What you need to know about the 2021 Missouri and Iowa Duty Free Vacation


(WGEM) – This weekend, Missouri and Iowa both have tax-free vacations on school supplies, but there are some differences between the two states.


In Missouri, the sales tax holiday began at 12:01 am on Friday and ends at midnight on Sunday.

The holiday applies to state tax and local tax, but only if the local jurisdiction chooses to participate in the holiday.

The Missouri Department of Revenues (MDOR) states that if one or all of your local tax jurisdictions do not participate in the sales tax holiday, the portion of the state tax rate (4.225%) will remain exempt for the sale of the holiday. eligible sales tax. elements.

The MDOR indicates that the sales tax exemption is limited to:

  • Clothes – any item with a taxable value of $ 100 or less
  • School supplies – not to exceed $ 50 per purchase
  • Software – assessed value of $ 350 or less
  • Personal computer – not to exceed $ 1,500
  • Computer Peripherals – not to exceed $ 1,500
  • Graphing calculators – not to exceed $ 150

Article 144.049, RSMo, defines items exempt during the sales tax holiday as:

“Clothes” – any clothing intended to be worn on or around the human body, including, but not limited to, disposable infant or adult diapers and footwear. The term includes, but is not limited to, fabrics and other materials used to make school uniforms or other school clothing. Items normally sold in pairs do not have to be separated to qualify for the exemption. The term does not include watches, watch straps, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands or belt buckles; and

“Personal computer” – a laptop computer, a desktop computer or a tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit, a RAM, a storage drive, a display screen, a keyboard and devices designed for use with a personal computer, such as a disk drive, memory module, compact disc drive, daughter card, digitizer, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, multimedia speaker, printer, scanner, single-user hardware, single-user operating system, sound card or video card; and

“School supplies” – any item normally used by students in a standard classroom for educational purposes including, but not limited to textbooks, notebooks, paper, writing instruments, pencils, art supplies , rulers, book bags, backpacks, pocket calculators, graphing calculators, chalk, maps and globes. The term does not include watches, radios, CD players, headphones, sports equipment, cell or office phones, copiers or other office equipment, furniture or accessories. School supplies also include graphing calculators valued at $ 150 or less and computer software with an assessed value of $ 350 or less.

Learn more about the Missouri back-to-school sales tax holiday here.


In Iowa, the sales tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ends at midnight on Saturday. Holidays in Iowa do not include Sundays.

Businesses open on these days are required to participate.

The Iowa sales tax holiday only includes clothing and footwear that sell for less than $ 100.00.

The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDOR) states that “clothing” means any typical article of clothing and footwear intended to be worn on or around the human body.

According to IDOR, clothing does not include watches, watch straps, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, sports equipment, skis, swim fins, inline skates, skates and all. special clothing or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and which is generally not considered suitable for everyday wear.

IDOR has established other sales tax holiday rules, including “buy one, get one free” offers.

IDOR states that the total price of items advertised as ‘buy one, get one free’ or ‘buy one, get one at a discount’ cannot be averaged for both items to qualify. of the exemption.

IDOR also states that manufacturer coupons do not reduce the “sale price” of an item. Therefore, a manufacturer’s coupon cannot be used to reduce the sale price of an item to less than $ 100.00 in order to qualify for the exemption.

Items purchased online or by mail order or catalog must be tax free if ordered and paid for during the tax free period, even if delivery is made after the sales tax holiday.

The IDOR also states that repairs and alterations to qualifying items do not qualify for tax exemption, although the alterations can be sold, billed, and paid for along with the item to be altered.

Learn more about the annual Iowa sales tax holiday here.

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