Iowa Tax Free Weekend 2020: Dates, Times & What Qualifies


This weekend marks Iowa’s tax free weekend, where residents enjoy tax savings on specific items. Tax-Free Weekend began Friday, August 7 at 12:01 a.m. and will last only through Saturday, August 8 at 11:59 p.m. Unlike most other states, Iowa’s tax-free weekend only lasts two days, not three, and does not include Sunday sales. Here are more details about what does and does not qualify in Iowa this weekend. Find a complete list, visit here.

Items that Qualify for Tax-Free Status in Iowa

In Iowa, clothing and footwear less than $100 per item qualify for tax-free status. Clothing is defined as “any article of wearing apparel and typical footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body.” See more details here.

Iowa also notes: “Articles that are normally sold as a unit must continue to be sold as a unit. They cannot be separately stated and sold as individual items in order to obtain the exemption.”

As for sets: “When exempt items are normally sold together with taxable merchandise as a set or single unit, the full price is subject to sales tax if the value of the taxable items exceeds the exempt ones.”

Also note that: “The total price of items advertised as buy one, get one free or buy one, get one for a reduced price cannot be averaged in order for both items to qualify for the exemption.”

Gift certificates also fall under qualifying items, under specific circumstances. Iowa notes: “The sale of a gift certificate is not taxable. Eligible items sold and delivered during the exemption period using a gift certificate will qualify for the exemption, regardless of when the gift certificate was purchased. Eligible items sold and delivered after the exemption period using a gift certificate are taxable even if the gift certificate was purchased during the exemption period. A gift certificate cannot be used to reduce the selling price of an item to under $100.00 in order for the item to qualify for the exemption.”

Items that Do NOT Qualify for Tax-Free Status in Iowa

In Iowa, clothing that costs more than $100 per item does NOT qualify for tax-free status. Clothing items also don’t include watches, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, or special clothing or footwear designed for athletic activity.

Here are examples of clothing and accessories that do not qualify for tax-free status. See a full list here.

  • Backpacks, book bags, checkbook covers, duffel bags, fanny packs, briefcases, coin purses
  • Cosmetics and cosmetic bags
  • Diaper bags
  • Dry cleaning services
  • Fabric
  • Gloves for sports or protective globes
  • Watches and watchbands
  • Jewelry
  • Umbrellas
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Sporting equipment, skis, swim fins
  • Roller blades or skates
  • Swim masks, fins, goggles
  • Footwear designed for athletic activity or protective use, not everyday use
  • Rentals of eligible items
  • Repairs and alterations
  • Safety clothing

Discounts and coupons can be used to help an item fit in the tax-free status, if the discount lowers its price enough to qualify.

For a full list of exempt and non-exempt items, see the PDF here.

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