Illinois: Ebooks Are Sales Tax Exempt
- Jun 10, 2014 | Gail Cole
In response to a General Interest Letter*, the Illinois Department of Revenue has confirmed that sales of ebooks transferred via the internet are exempt from Illinois sales tax.
The department points to the Illinois retailers’ Occupation Tax, which “imposes a tax upon persons engaged in this State in the business of selling tangible personal property to purchasers for use or consumption.” In Illinois, the viewing or downloading electronic books, music, newspapers and magazines is not considered to be a transfer of tangible property. As of result, sales tax does not apply.
The GIL notes that “downloads of canned software… are subject to Retailers’ Occupation and Use Tax.”
While Illinois does not tax ebooks, other states do. Last year, for example, both Maine and Minnesota imposed sales tax on digital products transferred electronically to purchasers.
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* General Interest Letters (GIL) are officially binding only with respect to the subject of the GIL. That said, they point to laws and reflect how the Department of Revenue interprets those laws.