Electronic is best when it comes to both income taxes and the FAFSA!

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Income tax filing season starts January 20th! You can make the tax process easier by filing electronically. There are many benefits to eFiling versus the pen and paper process. It is faster and more accurate due to audit protection tools that check for errors. You also have the ability to track the status of your return online. And by using the direct deposit option, your federal and state refunds can be in your account in two weeks or less!

Most students meet the income guidelines to eFile for free! In late January, the Iowa Department of Revenue website (https://tax.iowa.gov/) will feature links to software companies offering online filing of income tax returns. You can file both your federal and state returns together from their website.

For college students and families with students in college, eFiling also helps when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing the FAFSA electronically is also faster and more accurate, especially if you choose to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This tool allows you to electronically transfer information directly from the IRS website to your FAFSA. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool you can have access to your IRS data within 1-2 weeks of eFiling your income taxes compared to 6-8 weeks if you file by paper. And even better, if you have chosen to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool without modification, the transferred data will not be subject to verification, meaning you will not have to provide an official transcript of your income taxes if you are selected for verification.

Complete the FAFSA by singing electronically using your Federal Student Aid PIN, then sit back and enjoy the downtime you have – all because you filed electronically! You will receive your Student Aid Report within 3-5 days if you file the FAFSA electronically (did you see that coming?) The benefits of filing electronically just keep on coming!

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