Consumer's Use Tax

Instruction Year

Information for Businesses and Individuals 

Do you purchase items from out of state or through the internet, catalogs, magazines, or vendors who advertise on television or radio? Will those items be used in Iowa? Would they be subject to Iowa sales tax if purchased in Iowa? 

Are you paying tax on those purchases? If not, you owe Iowa use tax on the purchase price. This tax was established in 1937, three years after the sales tax was enacted, to create a fair playing field for Iowa businesses.

If you purchase tangible personal property for use in Iowa and the seller does not charge you Iowa tax on the purchase, you owe a 6% tax known as the consumer's use tax on the price of the purchase.


Individuals without a permit who rarely make purchases subject to consumer’s use tax should pay their tax in one of the following ways:

  • Electronically through EasyPay Iowa
  • Complete the worksheet available on the Department’s website and send to:  

Iowa Department of Revenue
PO Box 10412
Des Moines, IA 50306-0412

Make checks payable to: “Iowa Department of Revenue”

Anyone who regularly purchases merchandise from out of state for his or her own use in Iowa should register for a consumer’s use tax permit and pay the tax on a quarterly basis. 


Businesses making taxable purchases on a regular basis should register with the Iowa Department of Revenue to file consumer's use tax returns. However, some businesses may only occasionally make purchases for their own use and owe Iowa consumer's use tax. If this type of purchase is not typical for your business, instead of separately registering for consumer's use tax, you can report the purchase on Line 2 "goods consumed" of your quarterly sales tax return or file and pay the tax as outlined for individuals above.

For more information, see our Consumer's Use Tax page.