Governor Branstad Urges Eligible Iowans to Take Advantage of Free Tax Prep Program

Press Release

By:  Terry Branstad
Date: March 15, 2013
Location: Des Moines, IA

Today, Governor Terry Branstad urged low- and moderate-income Iowans to use the Iowa Free File program to prepare and file their federal and state income tax returns online for free. The Iowa Free File program allows eligible taxpayers the free use of name-brand, tax preparation software. Taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less last year.

The Iowa Free File program is one of 22 state programs plus the District of Columbia modeled after the IRS Free File program used by millions of taxpayers to e-file their federal income tax returns for free.

"In Iowa, we have worked to make tax season easy and efficient for all taxpayers," said Gov. Branstad. "The Free File program is designed to help lower-income Iowans save on the cost of tax prep and hold on to more of their hard-earned money, without costing a dime of taxpayer dollars. However, many Iowans eligible for the program don't use it. I urge eligible Iowans to visit the Iowa Department of Revenue website and use the free software provided to easily and conveniently file your taxes."

"Free File is a win-win for taxpayers and government: taxpayers get the convenience of filing online for free using name-brand software, while the program doesn't cost a dime of taxpayer dollars, and even saves money by reducing processing costs ," said Courtney Kay-Decker, Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue.

By helping more people file electronically, Free File helps save the state money, reduces errors and speeds up the time it takes to issue a refund. According to the Iowa Department of Revenue:
* The cost of processing a paper return is $2.26 while processing an electronic return is $0.17 -- a savings of $2.09 per return.
* The error rate for paper returns is 33 percent while it is only 6 percent for electronic returns.
* The Iowa Department of Revenue issues 96 percent of individual income tax refunds to those who filed electronically within 2 weeks of filing.
According to the IRS, 36 million taxpayers have prepared their federal returns through Free File since the program began more than a decade ago.

Learn about Free File and who is eligible to file their taxes for free by visiting www.taxprephelp.org or the Iowa Department of Revenue or the IRS.