How is the Iowa Trust Fund Tax Credit Calculated?

Image courtesy of user Nemo on
Image courtesy of user Nemo on

The Iowa Trust Fund Tax Credit is a non-refundable Iowa tax credit that first appeared on 2013 tax returns.

The credit was $54 per person on 2013 returns and $15 per person on 2014 tax returns. For 2015, the credit drops to $0.

How is this number calculated?

Here’s what Iowa law says. From Iowa Code Section 422.11E(3):

The credit shall be equal to the quotient of the amount transferred to the Iowa taxpayers trust fund tax credit fund in the applicable fiscal year, divided by the number of eligible individuals for the tax year immediately preceding the tax year for which the credit in this section is allowed, as determined by the director of revenue in accordance with this section, rounded down to the nearest whole dollar.

What does this mean?

Iowa Taxpayers Trust Fund

The Trust Fund itself was established as a way of returning excess tax revenue to taxpayers. From the Iowa Department of Revenue:

The Taxpayers Trust Fund (TTF) Tax Credit was created to provide tax relief to Iowans from the General Fund surplus that exceeds the amount necessary to fill up the State’s Cash Reserve and Economic Emergency Funds. The purpose is to return the surplus to taxpayers who have positive tax liability in a given tax year and therefore likely contributed to that surplus in the previous tax year.

From: Iowa Tax Year 2013 Taxpayers Trust Fund Tax Credit Report from Iowa Department of Revenue, January 30, 2015.


Once the state determines how much is available in the fund, it’s a matter of math to determine the amount of the credit.

The math involves taking the fund balance divided by the number of taxpayers who were eligible for the credit in the prior year. The result becomes the amount of the credit for the year.