Illinois tax holiday: Plan your back-to-school shopping during these 10 days in August

Jennifer Geer

Illinois shoppers will save 5% on school supplies and clothing from August 5 to August 14.

(CHICAGO) Summer is coming to a close, and it's time for parents to begin the back-to-school shopping routine once again. But this year, the skyrocketing high cost of inflation is likely to make parents cringe as they look over their kid's school supply lists.

To save a little bit of money, you may want to plan your back-to-school shopping trip during Illinois' 10-day tax holiday for school supplies.

Why does Illinois have a tax holiday for school supplies?

In April, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois $46.5 billion budget, which included tax relief for a limited period on school supplies. Senate Bill 157 lowers the tax rate for back-to-school items, including clothes and shoes, by 5% for ten days in August.

"This two-year pandemic, plus the recent inflation, have combined to cause extreme financial pain for Illinois families," said Leader Greg Harris, (D-Chicago) in a press release from April. "Our budget helps ease inflationary pain by cutting taxes on everyday needs like gas, groceries and school supplies; while also providing property tax relief, tax rebates and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. This new budget demonstrates our commitment to stepping up for the everyday people of this state."

When is the tax rate lowered?

The tax holiday lasts ten days, from August 5 to August 14.

How much will shoppers save?

Shoppers will save 5%. The rate lowers from 6.25% to 1.25%

What items will qualify?

Certain clothing, footwear, and school supplies qualify. Clothing and footwear must have a retail selling price of less than $125 per item, but school supplies are not subject to the $125 maximum price.

However, expensive computers, phones, printers, and other electronics will not qualify, although calculators do qualify. School supplies purchased must be "used by students during the course of study."

You can find a complete list of qualifying items in the Illinois Department of Revenue's bulletin.

Nonprofits feel the crunch

According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago-area nonprofit groups that distribute school supplies to children who need them are feeling the effects of inflation. “Demand is definitely up,” executive director Dawn Melchiorre of Nonprofit Cradles to Crayons Chicago told the Tribune.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL
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