IL Sales Tax Exempt: Back-to-School Shoppers Can Save 5% on Clothing and School Supplies | See eligible items

CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois is launching a 10-day sales tax holiday this week to help families and students preparing to return to school.

From August 5 to 14, shoppers can save 5% on sales tax on clothing and school supplies. This means that instead of paying 6.25% state sales tax, buyers will pay 1.25% for back-to-school.

Clothing or footwear must cost less than $125 per item to qualify for the tax reduction. Eligible school supplies do not have the same price constraints.

The sales tax exemption is part of the $46.5 billion state budget that went into effect July 1.

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 items increased from June 2021 to June 2022:

1. Sports equipment: by 8%

2. Musical instruments: 5.6%

3. Clothing: by 5.2%

4. Toys, games and play equipment: by 4.8%

5. Books and school supplies: 3.7%

6. Tuition, tuition and childcare: from 2.7%

Below is a list of ELIGIBLE items for Illinois sales tax exemption:

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

– household and shop aprons

– sports fans

– swimwear and caps

– belts and suspenders

– coats and jackets

-gloves and mittens

– hats, caps and earmuffs

– lab coats



– rubber pants (cloth diaper covers)



– school uniforms

– shorts and pants

-skirts and dresses

– hosiery and tights

– shirts and blouses

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

– shoes, trainers and laces


– slippers

– socks and stockings


– boots and overshoes

– soles for shoes

-steel-toed shoes

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


– book bags



– blackboard chalk

– composition books


-colouring pencils


– stretchy, plastic and manila pocket folders

-glue, glue and glue sticks


– index cards and index boxes

– legal stamps

– lunch boxes


-notebooks and notebook paper, including loose-leaf notebook, copy, graph, tracing paper, manila paper, color and construction paper, and bulletin board

– pencils and pencil leads

-pens, ink and ink refills for pens

-pencil boxes and other school supply boxes


– protractors, rulers and compasses

-the scissors

– writing tablets

  • Below is a list of INAPPROPRIATE articles from the website:

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


    -beauty products

    – hair concepts, including but not limited to barrettes, hair bows and hair nets

    – handbags and wallets


    – jewelry and watches

    – non-prescription sunglasses


    – wigs and hairpieces

    Sports or leisure equipment

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

    – protective glasses

    – hand and elbow guards

    – life jackets and vests

    -mouth guard

    -Shin pads

    – shoulder pads


    Protective equipment

    -respiratory masks

    – clean room clothing and equipment

    – hearing and hearing protection

    – face shields

    – helmets and helmets

    -paint or dust masks

    -protective gloves

    – goggles and safety glasses

    – seat belts and tool holders

    – welding gloves and masks


    -ballet, tap, cleated or spiked shoes

    – roller and ice skates

    -skiing boots

    – waders and flippers

    art supplies

    -clay and enamels

    – acrylic, tempera and oil paints

    – brushes for works of art

    – sketchbooks and drawing


    Teaching materials

    – reference books

    – reference maps and globes

    – manuals and workbooks

    Computers and computer supplies

    -computers and related supplies

    – USB keys and other computer data storage devices

    – data storage media such as floppy disks and compact discs

    -boxes and cases for storing discs

    -ports or external drives

    -computer boxes

    -computer cables

    -computer printers

    – printer cartridges, toner and ink


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

    -mobile phones

    – Personal digital assistants (PDA) and portable electronic organizers

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