Back to School tax holiday estimated to save Illinois families $50 million
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Governor JB Pritzker joined lawmakers and stakeholders to encourage Illinois families to take advantage of the State’s Back to School tax holiday taking place from Aug. 5 through Aug. 14.
The 10-day sales tax holiday – the first for Illinois in over a decade – was created to save families $50 million on school supplies and is part of the $1.8 billion Illinois Family Relief Plan, with relief on gas, property taxes, and groceries.
“Our parents shouldn’t have to choose between buying essential school supplies for their children and putting food on the kitchen table. Our teachers shouldn’t have to break the bank to do right by the students that they nurture day in and day out,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Back to school should be as stress free as possible for working families and their children, and this tax holiday will help remove some of that burden.”
Beginning last Friday, Aug. 5, the state sales tax on school supplies will drop from 6.25% to 1.25%. Eligible items include qualifying clothing and footwear such as school uniforms, coats, sneakers, rainwear, and winter gear with a retail selling price of less than $125 per item. Eligible school supplies including book bags, calculators, and other items used by students for studying are not subject to the $125 threshold.
A Deloitte survey estimated that parents and guardians spend an average of $661 per child during the back to school shopping season. With inflation continuing to impact the lives of Illinoisans across the state, the sales tax holiday will allow Illinois families to shop for back to school supplies at a lower cost, reducing expenses during a high-spend time for most families.
Teachers are also able to take advantage of the tax holiday, saving money on classroom supplies including blackboard chalk, binders, index cards, writing tablets, and more. Teachers can also receive an income tax credit up to $250 for school supplies purchased for their classrooms.
“This discount provides direct economic relief and hopefully allows families to stretch their dollars a little further this back-to-school shopping season,” said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).
“The back-to-school season should be filled with excitement and anticipation, but with rising costs, we know many of our families and teachers are feeling increased financial stress,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside). “This upcoming sales tax holiday and doubling the tax credit for our educators will help ease some of those additional costs and keep money in the pockets of hardworking Illinoisans.”
“As the cost of living rises, the School Sales Tax Holiday will give students the opportunity they deserve to be well-prepared for a successful school year,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). “Back to school time can be stressful enough for disadvantaged families, and this year Illinois is assisting all residents with some financial relief for the betterment of our students’ educational careers.”
“Families across Illinois are continuing to struggle post pandemic,” said State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort). “I am proud that the legislature and the Governor were able to work together to provide much needed assistance, especially right before school starts.”
“We know that parents and caretakers want their children to succeed in school without worrying about lacking basic supplies or clothing”, said Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Director David Harris. “This tax holiday will offer some relief to families during the busy and at times stressful back to school season.”
“Illinois is making financial progress thanks to responsible spending and balanced budgets over the last several years. As we turn the corner from the challenges we faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as families struggle due to rising inflation, I am proud of the work we have done to help them during these tough times,” said State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago). “As chair of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, one of my top priorities is helping our residents who face tremendous economic challenges make it through tough times – and providing a sales tax holiday for families as they prepare to send their children back to school does just that. This effort serves the dual purpose of helping families and setting our students up for success, and I am proud we were able to provide this help.”
“As families prepare for the upcoming school year, I was proud to sponsor and pass legislation that will ease the burden on parents as they purchase necessary supplies for their children,” said State Representative Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside). “This initiative, along with our comprehensive approach to inflation relief, is just one more way Illinois’ fiscal comeback remains as strong as ever.”
Additional resources for retailers, including a complete list of qualifying items, may be found on the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website, tax.illinois.gov.
Taxpayer representatives can answer questions and provide assistance at 1- 800-732-8866 or 217-782-3336.