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Tax time

Iowa Department of Revenue recommends e-filing taxes

January 25, 2010

And just when your hair grew back from last year's go at it.

Yes, it is tax season once again.

Iowa has reduced staffing with no temporary employees due to budget constraints, according to the Iowa Dept. of Revenue.

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Therefore, it recommends filing your taxes electronically with both Iowa and the Internal Revenue Service, and choosing direct deposit to expedite your refund.

"With the state, you want to have things as organized as possible and e-filing will be faster," says Enrolled Agent Jim Bruxvoort with H & R Block of Marshalltown. "If not, it's going to take a long time to get your return back because they are short on staff."

Whether you file electronically or on paper, the IRS ordinarily sends a booklet to taxpayers each year that includes instructions, as well as easy-to-understand worksheets.

By reading the instructions, one will have a better idea of how to fill out the returns while specifying what deductions to take. One can avoid pitfalls that result in returns being audited - not to mention you may uncover new deductions.

Tax documents are the starting point of any tax return, so round up your records. Gather W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks, and other documents that show income or support a deduction to be taken.

Go to Iowa's Web site at and see whether you qualify to electronically file your Iowa and federal returns free. If you do not, take a look at the 'File for a Fee' category to see what costs are involved to e-file.

Various tax preparers offer electronic filing at no extra charge, therefore e-filing through your tax professional may be an advantage.

Finally, review, review, review. Mistakes can be made when hurried and could delay the speed of your return. Double-check all social security numbers, county and school district information, and math calculations.

"Organize and get things right the first time because if you have to do an amendment, it will take a long time as well," Broxvoort said.


Contact Tammy R. Lawson at 641-753-6611 or



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