Resources Law by State Illinois Sales Tax Rate

Illinois Sales Tax Rate



Illinois' sales and use tax scheme includes four major divisions. Retailers' Occupation Tax, Use Tax, Service Occupation Tax and the Service Use Tax. Each of these taxes is administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The Retailers' Occupation Tax is imposed upon persons engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property to purchasers for use or consumption. It is measured by the gross receipts of the retailer. The base rate of 6.25% is broken down as follows: 5% State, 1% City, 0.25% County. Local governments may impose additional tax resulting in a combined rate that ranges from the State minimum of 6.25% to a current high of 11.50% in certain business districts in Cook County. Springfield charges 7.75% total (including state tax). A complementary Use Tax is imposed upon the privilege of using or consuming property purchased anywhere at retail from a retailer. Illinois registered retailers are authorized to collect the Use Tax from their customers and use it to offset their obligations under the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act. Since the Use Tax rate is equivalent to the corresponding Retailers' Occupation Tax rate, the amount collected by the retailer matches the amount the retailer must submit to the Illinois Department of Revenue. The combination of these two taxes is what is commonly referred to as "sales tax." If the purchaser does not pay the Use Tax directly to a retailer (for instance, on an item purchased from an Internet seller), they must remit it directly to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The Service Occupation Tax is imposed upon the privilege of engaging in service businesses and is measured by the selling price of tangible personal property transferred as an incident to providing a service. The Service Use Tax is imposed upon the privilege of using or consuming tangible personal property transferred as an incident to the provision of a service. An example would be a printer of business cards. The printer owes Service Occupation Tax on the value of the paper and ink transferred to the customer in the form of printed business cards. The serviceperson may satisfy this tax by paying Use Tax to his supplier of paper and ink or, alternatively, may charge Service Use Tax to the purchaser of the business cards and remit the amount collected as Service Occupation Tax on the serviceperson's tax return. The service itself, however, is not subject to tax.

Qualifying food, drugs, medicines and medical appliances have sales tax of 1% plus local home rule tax depending on the location where purchased. Newspapers and magazines are exempt from sales tax as are legal tender, currency, medallions, bullion or gold or silver coinage issued by the State of Illinois, the government of the United States of America, or the government of any foreign country.

Illinois' system is exceptionally complicated. A brief overview is detailed on the Illinois Department of Revenue website.

The city of Chicago has the highest total sales tax of all major U.S. cities. It is also one of the most complex. 10.25% is levied on all non-perishable goods purchased, while 2% is levied on qualifying food, drugs, medicines and medical appliances. The Illinois Department of Revenue collects a 3% Chicago Soft Drink Tax and a 1% Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) "Food and Beverage Tax", on prepared food and beverage purchases in the downtown area (These "downtown" boundaries are: Surf Street on the north, Ashland Avenue on the west, Stevenson Expressway (I-55) on the south, & Lake Michigan on the east. Furthermore, O'Hare and Midway airports also fall under the 1% MPEA tax district). In addition, the Chicago Department of Revenue collects additional sales taxes on items such as fountain drinks, bottled water, liquor, and cigarettes.

Illinois has passed legislation to tax online sales made to consumers located in the state. In March 2011 Gov. Pat Quinn signed the "Main Street Fairness Act," which targets online retailers with Illinois affiliates. Quinn said the act would help create fair competition and generate more revenue for the state. Illinois estimates that it loses $153 million in sales taxes every year due to the fact that out-of-state retailers do not remit sales tax on purchases made by Illinois residents. Some online retailers have responded to this legislation and similar efforts in other states by threatening income tax revenues collected from their online affiliates. Amazon and have threatened to terminate affiliates in states that demand that sales tax be collected by online retailers. "For us, there's really no side effect, but for the states, they lose the income tax," said Overstock President Jonathan Johnson. Wal-Mart responded by inviting online businesses based in Illinois to join its affiliate network.

Illinois requires residents who make purchases online or when traveling out-of-state to report those purchases on their state income tax form and pay use tax."Many people were not aware they were responsible for reporting the taxes retailers don't collect," said Susan Hofer, Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman. "We're trying to make it as easy as possible." In order to assist taxpayers who did not keep records of their purchases the agency has produced a chart with estimates of tax owed by income. It is included in the instruction for the state income tax form.

Contact Sales Tax Accountants today for free tax assessment and sales tax questions. Call 1-877-254-0990.

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