Guide to Iowa’s Tax Free Weekend

School is right around the corner, which means Iowa’s tax free weekend is right around the corner also. Every year the state of Iowa exempts stores (and their customers) from paying sales tax on clothing and footwear items costing $100 or less. The state of Iowa has a few guidelines you’ll want to be sure to follow before you head out for your shopping weekend.

1. When

Iowa’s tax exempt weekend is Friday and Saturday only (August 2 – 3). Unlike many other states, if you shop on Sunday, August 4 and are expecting to not pay sales tax, you’ll be disappointed.

2. What

You will not pay sales tax on clothing and footwear costing $100 or less.

3. Exceptions

There are two exceptions to #2. The first is that sporting goods and safety gear are not exempt from sales tax. If you buy soccer cleats, ballet slippers, or batting gloves, you’ll still be charged sales tax. The second is the use of coupons. If you’re planning to use a manufacture’s coupon to reduce to cost of an item to $100 or less, you’ll still pay sales tax on that item. If the store has reduced the price of clothing or footwear, you won’t pay sales tax. Along those same lines, if a BOGO (buy one get one) purchase equals $100 or more, you’ll still pay sales tax.

Here’s a handy visual to help you keep track of it all! Happy shopping.


Kate is the mom to Jack (2006), Liz (2007), and Alice (2011) and an avid Cubs fan through marriage. She's an assistant professor of mathematics and STEM education at St. Ambrose University and also moonlights as a mathematics teacher at South East Junior High in Iowa City. Between soccer, running club, tumbling, and piano lessons she likes to cook, run, and do yoga. She's also a sucker for 5Ks with cool swag and awesome medals.


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