You may itemize deductions or claim the Iowa standard deduction, whichever is larger. You may itemize deductions on your Iowa return even if you did not itemize deductions on your federal return. You must complete the Iowa Schedule A to itemize deductions on the Iowa return. A number of adjustments and separate Iowa calculations are necessary to determine the correct deduction. The new $10,000 federal cap on the itemized deduction for state and local taxes does not apply for Iowa purposes. Taxpayers may still deduct eligible state and local taxes paid, independent of the federal dollar limitation.
For tax year 2020, the standard deduction is:
Filing Status 1: $2,110
Filing Status 3 or 4: $2,110 for each spouse
Filing Status 2, 5, or 6: $5,210
If you itemize, complete the Iowa Schedule A, check the itemized box on line 37 and enter your total itemized deduction. Include your Iowa Schedule A with your return. The federal Schedule A cannot be used with the Iowa return.
Medical and Dental Expenses
Line 1: Enter medical and dental expenses as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 1, less the amount reported as health insurance on line 18 of the IA 1040. 100% of the amount paid for health insurance premiums paid for with post-tax dollars is deductible on line 18 of the IA 1040. It may be to your advantage to take this deduction on line 18 of the IA 1040 instead of the Iowa Schedule A. If health insurance premiums were used as a deduction on line 18 of the IA 1040, they cannot be used on the Iowa Schedule A.
The Iowa 1040 departs from the federal 1040 in the treatment of health insurance premiums by allowing taxpayers to elect to deduct qualifying health insurance premiums as an adjustment to Iowa gross income. The Iowa return allows a deduction for qualifying health insurance premiums on line 18 of the IA 1040, rather than reporting those same premiums as a medical expense deduction on the Iowa Schedule A for Iowa Itemized Deductions.
If the health insurance deduction is taken on the Iowa Schedule A, then the federal tax guidance should be followed when addressing the complications due to the impact of the federal excess advance premium tax credit repayment and the net premium tax credit.
However, if the deduction is taken on line 18 of the IA 1040, then the IA 1040, rather than the Iowa Schedule A, must reflect the impact of the federal excess advance premium tax credit repayment and the net premium tax credit. The Iowa expanded instructions for lines 14 and 18 of the IA 1040 set forth the Department’s guidance for the correct reporting of these amounts.
Line 2: Multiply federal adjusted gross income by 7.5% (.075). Your federal adjusted gross income is the amount from federal form 1040, line 11, as modified by any Iowa net income nonconformity adjustments from line 14 of the IA 1040 including any depreciation/section 179 adjustments, if any.
Enter the result, or if less than zero, enter zero.
Line 3: Subtract line 2 from line 1. Enter the result, or if less than zero, enter zero.
Taxes You Paid
The $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) federal cap on the itemized deduction for state and local taxes calculated on federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 5e, does not apply for Iowa purposes. Taxpayers may deduct all eligible state and local taxes paid, independent of the federal dollar limitation.
Line 4: Enter other state and local income taxes (not including Iowa state income taxes) on line 4a, OR general sales taxes on line 4b, as allowed on the federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 5a.
Iowa state income tax is not deductible on the Iowa return. The School District Surtax and the Emergency Medical Services Surtax are deductible on the Iowa return. Taxes withheld or paid to other states, or local taxing authorities are included. Note: If you received a refund in 2020 of previously deducted state and local taxes, you must add the refund back as other income, line 14 of the IA 1040.
You cannot deduct Social Security, Medicare, federal unemployment (FUTA), or railroad retirement (RRTA) taxes. You cannot deduct taxes you paid for someone else.
General sales taxes paid are available as an itemized deduction for 2020 on the Iowa Schedule A, only if you itemized at the federal level and elected to deduct general sales taxes on your federal return.
Line 5: Enter real estate taxes as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 5b.
Line 6: Enter personal property taxes as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 5c.
Vehicle Registration Fee Deduction and Worksheet
If you itemize deductions, a portion of the automobile or multipurpose vehicle annual registration fee you paid in 2020 may be deducted as personal property tax on your Iowa Schedule A, line 6, and federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 5c.
This deduction includes annual registration fees paid based on the value of qualifying automobiles and multipurpose vehicles. Multipurpose vehicles are defined as motor vehicles designed to carry not more than 10 people, and constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation [Iowa Code section 321.1(44)].
