LLC Biennial Report and Tax Filing Requirements in Iowa

Learn about annual report and tax filing requirements for Iowa LLCs.

By , Attorney
Updated by Amanda Hayes, Attorney University of North Carolina School of Law
Updated 12/19/2023

If you want to start and run a limited liability company (LLC), you need to be aware of your state's ongoing reporting and tax requirements. In Iowa, you'll need to submit a biennial report every other year. You'll also need to file and pay business taxes.

Let's take a look at the most important ongoing reporting and state tax filing requirements for Iowa LLCs. (If you're looking for information about other states' LLC requirements, you can review our article on LLC tax and filing requirements.)

Iowa LLC Biennial Report

The State of Iowa requires you to file a biennial report for your LLC with the Iowa Secretary of State (SOS). You can file the report online using the SOS's Fast Track Filing system. You can download and mail your biennial report to the SOS. You'll need to answer a few basic questions about your LLC to complete the report.

The report is due in odd-numbered years by April 1. As of 2023, the fee to file the biennial report is $30 for online and $45 by mail.

State Business Taxes in Iowa

Most LLCs are considered "pass-through tax entities" for income tax purposes. With a pass-through tax entity, the responsibility for paying federal income taxes passes through the LLC itself and falls on the individual LLC members. By default, the LLC doesn't pay taxes on the business income, only the members do.

As an LLC member, you'll file a personal tax return and pay your share of the LLC's taxes to the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR). You can use GovConnectIowa to file and pay your taxes.

No franchise tax. Some states impose a franchise tax on LLCs and other business entities for the privilege of doing business in the state. Iowa doesn't have a franchise tax on LLCs. (Iowa does have a franchise tax on banks, banking associations, trust companies, savings and loan associations, and financial institutions.)

Electing pass-through entity tax (PTET) status. Many states allow LLCs and other pass-through entities to pay taxes at the entity level on behalf of the owners. Iowa allows partnerships (including LLCs taxed as partnerships) and S corporations to elect to pay the PTET at the entity level. Then, LLC members will receive a tax credit for their share of the PTET on their personal tax return. You can make the PTET election either directly on your partnership return or before you file your return using GovConnectIowa. Check out the IDR's PTET webpage for more.

Electing corporate tax status. Typically, by default, LLCs are taxed as either partnerships (for multi-member LLCs) or disregarded entities (for single-member LLCs). But you can elect to have your LLC taxed as a corporation for federal tax purposes by filing IRS Form 2553 with the IRS. When you elect to have your LLC taxed as a corporation with the IRS, your LLC will also be taxed as a corporation in Iowa. Iowa's corporate income tax rate is calculated at a small series of marginal rates applied to net taxable income. Use the state's corporation income tax return (Form IA-1120) to pay the tax.

Iowa Employer Taxes

If your LLC has employees or plans to, you must pay employer taxes to the federal and state governments. You should get your federal employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS to report and pay these taxes as an employer.

Withholding employee wages. If you're an Iowa employer, you'll need to withhold and pay employee income taxes to the IDR. Begin by registering your business for a withholding tax permit. You can register online through GovConnectIowa or by mail or fax using the Iowa Business Tax Permit Registration (Form 78-005). Depending on your withholding tax liability for the year, you'll need to file withholding taxes either quarterly, monthly, or semimonthly. You can file your returns and pay the withholding tax online through GovConnectIowa. For more information, visit the IDR's Iowa withholding tax information webpage.

Unemployment insurance (UI) tax. If you have employees or have paid wages, you'll probably need to register to pay state UI taxes to the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD). You can register for a UI tax account online through myIowaUI. Every quarter, you must report on wages and pay the UI taxes. For more guidance, visit the employer UI section of the IWD website.

Iowa Sales and Use Tax

If your LLC sells taxable goods or services to customers in Iowa, you must collect and pay sales tax to the IDR. You must register for a sales and use tax permit. You can register online through GovConnectIowa or by mail or fax using Form 78-005.

You'll file sales and use tax returns on an annual, monthly, or seasonal basis depending on how much sales tax you collect. You can file and pay online through GovConnectIowa.

For more guidance, see the Iowa Sales and Use Tax Guide on the IDR website. You can find information regarding tax rates, filing frequencies, return filings, and other helpful topics.

LLC Registration in Other States

If your LLC does business outside of Iowa, you might need to register your LLC in some or all of the states where you conduct your business activities. Every state has its standards and requirements for when a business is required to register or qualify as an out-of-state business. However, in general, you probably need to register as an out-of-state LLC if you have a physical presence in a state, hire employees in the state, or advertise directly to residents of the state.

Check out our state guide to qualifying to do business outside your state to see individual state requirements.

More Information About Iowa LLCs

You can find helpful information about Iowa LLCs on the SOS and IDR websites. If you'd like more general information about managing and running your LLC, you can read the articles in the LLC section of our website. If you'd like professional guidance, talk to an Iowa business or tax attorney. They can help you determine your tax liability and make sure you keep your LLC in good standing with the SOS.

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