free, and he says there’ll be a link on the state’s webpage. He says they didn’t feel the state should pay to have a site when there’s a free alternative available. The old Iowa site did have some restrictions on who could use it based on certain deductions. Ralston says the state has tried to walk a fine line between making free filing on-line without hurting the business that charge for filing.He says it’s not their goal to take over the tax return filing business from professionals, he says it’s their goal to provide Iowans with an option. He says if they took every return free, there’d be an outcry that the state was taking away business from professional preparers. Ralston says the closing of the state’s webfile program came after a thorough review. He says every year they analyze the options to see if they’re offering the right options. He says there will always be people who choose to take advantage of different deductions in which they need to pay to have their returns filed. Ralston says the Iowa led the nation with 60-percent of its returns filed electronically last year — and their goal is to increase that to 80-percent.
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