Sales and Use Taxes

Anyone making a retail sale in Iowa must obtain a retail sales tax permit from the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance. The permit is available at no charge. Application forms may be obtained from Taxpayer Services. All sales of tangible personal property in Iowa - other than those for processing or resale - are subject to the sales tax unless specifically exempted by state law. Sales of services are exempt from Iowa sales tax unless specifically taxed by state law. Further detail is available in an information booklet titled Iowa Sales and Use Tax, available from Taxpayer Services at the address or number below. Iowa City does not have a local option sales tax.

A use tax is imposed in the event that property purchased out-of-state for use in Iowa is brought into Iowa. Every out-of-state retailer who maintains a place of business in Iowa and/or makes tangible personal property or taxable services must obtain a retailer's use tax certificate free of charge.

Contact: Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance, Taxpayer Services, P.O. Box 10457, Des Moines, Iowa 50306-0457. If calling from Iowa City, elsewhere in Iowa, or from the Omaha or Moline-Rock Island calling areas, call toll free: 800-367-3388. If calling from the Des Moines metropolitan area or from out of state, call 515-281-3114. The Tax-Fax number is 800-572-3943. The home page at is a 24-hour service that can be used to obtain Iowa forms.

Hotel/Motel Tax

Iowa City has adopted a local option hotel/motel tax. The tax is assessed on the renting of sleeping rooms in any hotel, motel, inn, bed and breakfast, public lodging house, rooming house, tourist court, mobile home, or in any place where sleeping accommodations are furnished to transient guests for rent. These rentals are also subject to the state sales tax. No additional tax permit, other than the state sales tax permit, is required for hotels and motels.

Property Tax

In Iowa City, a property tax is levied on all real property. Property taxes are payable in two equal installments; the first due in September, the second in March of the next year for taxes assessed the previous fiscal year. Several entities receive the tax, including the School District, the City, and the County.

Contact: Iowa City Assessor, 319-356-6087

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS presents small business workshops across Iowa each year, with regular sessions addressing Sale Distributorships, Payroll Taxes, and Corporate Taxes. The Small Business Tax Kit, a packet of Federal forms and information, is available by calling 515-284-4870.

  • Federal Tax Information: 800-829-1040
  • Federal Tax Publications: 800-829-3676
  • Local Presentations and Small Business Workshops: 515-284-4870