The director of the state’s tax collection agency is urging Iowans to choose the electronic filing option for their state income taxes. Iowa Department of Revenue director Courtney Kay-Decker says 87 percent of 2013 state income tax returns were filed electronically.
“It’s tax filing season, so it’s a fun time for us at the Department of Revenue,” Kay-Decker says. “Perhaps a less fun time for others.”
It costs the state nearly ten times as much to process a paper return. The average cost of processing an electronic return: 18 cents.
“When you file your return on paper, we find that the error rate is roughly 33 percent,” Kay-Decker says. “That is 33 percent of the returns will have an error on them, whereas e-filing — that software helps pick up a lot of the errors and the error rate is about eight percent.”
Six well-known software programs for filing taxes are available, for free, on the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less. Mark Reed is a spokesman for Turbo Tax — one of the software programs Iowans can access to free on the state website.
“We believe that the individual is the best person to do their taxes,” Reed says. “…No one knows better what’s happened over the past year of life than you, the individual taxpayer and, after all, taxes tend to be the story of our lives. What did we do? What credits are we eligible for? What deductions are we eligible for?”
Iowa is one of 21 states that offer the free tax-preparation software.