Do certain organizations qualify for a sales and use tax exemption on their purchases made at retail?

Yes. To qualify for an exemption from sales and use tax on retail purchases, your organization must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • The organization must be organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, or governmental purposes
  • The organization must be a not-for-profit entity organized for arts and cultural purposes
  • The organization must be a not-for-profit entity organized primarily for the recreation of persons 55 years of age or older.
Illinois law allows sales tax exemptions for schools, governmental bodies, churches, and exclusively charitable organizations. Exempt status is also granted to licensed not-for-profit day care centers, qualifying senior citizens organizations and institutions, and 501(c)(3) music or dramatic arts organizations, such as theatrical groups, symphony orchestras, or other performing arts groups.

There is no fee to apply for a sales tax exemption number (e-number).

Note: Not-for-profit hospitals and not-for-profit nursing homes that qualify as exclusively charitable institutions also are exempt from sales and use tax on purchases and also are not required to collect sales tax when selling food or medicine to their patients. Hospitals dining facilities that are not open to the general public are also exempt. However, a hospital or hospital auxiliary incurs sales tax liability when selling products such as candy, chewing gum, tobacco products, and razor blades since these items are not necessary for basic hospital service and place the hospital in competition with community businesses.

To apply for an Illinois sales tax exemption number, your organization should submit Form STAX-1, Application for Sales Tax Exemption or Apply for or Renew a Sales Tax Exemption online using MyTax Illinois. If eligible, IDOR will issue your organization a sales tax exemption number (e-number). The sales tax exemption application may take up to 90 days to process and if we issue you a number, it will not be retroactive to your application date. Your organization must provide a retailer with the e-number we issue you before you can make purchases tax-free.

For more information about sales tax exemptions, see our Information Page for Exempt Organizations.

If you have additional inquiries, you may submit them to the Questions, Comments, or Request form.