Back-to-school shopping just got cheaper — an Illinois sales tax holiday on the way

Photo by Matthias Groeneveld/PEXELS

August 5th -14th is going to be the window to do your back-to-school shopping in Illinois.

The state announced a sales tax holiday, which will reduce the rate by 5%.

So, what’s covered? Qualifying clothing and footwear with a retail selling price of less than $125 per item and certain school supplies used by students in the course of study.

And I don’t see them asking for a student ID so….maybe this is the time to snag some of this stuff for YOU, as well.


Clothing — retail selling price must be less than $125 per item, including:
• 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 diapers)
• scarves
• underwear
• school uniforms
• shorts and pants
• skirts and dresses
• hosiery and pantyhose
• shirts and blouses

Footwear — retail selling price must be less than $125 per item, including:
• 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, including:
• 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


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 Equipment
• 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:
Art supplies
• 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
Computer and Computer Supplies
• 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 videotapes
• cell phones
• Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) and handheld electronicschedulers