Illinois sales tax holiday to help families save on back-to-school shopping | See qualifying items

From August 5 until August 14, shoppers can save 5% on the sales tax for clothes and school supplies.

Jason Knowles Image
Friday, August 5, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

From August 5 until August 14, shoppers can save 5% on the sales tax for clothes and school supplies.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois kicks off a 10-day sales tax holiday this week to help families and students preparing to go back to school.

From August 5 until August 14, shoppers can save 5% on the sales tax for clothes and school supplies. This means, instead of paying the state sales tax of 6.25% tax, shoppers will pay 1.25% on back to school shopping.

So, if you spend about $200 dollars on supplies, you'd get $10 off.

Clothes or shoes must be less than $125 per item to qualify for the tax discount. Qualifying school supplies do not have the same price constraints.

The sales tax holiday is part of the $46.5 billion dollar state budget that went in to effect July 1.

David Harris, director of the Illinois Dept. of Revenue, said the state estimates the tax breaks will save shoppers anywhere from $50 to 78 million this year.

"It's a nice chunk of change," Harris said. "It's an initiative and part of the Illinois Family Relief Plan that the governor started and legislators passed."

Back to school tax holidays have been around before, but they are not every year, so take advantage.

You can also save by taking inventory of what's already in your closets. Spread out purchases after asking teachers what children may not need right away. You can also go in with neighbors or friends and buy items in bulk.

This tax holiday comes just as many families are feeling the pinch of inflation. According to the most recent estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prices of the following school related items increased from June 2021 to June 2022:

1. Sports equipment: by 8%

2. Musical instruments: by 5.6%

3. Apparel: by 5.2%

4. Toy, games and playground equipment: by 4.8%

5. Educational books and supplies: by 3.7%

6. Tuition, school fees and childcare: by 2.7%

Below is a list of QUALIFYING items for the Illinois sales tax holiday:

Clothing Retail (selling price must be less than $125 per item, including):

-household and shop aprons

-athletic supporters

-bathing suits and caps

-belts and suspenders

-coats and jackets

-gloves and mittens

-hats, caps, and ear muffs

-lab coats

-neckties

-rainwear

-rubber pants (covers for cloth diapers)

-scarves

-underwear

-school uniforms

-shorts and pants

-skirts and dresses

-hosiery and pantyhose

-shirts and blouses

Footwear Retail (selling price must be less than $125 per item, including):

-shoes, sneakers, and shoe laces

-sandals

-slippers

-socks and stockings

-footlets

-boots and overshoes

-insoles for shoes

-steel-toed shoes

School supplies (Must be used by students in the course of study, including:)

-binders

-book bags

-calculators

-cellophane tape

-blackboard chalk

-composition books

-crayons

-colored pencils

-erasers

-expandable pocket, plastic, and manila folders

-glue, paste, and paste sticks

-highlighters

-index cards and index card boxes

-legal pads

-lunch boxes

-markers

-notebooks and notebook paper, including loose leaf notebook, copy, graph, tracing, manila, colored and construction paper, and poster board

-pencils and pencil leads

-pens, ink, and ink refills for pens

-pencil boxes and other school supply boxes

-pencil sharpeners

-protractors, rulers, and compasses

-scissors

-writing tablets

  • Below is a list NON-QUALIFYING items from the Illinois.gov website:

  • Clothing accessories (Any clothing item with a retail selling price of $125 or more)

    -briefcases

    -cosmetics

    -hair notions including, but not limited to barrettes, hair bows, and hair nets

    -handbags and wallets

    -handkerchiefs

    -jewelry and watches

    -non-prescription sunglasses

    -umbrellas

    -wigs and hair pieces

    Sports or recreational equipment

    -gloves, including but not limited to baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, and golf gloves

    -goggles

    -hand and elbow guards

    -life preservers and vests

    -mouth guards

    -shin guards

    -shoulder pads

    -wetsuits

    Protective equipment

    -breathing masks

    -clean room apparel and equipment

    -ear and hearing protectors

    -face shields

    -hard hats and helmets

    -paint or dust respirators

    -protective gloves

    -safety glasses and goggles

    -safety and tool belts

    -welder's gloves and masks

    Footwear

    -ballet, tap, cleated or spiked athletic shoes

    -roller and ice skates

    -ski boots

    -waders and fins

    Art Supplies

    -clay and glazes

    -acrylic, tempera, and oil paints

    -paintbrushes for artwork

    -sketch and drawing pads

    -watercolors

    Instructional material

    -reference books

    -reference maps and globes

    -textbooks and workbooks

    Computer and computer supplies

    -computers and related supplies

    -flashdrives and other computer data storage devices

    -data storage media such as diskettes, and compact disks

    -boxes and cases for disk storage

    -external ports or drives

    -computer cases

    -computer cables

    -computer printers

    -printer cartridges, toner, and ink

    Electronics

    -cameras and related supplies such as film and memory cards, video cameras, tapes and videotapes

    -cell phones

    -Personal Digital Assistants (PDA's) and handheld electronic schedulers