515-223-5119 [email protected]

[2013 | Keywords: Sales Tax, Warranty]

Q: Would an optional warranty be taxed on a tractor that qualifies for the ag exemption?

A: Correct. The optional warranty is a separate sale of tangible personal property. So while the tractor (and replacement parts) used in ag production is exempt, that does not exempt the sale of a repair warranty from tax. A tractor repair warranty is not a tractor, nor a replacement part for a tractor.
Greg Stokke, Greg [IDR] [email protected] Thu 3/28/2013

701—18.25
(422,423)

Warranties and maintenance contracts.
18.25(1)
In general—definitions. “Mandatory warranty.” A warranty is mandatory within the meaning of this regulation when the buyer, as a condition of the sale, is required to purchase the warranty or guaranty contract from the seller. “Optional warranty.” A warranty is optional within the meaning of this regulation when the buyer is not required to purchase the warranty or guaranty contract from the seller.

18.25(2)
Mandatory warranties. When the sale of tangible personal property or services includes the furnishing or replacement of parts or materials which are pursuant to the guaranty provisions of the sales contract, a mandatory warranty exists. If the property subject to the warranty is sold at retail, and the measure of the tax includes any amount charged for the guaranty or warranty, whether or not such amount is purported to be separately stated from the purchase price, the sale of replacement parts and materials to the seller furnishing them thereunder is a sale for resale and not taxable. Labor performed under a mandatory warranty which is in connection with an enumerated taxable service is also exempt from tax.

18.25(3)
Optional warranties. For periods after June 30, 1981.

a. The sale of optional service or warranty contracts which provide for the furnishing of labor and materials and require the furnishing of any taxable service enumerated under Iowa Code section 422.43 is considered a sale of tangible personal property the gross receipts from which are subject to tax at the time of sale except as described below.

On and after July 1, 1995,
b. the sale of a residential service contract regulated under Iowa Code chapter 523C is not considered to be the sale of tangible personal property, and gross receipts from the sales of these service contracts are no longer subject to tax, and the gross receipts from taxable services performed for the providers of residential service contracts are now subject to tax. See the examples below for more detailed explanation. A “residential service contract” is defined in Iowa Code subsection 523C.1(8) to be: a contract or agreement between a residential customer and a service company which undertakes, for a predetermined fee and for a specified period of time, to maintain, repair, or replace all or any part of the structural components, appliances, or electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, or air-conditioning systems of residential property containing not more than four dwelling units.

Example A.
John Jones purchases a residential service contract for $3,000 on July 1, 1994. He pays $150 of Iowa state sales tax. On December 1, 1994, his furnace malfunctions. The service company which sold Mr. Jones the contract pays Smith Furnace Repair $700 to fix the furnace. No sales tax is due on the $700 charge.

Example B.
Bob Jones purchases a residential service contract for $3,000 on July 1, 1995. No sales tax is owed or paid. On December 1, 1995, his furnace becomes inoperable. The service company which sold Mr. Jones the contract pays Smith Furnace Repair $900 to fix Mr. Jones’ furnace. Sales tax of $45 is due based on the $900.

c. On and after July 1, 1998, if an optional service or warranty contract is a computer software maintenance or support service contract and the contract provides for the furnishing of technical support services only and not for the furnishing of any materials, then no tax is imposed on the furnishing of those services under this subrule. If a computer software maintenance or support service contract provides for the performance of nontaxable services and the taxable transfer of tangible personal property, and no separate fee is stated for either the performance of the service or the transfer of the property, then state sales tax of 5 percent shall be imposed on 50 percent of the gross receipts from the sale of the contract. If a charge for the performance of the nontaxable service is separately stated, see subrule 18.25(5) below.

18.25(4)
A preventive maintenance contract is a contract which requires only the visual inspection of equipment and no repair is or shall be included. The gross receipts from the sale of a preventive maintenance contract is not subject to tax.

18.25(5)
Additional charges for parts and labor furnished in addition to that covered by a warranty or maintenance contract which are for enumerated taxable services shall be subject to tax. Only parts and not labor will be subject to tax where a nontaxable service is performed if the labor charge is separately stated.

This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code sections 422.42 and 423.2 and Iowa Code Supplement section 422.43 as amended by 1998 Iowa Acts, Senate File 2288.