Questions & Answers

Do I owe Illinois use tax?

Use tax is a form of Illinois sales tax that you, as the purchaser, owe on items you buy for use in Illinois. If the seller does not collect this tax from you, you must pay the tax yourself.

The most common purchases where the seller doesn't collect sales tax on are those made through the internet, from a mail order catalog, or when traveling outside of Illinois.

The Illinois sales tax rate is 6.25 percent for general merchandise and 1 percent for food, non-prescription drugs, and medical appliances.

EXAMPLE 1: If you bought a computer over the internet for $1,000 and you didn't pay any sales tax on the purchase, you'd owe $63 ($1,000 x .0625) in use tax for the computer purchase.

EXAMPLE 2: If you bought $1,000 of food from a mail-order company and you didn't pay any sales tax on the purchase, you'd owe $10 ($1,000 x .01) in use tax for the purchase of the food.

EXAMPLE 3: If you bought $1,000 of furniture in Wisconsin for use in Illinois and paid 5% sales tax ($50) on the purchase, you'd still need to pay the remaining 1.25% (6.25% - 5%) of Illinois sales tax. You'd owe $13 ($1,000 x .0125) in use tax for the purchase of the furniture.

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