The state’s annual sales tax holiday is this Friday and Saturday (August 3,4). Iowa Department of Revenue spokesperson, Victoria Daniels, says the holiday suspends the sales tax on purchases of shoes and clothes.
“Basically anything that you can wear that is under a hundred dollars and qualifies as clothing and footwear, then you can purchase that tax free,” Daniels explains. She says the holiday was created as a way to help families save on back-to-school purchases, but you don’t have to be going to school to take advantage.
The rules are very specific about what qualifies for the tax exemption. “Anything that you would consider to be like an accessory, you know that’s not really clothing. Things like backpacks…specialized sports equipment, anything that you would use to repair clothing, those types of things don’t really qualify,” Daniels says.
“It’s apparel, that you wear on your feet and your body, that’s about it.” Daniels says this is the 13th year for the sales tax holiday. The state first started collecting data on the holiday in 2006.
“It looks like the amount of sales reported on this day has grown at a pretty good rate, not huge. It did take a dive in 2008, which I think was around the time the economy went downhill, and so that’s to be expected. But it’s been climbing back up since then and has actually exceeded the amount reported in 2007,” according to Daniels.
Figures show many Iowans took advantage of the tax savings last year. “Retailers self-reported about 14.6 million dollars worth of sales. And so if you multiply that by the 6% state tax rate, that’s about 877,000 dollars. Now that doesn’t include any local option sales tax,” Daniels says. There’s an additional one percent in savings for the areas that have a local option sales tax.
You can find out more about the sales tax holiday at: www.iowa.gov/tax.