Which Items Are Included in Illinois' 10-Day Sales Tax Holiday?

The holiday will lower tax rates as many prepare for back-to-school shopping, but only certain purchases will qualify

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Starting next week, Illinois will kick off a 10-day sales tax holiday on a number of items for shoppers but not every purchase will qualify.

The holiday lowers tax rates as many prepare for back-to-school shopping, but only certain items are eligible and there is a price limit.

Senate Bill 157 lowers the tax rate on clothes and school supplies by 5% for 10 days in August, beginning on Aug. 5 and ending on Aug. 14.

Over the 10 days, the rate will drop from 6.25% to 1.25% .

“As a nod to our working parents, guardians and teachers in Illinois, lowering the tax rate on school supplies removes a burden when preparing for the academic year,” State Sen. Rachelle Crowe said in a statement. “It is my hope that by instituting a tax holiday, we can help relieve families and educators of some financial costs in order to prepare students for the upcoming school year.”

The new law was part of a $46.5 billion budget signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in April. The budget plan went into effect on July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year.

Qualifying purchases include certain clothing and footwear with a retail selling price of less than $125 per item. Eligible school supplies items are not subject to the $125 threshold.

Here's a full list of items that qualify under the tax drop:

Which items qualify?


Retail selling price must be less
than $125 per item

• 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
• scarves
• underwear
• school uniforms
• shorts and pants
• skirts and dresses
• hosiery and pantyhose
• shirts and blouses


Retail selling price must be less
than $125 per item
• 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
• 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

Which items don't qualify?

Clothing accessories

Any clothing item with a retail
selling price of $125 or more, and
• 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
• 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
• ballet, tap, cleated or spiked
athletic shoes
• roller and ice skates
• ski boots
• waders and fins

School supplies

Any item not used by students in
the course of study, and
• 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
• 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
• cameras and related supplies
such as film and memory cards,
video cameras, tapes and
• cell phones
• Personal Digital Assistants
(PDA’s) and handheld electronic

For more information on the sales tax holiday click here.

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