The Iowa Department of Revenue started accepting state tax returns for 2017 last week. Department spokesperson, John Fuller, says they’re doing some things to try and help you navigate through the process.

“We’ve created a sort of microsite or site within our bigger website that sort of breaks that down into three easy steps and helps them understand what happens,” Fuller says,”how to file, when to file, what tools are available, things like that.” The website is www.tax.iowa.gov.

Some people might be a little bit apprehensive about filing with all the talk recently about the changes in the federal tax system. Fuller says you shouldn’t worry about that.

“Filing state taxes this year will be much the same as it has been in the past. Next year will probably be different. This year there’s not a lot of changes,” Fuller says. The Iowa Department of Revenue pushed in the past for people to switch from paper to electronic filing, and Fuller says that’ now how a majority of the returns are sent in.

“About 90 percent. I think most people find that it’s a little bit easier to do that,” according to Fuller. “A lot of times, whether they use a third-party software company, or go on our site, I think it’s just a little easier to navigate through. I think most people are just more comfortable with that.” If you get onto the website and still have some questions, he says the department welcomes phone calls.

“We get a lot of phone calls — obviously depending on what time of day and what time you call — you may have to wait a few minutes. And that phone number is 515-281-3114,” Fuller says. He says they give out some of the same advice every year to Iowa taxpayers on how to make the process go better — and he says it still applies.

“Start early, because you may be missing something that you thought you had. So, avoid waiting to file until the last minute,” Fuller says. “File electronically if you can because it helps avoid mistakes. And take a minute when you are done to just double-check your work.” The deadline to file your Iowa tax returns is April 30th.