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Your Guide to Iowa's Sales Tax

Understanding Iowa Sales Tax

Do You Need an Iowa Sales Tax Permit?

It depends. You need this kind of business tax permit if your business sells taxable items in the state of Iowa. If you have multiple business locations, you’ll need an Iowa sales tax permit for each one. Follow the steps below to get your permit in place.

If you don’t qualify for a sales tax permit, you may need a use tax permit, meaning your product is subject for sales tax but is sold outside of Iowa for use in Iowa. Learn more about Iowa use tax guidelines.


Steps To Obtaining A Sales Tax Permit In Iowa

  1. Make sure you have the necessary information to apply. That includes your business entity type, the types of products or services sold, personal ID info, and business ID info.
  2. Apply online or by paper — both ways are free of charge. For paper applications, print the form and fax it to 515-281-3906. You can also mail it to the following address:

Registration Services
Iowa Department of Revenue
PO Box 10470
Des Moines IA 50306-0470

  1. Begin doing business and collecting sales tax. As soon as you have submitted your application, you can begin selling. The Iowa sales tax rate is 6 percent.
  2. Receive your letter containing a personal Business eFile Number (BEN), permit number, and printed permit. Your permit is now effective until canceled by you or revoked by the Iowa Department of Revenue. It’s not necessary to display the permit, but it is recommended to keep it readily available at your business location.
  3. If you lose your printed permit, you can get another copy by emailing the following information to
  • Business name on the permit
  • Iowa sales tax permit number (9 digits)
  • Your name
  • Your 10-digit phone number
  • Your email address

6. Notify the Iowa Department of Revenue if your business name, mailing address, or location of the business changes. Apply for a new permit if the business location moves to a different county, business ownership changes, and if the new owner changes the business name. You can notify the IDR online or through mail.

Can my permit application get denied?

Yes. The IDR may deny a permit to those who are currently or have previously been delinquent in paying tax or interest. The department can also revoke a permit if the permit holder becomes delinquent. Once revoked, it may take up to 90 days for the permit to be restored or reissued.

Do I need a permit for temporary sales?

Yes. If you are a temporary business, you still need to apply for a permanent tax permit since temporary tax permits no longer exist in Iowa.

Is food taxable in Iowa?

Certain goods are exempt from the Iowa sales tax like groceries, prescription drugs, and a host of other unpredictable products. You can learn about what is taxable and exempt on the Department of Revenue's website. To apply for Iowa sales tax exemption, fill out this Iowa sales tax exemption form.


Want to find programs that can help you obtain a Sales Tax Permit?
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