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Old April 13th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
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Tax Break for Illinois Residents

I guess a side benefit to living in one of the highest taxing states is the Sales Tax exemption for anyone purchasing equipment which will be used for "graphic arts production". The form you need is ST-587 - its attached below.

I have been using this tax exemption since 2009 and I buy mostly from my local Abel Cine.

As it is tax season, I wanted to help fellow Illinoisans because I have found that many people are not aware of this.

Aside from Abel Cine, I have not tried using this exemption anywhere else yet mainly due to laziness. My accountant says this exemption should cover anything from Abel Cine in addition to computer equipment and anything else that is used for making a video such as a truck or van to hold grip equipment. However, most retailers and businesses are not aware of this exemption, such as Best Buy and Microcenter (for computers). But they should treat it as though it is a normal sales tax exemption form.

PS It appears as though this form must be filled out for every purchase but I only filled it out the first time I purchased from Abel Cine. Since then, their system automatically removes sales tax for every order. Just to be sure, I will ask my accountant tomorrow if this form needs to be filled out for every order.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: Illinois Tax Break and Use Tax.


I have not heard about the sales tax exemption for Illinois residents purchasing graphics related equipment. But I believe this only applies if you sell a product and charge sales tax to your customers. I do know that Illinois is now enforcing the Use Tax of 6.25 percent for out of state purchases. They are also collecting a retroactive Use Tax (under an Amnesty Program) for purchases going back to mid-2004. Thus, if you purchased a camera from B and H or Abel Cine or Amazon back in 2005 the State of Illinois now wants that tax. If you're a photo or video company in Illinois with the words "photography" or "videography" or related terms in your name (and if you've been taking tax deductions for equipment purchases in the past six years) you're potentially on the radar of state auditors.
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Last edited by Carl Wiedemann; April 13th, 2011 at 06:32 PM. Reason: phrasing issue
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Old April 13th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: Tax Break for Illinois Residents

It is so outrageous that its almost funny. Lets just tax tax tax and spend spend spend. Who cares if it kills businesses within Illinois. Within 24 hours of North Carolina enacting the same law, Amazon dropped every single affiliate in that state causing state businesses to lose revenue; thus, less tax revenue to the state.

I can't wait to be in a position to move back to Florida where there is NO income tax and very FEW highways with tolls.

For this Use Tax, it is a good thing I have lived in many other states in the last several years. Thanks for the info.

Here is additional info on ST-587 found here: Illinois Common Sales Tax Exemptions

Graphic arts machinery and equipment
The graphic arts machinery and equipment exemption applies to purchases of machinery and equipment used primarily (more than 50 percent of the time) in graphic arts production. To document tax-exempt purchases of such items, retailers must keep in their books and records an exemption certificate containing the sellerís name and address, the purchaserís name and address, an identification or description of the items purchased, a statement from the purchaser that the items are being used primarily in graphic arts production, and the purchaserís signature and the date of signing. Purchasers may document their taxexempt purchases either by completing Form ST-587, Machinery and Equipment Exemption Certificate, or by making their own certificates. A copy of the certificate must be given to the retailer.

I wonder if my car purchase last year would fall under this as I have put 16k of 19k miles just for work travel in the last 10 months.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 05:41 AM   #4
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Re: Tax Break for Illinois Residents

Steve.... Come on down. Buy all you want from B&H, Abel and Amazon. Oh, and bring your sun-tan lotion!
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Old April 14th, 2011, 05:52 AM   #5
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Re: Tax Break for Illinois Residents

Steve.... FYI...Wisconsin is "open for business" if you want to move here!? lol
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Old April 14th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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Re: Tax Break for Illinois Residents

Is video production considered graphic arts? I always thought graphic arts and videography are two totally different fields.

Here is the wikipedia definition of graphic arts:
A type of fine art, graphic art covers a broad range of art forms. Graphic art is typically two-dimensional and includes photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, lithography, typography, serigraphy (silk-screen printing), and bindery. Graphic art also consists of drawn plans and layouts for interior and architectural designs.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: Tax Break for Illinois Residents

I don't think there's a state in the US with a sales tax that doesn't have something on the books requiring people to pay the tax on out of state purchases. Up to now the problem has been that they have no way to really police it except for cars tat have to be registered.

But it won't be long before the states will figure out how to enforce the existing law and in the end, Amazon will just have to suck it up and collect the tax on ALL purchases from states with sales taxes

I don' t particularly want to pay the tax, but I think it will be a good thing to level the playing field for the local retailers who can't compete with the out of state outfits. After all, if the local outfit can't stay in business because of the higher price they have to charge, we'll lose a lot of them - and the people they employ will be a statistic.

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