Illinois Announces Two-Month Sales Tax Payment Relief for Small Bars and Restaurants

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Illinois Announces Two-Month Sales Tax Payment Relief for Small Bars and Restaurants

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Evgeny Magidenko

On March 19, 2020, as part of the State of Illinois' efforts to combat disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Illinois Department of Revenue announced that it is waiving for two months all penalties and interest that would be imposed on late payments by registered Illinois retailers operating small eating and drinking establishments for sales tax liabilities that are due for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods.

Eligible taxpayers are those operating eating and drinking establishments that incurred a total sales tax liability of less than $75,000 in the 2019 calendar year. The Illinois Department of Revenue will automatically waive penalties and interest for eligible taxpayers. A taxpayer that receives a notice from the Department of Revenue imposing penalties and interest for the February, March, or April reporting periods should contact the Department if the taxpayer believes that it qualifies for the waiver.

Notwithstanding the waiver of penalties and interest on deferred payments of sales tax, taxpayers are still required to file sales tax returns for the February, March, and April reporting periods by the original due dates.

For taxpayers taking advantage of the waiver, one-quarter of the accumulated deferred sales tax liability for the February, March, and April periods will be due on each of May 20, June 22, July 20, and August 20.

Eligible taxpayers must begin making full payments on the scheduled due dates for all sales tax liabilities beginning with the May 2020 reporting period (which is due on June 22, 2020), and for all subsequent reporting periods.