Back to School sales tax holiday kicks in on Friday
With the start of a new school year fast approaching, state Rep. Fran Hurley is encouraging parents to take advantage of a state sales tax decrease on school supplies, clothing, shoes and other items over a 10-day period from Aug. 5 through Aug. 14.
“Back-to-school shopping can sometimes be a real hit on a parent’s wallet, particularly with costs rising this year,” Hurley said. “That’s why I supported a tax holiday that will help lower costs and help parents get the supplies they need for their kids.”
Starting Aug. 5, the state’s sales tax will drop 5% from 6.25% to 1.25% on common back-to-school items, such as book bags, crayons, pencils, notebooks, pens, scissors, school uniforms and other items students are expected to have. Some exclusions apply. To view a thorough list of applicable items and exclusions, please view the Illinois Department of Revenue’s online bulletin at https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/research/publications/bulletins/Documents/2022/FY%202022-24_N0522.pdf#search=sales%20tax%20holiday.
The sales tax holiday is a part of the Illinois Family Relief Plan, a package of measures supported by Hurley that has suspended state grocery taxes, frozen Illinois’ gas tax and doubled the property tax rebate. The effort also permanently expanded the state’s earned income tax credit, and includes direct income tax rebates for qualifying individuals.
“We want to make sure people know about this tax holiday and are able to take advantage of it,” Hurley said. “Also, please choose to shop local, so that we can support our area businesses and jobs as we begin this new school calendar.”
Included clothing items
The 10-day tax reduction includes clothing items costing less than $125 individually.
Clothing items, as defined by the law, include the standard items such as shorts, pants, skirts, shirts and underwear. The tax reduction will also apply to aprons, hats, caps and earmuffs, coats and jackets, belts and suspenders, rubber pants, lab coats, hosiery, scarves, bathing suits, school uniforms and neckties.
It also applies to footwear – shoes, shoelaces, slippers, insoles, boots, socks and sandals.
But it does not apply to ballet, tap or athletic shoes, roller or ice skates, ski boots, waders, or fins.
Shoppers also should not expect the reduced sales tax rate on accessory items such as briefcases, hair bows, handbags, jewelry, sunglasses or wigs. The reduction also does not apply to sports gloves, goggles, hand and elbow guards, life preservers, wetsuits, shoulder pads, shin guards or mouth guards.
Also excluded are protective equipment items such as breathing masks, hearing protectors, face shields, hard hats and helmets, respirators, protective gloves, safety goggles or tool belts.
Included school supplies
Binders, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, blackboard chalk, notebooks, erasers, folders, index cards, legal pads, lunch boxes, pencils and sharpeners, supply boxes, protractors, rulers, compasses, and scissors are all eligible for the reduced tax rate.
So are glue, highlighters, markers, crayons and colored pencils.
Shoppers should not expect other art supplies to be eligible for the reduced rate, however. Clay and glaze, paints and paint brushes, sketch pads and drawing pads will all be taxed at the regular 6.25 percent rate.
Textbooks, reference books, maps and globes are all excluded from the “holiday” as well.
Electronics and computers will also be taxed at the regular rate. That includes computers and related supplies such as flash drives, memory cards, data storage, computer cases, cables, printers and ink.
Shoppers also should not expect any breaks while buying cameras, cellphones or handheld electronics.
The task of adjusting the tax rate for individual items will fall on retailers, who collect sales tax and remit it to the state.
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