Running a business is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep your business running smoothly. It also takes a lot of money, both coming in and going out. One of the most confusing aspects of running a business is taxes. It can be difficult to determine exactly what taxes you need to pay, how often they need to be paid and to whom those payments are made. One example of this confusion is the utility sales tax exemption in Iowa. Depending on your business, you may be able to exempt part of your utility usage from sales tax. Let’s take a look at what this means.
When you turn on a light switch or faucet, you are charged a sales tax on your use of that utility. The more of a certain utility you use, the more you are expected to pay in sales tax. The amount of tax you are paying can typically be found on your bill or statement for the month. Larger businesses could be paying a significant amount of this tax each month.
Depending on your business, you may actually be exempt from paying utility sales tax on a percentage of your utility use. While it varies from state to state, the general rule is that if the utility is being used for manufacturing or processing, then it is exempt from the utility sales tax. In states like Iowa, this also applies to food processing and cooking, which means that restaurants can benefit as well. Once you have determined that you are eligible, there are several things that you need to know in order to take advantage of the non-taxable portion of your utility use.
- After confirming your eligibility, the next step is to determine how much of your utility use is dedicated to manufacturing or processing. If you are unsure, it may be best to bring in outside help to make sure that you get accurate numbers. For restaurants, anything that is used to actually make the food – water and heat (through gas or electricity) – should be included.
- Next you will want to consult a tax professional. Once you know the percentage of your utilities that are used in manufacturing, you should sit down with a tax professional to go over what is needed to submit to the state or local government. He will be able to guide you through the process and verify whether or not there is additional information that you need to provide.
- Once you have confirmed that everything is in order, you will need to file the paperwork for the exemption. This paperwork may be filed with your utility provider, your local or state government, or both. The tax professional will be able to help you make sure that you file it correctly.
Once you have completed the process, you will be able to save a significant amount of money on sales tax. Larger manufacturing plants can use significant amounts of utilities each day to create products. As a business owner, it is in your best interest to do the research and figure out exactly what percentage of your utilities are going into manufacturing and processing. Once you are armed with this information, you may be able to reduce your utility bill each month. The less money you need to spend, the more you can invest into your company to grow and expand even further. So if you are not taking advantage of the utility sales tax exemption in Iowa, you need to get the process started today so that you can improve your bottom line.
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