Annual registration fees on the following vehicles are not deductible: pickups (model year 2009 or older), motor trucks, work vans, ambulances, hearses, non-passenger-carrying vans, campers, motorcycles, trailers, or motor bikes.
This deduction applies only to the annual vehicle registration fee. It does not apply to the 5% one-time registration fee/fee for new registration that is imposed on the initial registration of a vehicle. That 5% fee is only deductible on the IA 1040, Schedule A, line 4b if the taxpayer claimed an itemized deduction for general sales taxes paid on the federal form 1040, Schedule A, line 5a.
Use the following worksheet to calculate the deductible amount of annual registration fees paid in 2020 for qualifying automobiles and multipurpose vehicles (model year 2009 or newer). For tax years 2008 and earlier, pickup truck registration fees could not be taken as an itemized deduction, because the fees were structured as a flat fee and were not based on value. However, beginning with the 2009 tax year, there was a change in the registration fee structure for pickups.
More specifically, only model year 2010 and newer trucks that weigh in at 10,000 pounds or less when empty are registered based on weight, list price, and model year. All other trucks are still subject to a registration fee based on weight. Consequently, certain 2010 model year and newer trucks may use the Vehicle Registration Deduction Worksheet.
|1. Enter the actual annual registration fee paid.||1.|
|2. Take the weight of your automobile and divide it by 250. The weight is found on your automobile registration certificate.||2.|
|3. Subtract line 2 from line 1. This is the deductible amount for line 37.||3.|
- Malia purchased an automobile from Jennifer.
- The actual fee Malia paid to register the automobile at the courthouse was $150.
- The weight of the automobile is 3,000 pounds.
- The deductible amount is calculated as follows:
|1. Enter the actual annual registration fee paid.||1. 150|
|2. Take the weight of your automobile and divide it by 250. The weight is found on your automobile registration certificate.||2. 12|
|3. Subtract line 2 from line 1. This is the deductible amount for line 37.||3. 138|
For qualifying automobiles and multipurpose vehicles (model year 2008 or older) the deductible amount is 60% of the annual registration fees paid in 2019.
Line 7: Enter other taxes as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A. Other taxes you paid are taxes not included on lines 5 or 6. List the tax paid and the total amount.
Line 8: Add lines 4 to 7. Enter the total here.
Interest You Paid
Lines 9a and 9b: Enter the home mortgage interest and points as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A with the following adjustments:
Taxpayers with the mortgage interest credit can claim a deduction on line 9 of Iowa Schedule A for all qualifying mortgage interest paid in the tax year and not just the mortgage interest that was deducted on the federal form 1040, Schedule A.
Line 10: Enter points not reported on federal form 1098 as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A.
Line 11: Enter mortgage insurance premiums as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A.
Line 12: Enter investment interest as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A. Include federal form 4952 if required.
Line 13: Add lines 9a to 12. Enter the total here.
Gifts to Charity
The following are exceptions to federal form 1040, Schedule A treatment of charitable contributions:
- Do not include any portion of charitable contributions reported on line 24 of the IA 1040
- Injured Veterans Grant Program contributions do not qualify as itemized deductions, but can be taken on line 24 of the IA 1040.
- Certain donations to a non-profit entity for use in the entity’s College Savings Iowa Account (529 Plan) may not qualify as an itemized deduction. Do not include as an itemized deduction any amount that you contributed to a non-profit entity to be deposited into the entity’s College Savings Iowa Account (529 Plan) if you designated that any part of your contribution was to be used for the direct benefit of your dependent or any other specific person.
- If a taxpayer’s federal itemized deduction for a charitable contribution to a state or local government is reduced because such contribution is made in return for a state or local tax credit, the same reduction applies for Iowa tax purposes, but note the following special rules related to Iowa tax credits:
- School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Contributions, Charitable Conservation Contribution Tax Credit Contributions, Endow Iowa Tax Credit Contributions, and Farm to Food Donation Tax Credit Contributions: do not include as an Iowa itemized deduction any contributions for which a credit is claimed on line 52 of the IA 1040.
Line 14: Enter the contributions by cash or check as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A, with the adjustments noted above.
Line 15: Enter contributions other than by cash or check as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A, with the adjustments noted above. Include federal form 8283 if more than $500.
