Iowa Tax
eNews

graphic for Iowa Department of Revenue Tax eNews electronic newsletter
March 2003
Electronic Newsletter of the
Iowa Department of Revenue & Finance
   
 

Message from the (new) Director


Director Mike Ralston

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Iowa eTax News, published by the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance. As the new director of the department, it is my pleasure to join the terrific IDRF team that serves taxpayers in our state.

In fact, serving taxpayers is our number one priority at the department. One way we do that is by emphasizing communications and responding to your feedback. In that regard, please let us know your thoughts on this newsletter.

What stories should we include in future editions? What issues are of interest to you? Is the format readable and understandable? Do you have suggestions as to how we can improve this publication or other any service that we provide? Your feedback is important to us and will help us make this publication more useful to you. Please send your comments and suggestions to us by e-mail. Thank you for your help!

Spring tax classes

Classes about Iowa taxes are once again beginning statewide. You will find an updated class list on our Web site. We make "house calls!" If your payroll or tax department needs training in Iowa taxes, contact the tax specialist nearest you.

  • Cedar Falls: Wayne Brown (Editor's Note: Wayne retired in December 2009.
  • Cedar Rapids: Don Burr
  • Davenport: Terry O'Neill
  • Des Moines: Opal Current
  • Sioux City: Mary Forristal (Editor's Note: Mary joined the department after this newsletter was published.)

Sales Tax Notes

Consolidated sales tax filers

You must file your consolidated schedule each quarter. Your return and remittance cannot be credited correctly unless the schedule is included.

Have you received your sales tax returns?

You should have already received your quarterly or monthly returns. If not, contact us by e-mail or by phone at 1-800-367-3388 or 515/281-3114 to be sure we have the correct mailing address.

When do you need a new permit?

  • If you change your business entity from a sole proprietor to a corporation, for example, you must apply for a new permit and permit number.
  • A permit must be obtained for each business location. A business owner who changes location in the same county does not need a new permit. If, however, the location is in a different county, the owner must apply for a new permit.
  • A new permit is not required when a mailing address changes; the permit holder should, however, notify the department.

Local option sales taxes

The online lists will be updated by April 11 with new jurisdictions that start July 1. Lists change twice each year; new jurisdictions are allowed January 1 and July 1. Our department must be notified 90 days in advance, and we make every effort to update our data promptly.

Estimated Tax Notes

Fourth-quarter coupon

The correct due date for the fourth quarter is January 31, 2004.

Instructions for computing estimated tax

You may have received an instruction sheet with an incorrect percentage for computing estimated tax. The percent in question is correctly stated in bold below.

Compute estimated tax by using one of the following methods:

  • Pay 5% of the anticipated Iowa gross income, or
  • Pay 100% of the prior year's Iowa tax liability (from IA 1040, line 55), less applicable credits, 110% if prior year's federal adjusted gross income plus any bonus depreciation adjustment from line 14 of the IA 1040 exceeded $150,000, or
  • Complete the worksheet

Set up direct debit

You may pay your 2003 income estimated payments electronically from our Web site. Go to https://eservices.idrf.state.ia.us/incpay/tp/index.jsp and set up the dates and amounts you want withdrawn from your bank account. (Editor's Note: This system was disabled in January 2006 and replaced with eFile & Pay.)

Withholding Tax Notes

Withholding forms are in a new format

The withholding reporting forms for monthly and quarterly filing are no longer sent in the familiar coupon payment booklet. For 2003 the forms were printed on 8 x 10 sheets of paper. Each employer should have already received a packet. If not, then call 1-800-367-3388 to order another set. The returns process much faster if the preprinted forms are used.

Employers who are out of business

Employers who go out of business are required by Federal law to issue W-2s and/or 1099s to their former employees. Please call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-3676 if you need blank W-2s and other forms. W-2s should be given to the former employees, and 1099s to former contract workers.

Remit electronically

To file withholding and sales taxes electronically, go to our e-services page .

Receive all Iowa withholding information

A separate e-mail list is used to send withholding updates as they occur. To sign up for this eList, choose the eLists graphic and choose Withholding Tax.

Fillable forms

We continue to make forms on our Web site fillable in Adobe Acrobat; in addition, some perform calculations. These forms have limitations, however:

  • You cannot save a filled-in form to your own computer unless you have the full version of the Acrobat program (about $250) or have purchased Acrobat Approval software (about $39) from Adobe.
  • You must be using Acrobat Reader 4.5 or newer.
  • Your browser should be the latest version as well.

Do you need Iowa income tax information?

Sign up for our e-mail service to tax professionals. You do not have to be a tax professional to subscribe. Sign up and choose Individual Income Tax Professionals.

Department receives excellence awards

On March 6, the Governor's Recognition of Performance Excellence Celebration was held at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott. The event featured national quality expert Sister Mary Jean Ryan, the CEO of SSM Health Care in St. Louis, and comments from Governor Thomas J. Vilsack. An additional feature of the evening was the presentation of Excellence Awards to state agencies and private sector organizations who met stringent qualifications.

The Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance received three awards for excellence in Financial Management, in Internal Resource Management, and for general agency excellence.