Message from Director Ralston
you for taking time to read the department’s latest e-News. I
hope you will let me know if there are topics or issues about which
you wish more information. In the meantime, please see the article
below about the new eFile & Pay initiative. This project was undertaken
because Iowans asked for it, and our goal is to implement programs
that meet your needs first (and the state’s second). Thank you
again, and best wishes for a prosperous 2005.
option sales taxes
local option sales taxes may become effective twice each year: July
1 and January 1.The list of new jurisdictions for January 1, 2005,
is now available on our Web site. You will also find complete lists
of all counties and cities in our Excel
Excel file is valid only through June 30, 2008.
The service of snow
removal is exempt from Iowa sales tax.
New File & Pay
begins January 2005
For tax periods that
begin on January 1, 2005, more than 80,000 employers will file their
Iowa withholding returns electronically using the department’s
new eFile & Pay system. The eFile & Pay system is a paperless
method of filing Iowa employee withholding deposits and returns. It
will also provide the option to pay electronically. Computer users
will enjoy the ease and efficiency of the eFile & Pay online system.
If taxpayers prefer to eFile & Pay by touch-tone telephone, they
may. Both are safe, secure systems. Paper returns will no longer be
provided, although paper payment vouchers will be sent to most taxpayers
for whom payment by paper check will still be an option.
Payment Options for
- ePay (direct debit
through this system)
- ACH Credit (through
your financial institution)
- Credit Card (link
and telephone number are provided while filing)
- Mail a Check
(with the payment voucher mailed by the Department in late December)
filers are required to pay electronically.
have been requesting new and more efficient ways to do business with
state government,” said Michael Ralston, department director. “eFile & Pay
is another step toward that goal.”
Taxpayers will discover
that filing and paying electronically is a better way to do business
with the department.
- No waiting for
paper returns in the mail
- Access to electronic
filing and paying system 24 hours a day/7 days a week
- Access to filing
and payment history 24 hours a day/7 days a week
that returns and payments are received
- Secure and confidential
transmission of information
- Ability to schedule
payments in advance
Later in 2005, sales/use
tax, motor fuel tax, and other taxes may be added into the eFile & Pay
system. More information will be provided on these taxes at a later
A letter will be
sent to each withholding agent in early January before their first
filing deadline for 2005 withholding tax. This letter will include
a personal Business eFile Number, which is required to gain access
to the eFile & Pay system. It will also contain detailed instructions
on using the new system and will explain an online demo feature which
will allow you to practice filing without actually submitting a return.
on eFile & Pay is available. Semi-monthly filers and those
who use a payroll service should be sure to read the eFile & Pay
information available there. Some general instructions regarding
the system follow:
instructions apply to both filing methods: Internet and telephone.
Before you access
the Business eFile & Pay system from our Web site or by telephone,
you will need the following:
- Your Business
eFile Number (BEN).
- Your Iowa permit
number. For withholding, this is typically your Federal Identification
Number, plus the 3-digit Iowa extension. It is identified on the
Iowa withholding payment vouchers as “Employer ID Number.” Payment
vouchers are new for 2005.
- The information
for the tax period you are filing. If you are filing a semi-monthly
or monthly deposit, you need the amount of withholding and the total
amount of credits for the period, if any. If you are filing a quarterly
or annual return, you need the amount of withholding for the period,
deposit amount, and breakdown by credit, if any to report.
Note: The four credits include New Jobs Credit, Supplemental Jobs Credit,
Housing Assistance Credit, Accelerated Career Education Program
To enter the system
each time, you must first enter your 8-digit Business eFile Number.
Below is the screen you will see if filing by computer. When you click CONTINUE
the very first time
you enter the system, you will be asked to fill out “Your Profile.”
Profile” – This is required! The system will automatically
assign you a 4-digit number the first time you enter. If more than
one person in your business will be using the system, the first person
in your business to access the system will be given number 0001 and
automatically becomes the administrator. This user determines who
in your business is allowed to access the system and what user rights
they have. This person will also reset other user’s access
if a lockout occurs. However, if user 0001 is locked out, he or she
must contact the Iowa Department of Revenue to be reset. Additional
users may be given access through the Web application – but
not the telephone – by the business administrator.
Help and FAQ screens
are available on each screen while filing. There is also a DEMO
feature to access once you are in the application. We recommend practicing
using the DEMO feature prior to actually filing or making a payment.