Line 16: Enter contributions carryover from prior year as allowed on federal form 1040, Schedule A, with the adjustments noted above.
Contributions carried forward from prior year may be deducted if your contributions were capped in a prior year. Iowa follows the federal guidelines for carryforwards, but certain adjustments to your contribution carryforward may be required as described below. Documentation of the carryforward amount may be requested by the Department.
The federal adjusted gross income used to determine contribution limitations for Iowa tax purposes is the amount from federal form 1040, line 8a, as modified by any Iowa net income nonconformity adjustments from line 14 of the IA 1040 including any depreciation/section 179 adjustments, if any.
Iowa did not conform to several federal charitable contribution provisions in 2018 and 2019. As a result of this 2018 or 2019 nonconformity, your charitable contribution carryforward amount from 2018 or 2019 may be different for federal and Iowa purposes in 2020.
- Charitable Contribution Percentage Limitation: For tax year 2018 only, Iowa did not conform with the federal increase in the charitable deduction limitation for cash contributions to certain public charities from 50% to 60% of the taxpayer’s federal adjusted gross income. If an allowable deduction was limited and added back for Iowa purposes in 2018 because of Iowa’s lower contribution limitation, you may recalculate your Iowa contribution carryforward amount under IRC § 170(b)(1)(G) for tax year 2019-2023 to include the amount of those contributions added back on your 2018 IA 1040 Schedule A. No Iowa charitable deduction shall be allowed for this Iowa carryforward amount for tax year 2024 or later.
- College Seating Rights Contributions: For tax year 2018 only, Iowa did not conform with the federal repeal of the charitable deduction for 80% of a donation made to a college in return for the right to purchase college athletic tickets. If you made such a charitable contribution in 2018 and it was not otherwise limited by your contribution percentage limitation under IRC § 170(d), it was deducted on your 2018 IA 1040 Schedule A. However, if the allowable deduction was instead limited and not deductible for Iowa tax purposes in 2018, you may recalculate your Iowa contribution carryforward amount under IRC § 170(d) for tax years 2019-2023 to include the amount of that 2018 contribution otherwise allowable for Iowa tax purposes. No Iowa charitable deduction shall be allowed for this carryforward amount for tax year 2024 or later.
- California Wildfire Relief Efforts Contributions: For tax year 2018 only, Iowa did not conform with the temporary suspension under § 20104 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 of charitable contribution limitations for certain contributions made for California wildfire relief efforts. To the extent you made one of these qualifying contributions but it caused you to exceed your contribution percentage limitation under IRC § 170(b) in tax year 2018, the amount of the excess was added back on your 2018 IA 1040 Schedule A. If you included such an add back in tax year 2018, you may recalculate your Iowa contribution carryforward amount under IRC § 170(d) for tax years 2019-2023 to include the amount added back on your 2018 IA 1040 Schedule A. No Iowa charitable deduction shall be allowed for this Iowa carryforward amount for tax year 2024 or later.
- Qualified Disaster Relief Contributions: For tax years 2018 and 2019, Iowa did not conform with the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 which increased the charitable deduction limitation to 100% of your adjusted gross income for qualified contributions for relief efforts in a qualified disaster area. If an allowable deduction was limited and added back for Iowa purposes in 2018 or 2019 because of Iowa’s lower contribution limitation, you may recalculate your Iowa contribution 5 year carryforward amount under IRC § 170(b)(1)(G) to include the amount of those contributions added back on your 2018 and 2019 IA 1040 Schedule A. No Iowa charitable deduction shall be allowed for this Iowa carryforward amount for tax year 2025 or later.
Line 17: Add lines 14 to 16. Enter the total here.
Line 18: Enter casualty or theft loss(es) as reported on your federal return.
Include your federal form 4684.
Line 19: Enter other itemized deductions as allowed on federal Schedule A, line 16. List the type and amount on line 19.
Do not include any amount of federal standard deduction included on federal Schedule A, line 16, because you have a net qualified disaster loss on from federal form 4684, line 15.
For tax years 2019 and later, Iowa is conformed to the federal repeal of miscellaneous itemized deductions and unreimbursed employee expenses for most taxpayers. Do not include any deductions on line 19 that were not allowable on your federal Schedule A, line 16. See 2020 IRS Publication 529 for more information about allowable deductions.
