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General Tax Guidance

The abatement process can be used to request to settle your tax bill for less than the amount due or in some cases to cancel your billing entirely. You can apply for abatement if you demonstrate:

  • Doubtful liability: You should not be liable under Iowa law for the amount shown on the bill.
  • Promotion of effective tax administration: There are exceptional circumstances that indicate collection of the full liability may undermine public confidence that the tax laws are being administered in a fair and equitable manner.

The Abatement Application (96-131) provides more detailed information on what is necessary to determine if you meet the criteria. You can also find additional information in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 19.

Decisions to grant or deny an abatement are discretionary, and you have no right to appeal a denial. An abatement is not an appeal. If you are within 60 days of your notice of assessment or refund denial letter, you should file an appeal if you disagree with the Department’s decision. For more information on appeals, visit

If you are seeking waiver of penalty only, review the Penalty Waiver Request (78-629) to determine if you should complete that rather than or in addition to an Abatement Application.

Do not use the Abatement Application if you are applying for relief based on inability to pay or financial hardship. If you have a liability that you want to offer to settle for an amount less than what is owed due to inability to pay the full amount, contact the Central Collections Unit at 515-281-3114.