Why Do Iowans Get a 15-Day Break on Filing State Taxes?


If you’ve sent your check to the U.S. Treasury (the payment deadline was Tuesday), please know that they appreciate your effort. If you haven’t sent a check to the Iowa Department of Revenue, relax—it’s not due until April 30.

It’s no big deal, but why, I wondered, does Iowa give taxpayers a 15-day break? (From what I could see, it’s the only state with a deadline that differs from the federal timeline). So I asked them. They didn’t know. Could it be that the reason is just lost in the fog of time? That thought that was as good an explanation as any.

So I also asked whether there has ever been any discussion about linking the state deadline to the federal. They were more certain on this point: not to their knowledge.

State and federal filing deadlines for extended returns differ as well. It’s Oct. 15 for federal, and Oct. 30 for the state.

So I guess my curiosity about this time lag thing will just have to be left at that. But I do know that there is a linkage when it comes to making the payment. Those deadlines—April 15 (the normal federal date, extended this year because it fell on a weekend and then April 16 was a local holiday in Washington, D.C.) or April 30—are when payments have to be made. Never mind that you haven’t finished building your return; you still have to pay by the deadline. Otherwise, penalties set in.

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