Gambling losses: Gambling losses are deductible only to the extent of gambling winnings reported on IA 1040, line 13. The gambling loss amount entered on this line shall only include losses from wagering transactions, and does not extend to business expenses incurred in the trade or business of gambling.
Other Iowa Deductions
Line 20: Enter the total of all other deductions on line 20 of the Iowa Schedule A as described below. Do not include any amounts not described in paragraphs a, b, or c below.
a. Expenses Incurred for Care of a Disabled Relative
Expenses, not to exceed $5,000, incurred in caring for a disabled relative in your home may be deducted.
Disabled Relative Qualifications:
- The expenses which may be claimed are those for the care of a person who is your grandchild, child, parent, or grandparent.
- The disabled person must be unable, by reason of physical or mental disability, to live independently and must be receiving or be eligible to receive medical assistance benefits under Title XIX of the U.S. Social Security Act.
- A statement from a qualified physician certifying that the person with the disability is unable to live independently must be submitted with the return the first year a deduction is taken and every third year thereafter.
- Qualifying items are those that are not reimbursed. Items may include food, clothing, medical expenses not otherwise deductible, and transportation for medical reasons. See IRS guidelines for medical mileage rate.
- An itemized schedule of expenses must be included with the return.
- Expenses not directly attributable to the care of the relative, such as rent, mortgage payments, interest, utilities, house insurance, and taxes cannot be included.
- Married Separate Filers: The total deduction claimed by both spouses for each relative with a disability may not exceed $5,000.
b. Adoption Expenses
You may be eligible to deduct a portion of the adoption expenses you paid in 2020 if you incurred adoption expenses during the tax year, even if the child is not placed in Iowa.
Expenses include medical costs relating to the child's birth, any necessary fees, and all other costs connected with the adoption procedure. Include a separate schedule listing the adoption expenses.
This deduction is taken in the year that the expenses are paid even if the child is not placed in your home during that year or if the adoption does not occur.
For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, there is also an Adoption Tax Credit for certain unreimbursed adoption expenses that can be calculated on the IA 177 and taken on line 62 of the IA 1040 for a child placed in Iowa. Qualifying adoption expenses exceeding 3% of total Iowa net income, less any Adoption Tax Credit claimed, are eligible for deduction. Subtract 3% of your total Iowa net income (and your spouse’s, if married) entered on line 26 from the total of qualifying adoption expenses, less any Adoption Tax Credit claimed on IA 1040 Line 62. Enter the result on IA 1040 Schedule A, Line 27.
Example: Taxpayer has Iowa net income of $100,000 and adoption expenses of $10,000. The taxpayer is eligible for an Adoption Tax Credit on line 62 of $5,000.
- $100,000 (net income) x 3% (.03) = $3,000 (expenses not eligible for deduction)
- $10,000 (total adoption expenses) - $5,000 (credit amount) = $5,000 (expenses remaining for possible deduction)
- $5,000 (expenses remaining for possible deduction) - $3,000 (expenses not eligible for deduction) = $2,000 (deduction allowed on line 27 of IA Schedule A)
c. Mileage Deduction Charitable Purposes
Iowa allows an additional deduction for automobile mileage driven for charitable organizations. Calculate the deduction as follows:
- Number of miles x 39¢ / mile
- Less charitable mileage deduction already claimed on the Iowa Schedule A
- Equals additional mileage deduction for charitable purposes
This information is based on 422.9(2)(d) and 8A.363.
Proration of Deductions Between Spouses
Complete lines 22 to 26 only if you are using filing status 3 or 4.
Married Separate Filers:
If one spouse uses the itemized deduction, then both spouses must use the itemized deduction, even if separate Iowa returns are filed.
Itemized deductions must be divided between spouses in the ratio of their respective net incomes.
Line 22: Enter net income of both spouses from IA 1040, line 26.
22a. Your net income from IA 1040, line 26
22b. Spouse’s net income from IA 1040, line 26
Line 23: Add 22a and 22b. Enter the total here.
Line 24: Divide the amount on line 22a by the amount on line 23. Enter the result here to the nearest tenth of a percent.
Line 25: Multiply line 21 by the percentage on line 24. Enter the result here and on IA 1040, line 37, column A.
Line 26: Subtract line 25 from line 21. Enter the result here and on IA 1040, line 37, column B. If you are using filing status 4, enter this amount on line 37, column A or your spouse’s return.