Department spokesperson, Victoria Daniels, says around 726,000 returns have already been filed. “We processed about half a percent fewer returns than we had at this time last year. Which really isn’t concerning, it could be due to a number of things,” Daniels says. There were 1,547,000 people who filed Iowa tax returns last year.
Those who’ve completed the process so far this tax season are overwhelming doing so online. “So far our e-file rate for income tax returns is almost 95-percent, and that’s about a whole percentage point above of where we were last year,” Daniels says. “Now as we get later in the season that percentage will likely decrease some, because it seems like the people who wait until the last minute are the ones filing on paper. And there could be a strategy to that, I don’t know, but that’s usually how it works out.”
She says most people have figured out filing and getting a refund electronically is the best way to go. “It’s so much easier and more quick to get your income tax refund, the advantages (of e-filing) far outweigh any disadvantages,” according to Daniels. She says talks about the refunds that have already been processed. “The average refund amount is down just slightly. This time last year the average refund amount was $507. 82 cents,” Daniels says. “And this year the average refund amount is $505.97 cents.”
Many people file their state taxes at the same time they file their federal taxes by the federal deadline on April 15th. But you do have more time to file your state taxes if you need it. “You have until April 30th to file your Iowa return. If you are not going to be able to file your Iowa return, the best thing for you to do is to work with somebody, or try to figure out what your expected liability is going to be. And if you pay 90-percent of that, then you are not penalized,” Daniels explains. Daniels says free electronic filing is available for those who qualify. Find out more at: tax.iowa.gov