<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Iowa Department of Revenue electronic newsletter: Iowa Tax eNews
MARCH 2008
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Message from the Director

The Legislature is in session and sales and income tax changes are being discussed. This is not new. Each year tax issues are discussed and some changes are written into law. The impact of the changes on Iowans varies year to year. Please understand that once the changes become law, the Department works hard to make the transitions as easy as possible on Iowans.

After the session concludes, we will write or amend rules to address the changes. The rules explain and often provide examples of how the taxes are to be applied. The Department maintains a research library on the Department's Web site, www.state.ia.us/tax, and the Legislature maintains a Web site that has all the administrative rules, www.legis.state.ia.us/IAC.

Forms will be changed only as necessary to minimize impact on your filings. Correspondence will be sent on issues that need further explanation. Additionally, we have tax specialists available to answer your phone calls, 515/281-3114 or 1-800-367-3388 (Iowa only), and your e-mails, idr@iowa.gov.

We are here to serve Iowans and to collect taxes required by law, but no more. If we can be of service, please let us know.

Mark R. Schuling


Sales Tax Permit Certificate

You are not required to post your sales tax permit at your place of business. Therefore, we do not provide a certificate for that purpose.

The Department sends postcards to new permit holders to notify them of their sales tax permit numbers.  Confidential information is not printed on the postcard. Therefore, while it is not required to be displayed, it can be if the business chooses.

The postcard can also be used to verify to vendors that your business does have a permit. However, when making a tax exempt purchase for resale, you must give the vendor an Iowa Sales Tax Exemption Certificate (pdf).

Automatic Extension of Time to File Income Tax Returns

Iowa does not have an application to extend the time to file your income tax return. In addition, we do not accept a federal extension.

Instead, if you have paid at least 90% of the tax you owe by the due date of your return, you automatically have an additional six months to file your return and pay the additional tax due with no penalty. Interest continues to accrue on unpaid tax during the extension period.

If you need to make a payment to meet the 90% requirement, it must be paid postmarked by April 30 for calendar year filers. You can make your payment electronically through our eFile & Pay system or by mail using form 41-137 (pdf) for individuals, or form 42-019 (pdf) for corporations.

Classes about Iowa taxes

Are you a new business? Or just need to know more? Our tax classes are held all year statewide.

In addition, we make house calls! Gather your employees or your organization's membership. We will come to you and address your Iowa business tax concerns. This service is free of charge. Just e-mail us to contact you.

Landscaping, Lawn Mowing, Lawn Care

The services of landscaping, lawn mowing, and lawn care are taxable unless performed on or in connection with new construction, reconstruction, alteration, expansion, or remodeling of a building or structure.

“Lawn care” includes but is not limited to the following services: mowing, trimming, watering, fertilizing, reseeding, resodding, and killing of insects, moles, other vermin, weeds, or fungi which may be threatening a lawn.

Persons who mow lawns are providing a taxable service regardless of their ages. However, your services will be exempt if:

  • you are the owner of your business and the only person performing the service, and
  • you are the owner of the business and a full-time student, and
  • the total gross receipts do not exceed $5,000 for a calendar year.

Please see our handout on landscaping and lawn care. (pdf)

Pay Electronically and Mail Nothing!

Ninety-nine percent of Iowa withholding returns and 95 percent of sales tax returns are filed electronically through eFile & Pay.

As long as you're filing your return through eFile & Pay, you might as well try ePay and mail nothing! Our ePay system is safe and easy to use.

Planning a Craft or Art Show?

Sponsors of special events such as craft and art shows are responsible for notifying the Department of the event and providing a list of the vendors. If you are a sponsor, use this online form.

Vendors who have regular Iowa sales tax permits will report their sales and tax collected on their returns as usual.

Vendors who need temporary sales tax permits should call Cheryl at 563/386-6484 x1 or fax her at 563/386-5201.

An exhibitor shows/demonstrates products. Exhibitors who do not sell products do not need sales tax permits; however, they still need to contact the sponsor or Cheryl at 563/386-6484 x1 or fax at 563/386-5201.

Vegetable Seeds, Plants, and Fruit Trees

If your customer will be consuming the produce from the seeds, plants or trees, the sale is taxable.

If your customer will be selling the produce, the sale is exempt. Be sure to get a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate (pdf) from your customer.

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