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Taxes on Business Income in Iowa

Filed under State Taxes. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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Iowa imposes a corporate income tax on income attributable to doing business in Iowa. This tax is computed based upon corporate taxable net income . If you operate your business as a sole proprietorship or via a pass-through entity, you must report your business income on your individual tax return. Iowa's personal income tax is a graduated tax, based upon your annual income. The tax rates range from 0.36 percent to 8.98 percent of taxable income.

In Iowa, you're generally free to choose to operate your business as a C corporation, S corporation, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or sole proprietorship. However, the entity type you select for your business may, in some cases, decide whether you or your business pays income taxes on the business income.

C Corporations Are Subject to Corporate Income Tax

Domestic corporations (corporations organized in Iowa) and foreign corporations (corporations organized in a state other than Iowa) are subject to an Iowa income tax. The regular corporate income tax for the 2010 tax year is computed as follows:

Taxable Net Income Tax Rate
0 to $25,000 6%
$25,000 to $100,000 8% minus $250
$100,000 to $250,000 10% minus $2,500
$250,000 or more 12% minus $7,500

In addition, banks and similar financial institutions are subject to a franchise tax equal to 5 percent of the net income received or accrued during the tax year.

S Corporation Income Is Passed Through to Shareholders' Returns

If you meet the federal tax law requirements to operate as an S corporation, the IRS allows your business to "pass through" its income to the shareholders. This means that your business will not pay any federal corporate level income tax. However, you'll have to claim your entire share of the business income on your personal federal income tax return even if you did not take any money out of the business. Iowa law extends this favorable tax treatment to state corporate income tax liability. Thus, S corporations will not be subject to the corporate income tax.

Partnership Income Is Passed Through to Partners

If you operate your business as a partnership, your partnership will not be taxed on its net income. Instead, partners must include in their Iowa taxable adjusted gross income their distributive share of partnership income.

LLCs Are Taxed Based Upon Federal Election

Iowa law recognizes businesses operating as limited liability companies (LLCs). Domestic and foreign LLCs in Iowa are classified as either partnerships or corporations for Iowa tax purposes. LLCs follow the federal rules on how they will be taxed. Accordingly, if your LLC is treated as a partnership on the federal level, then it will not be taxed on its net income. Instead, members must include in their Iowa taxable adjusted gross income their distributive share of LLC income.

If a business is classified as an association taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, it will also be taxable as a corporation for Iowa tax purposes.

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