Do You Need a Sales Tax Permit to Sell Crafts in Iowa?

March 2009

Some states only require businesses which will sell goods or services for a certain number of days per year to obtain a sales tax permit, but in Iowa anyone who sells any taxable goods and services must obtain a permit. Craft show organizers are required by law to verify that all the vendors in their shows have their sales tax permits in order to participate in craft shows in Iowa. Otherwise the organizer could be found liable and have to pay the sales tax to the state. You will notice on most craft show applications they will ask for your permit number before allowing you to rent a booth at their craft show. The good news is that Iowa has made getting the sales tax permit free and easy, so it really shouldn't pose a problem. You have two choices in getting your free sales tax permit; you can either apply online or download or mail in for a form and mail it back to the state. They claim that the online method yields the fastest results and you will receive a postcard in the mail with your sales tax number on it. You aren't required to wait for the number to come in the mail in order to start selling, but as mentioned above, the craft show organizer may not let you participate in the show until you have your sales tax number. For those crafters who only participate in a couple of craft shows per year in Iowa, there is the option of getting a temporary permit each time, but since the regular sales tax permit is free and doesn't expire unless it gets revoked, you are probably better off to just get the regular permit and know you are covered for any craft shows, fairs or festivals in Iowa you might participate in throughout the years. The tricky part about sales tax is keeping good records and remitting the records and taxes to the state. How often you have to file your sales tax is based on your projected sales for the year and can range from every other week to once a year. Even if you have zero sales for a certain period it is important to turn in your paperwork on time, properly filled out to prevent receiving a fine or losing your sales tax permit. Getting a sales tax permit and filing your sales tax papers is a small, but vital part of selling your products at craft fairs in Iowa. Taking the time to file things correctly will help you stay organized and keep your business successful.


I am not selling anything, but just want to set up a booth to provide information material about my products. Will I still need to get a permit?

By Angela Beenen on July 28, 2010

I live in Missouri, and want to attend the Winnebago Grand National Rally.  I am a Crafter, and want to sell my crafts there.  In Missouri, since I am over 70 years of age, I am exempt to collecting taxes.

Does this apply in Iowa?  If so,  do you have a form for being exempt?
Thank you for your time,
please email me the info and where I can get the form .
Lois E. Conger-Moll

By Lois E. Conger-Moll on January 7, 2015

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