Illinois Sales Tax

Illinois Sales Tax

Any Model S owners from Illinois here? What did you have to pay for sales tax?

The department of revenue website says that unless the vehicle is purchased from a licensed dealer, the amount of tax due is determined based on the year of the vehicle if older than a certain number of years or the value of the vehicle purchased from a private party. The value tops out at $30,000 with a maximum tax due of $1,500...needless to say, that's a lot lower than what the tax bill would be if regular sales tax was charged.

So, does Tesla qualify as a licensed dealer or is it considered a private party sale? I don't think IL is one of the states that waives sales taxes on EVs.

NewellS85 | September 1, 2013

It depends on what your sales is, for example if you are DuPage County it is 7.5%. If you are in Cook County, it can get very high, especially if you live in Chicago. It is just like a dealer.

Kapil | September 1, 2013

The regular sales tax should only apply is Tesla is registered as a car dealer in the state. Otherwise the private party vehicle use tax rate should apply:

I'm just curious which one is being paid by other buyers of the Model S.

teslamonkey | September 1, 2013

Tesla is a licensed dealer in Illinois. In fact, even if you order your car online, Tesla will "assign" you to a store trying to avoid the Chicago location.

Also, something else I just discovered, was that the location of the store assigned is what determines your tax rate, not where your car will be titled. Apparently if any car is bought out-of-state or from a private party, the tax rate used is where you will have it titled. If bought from a licensed dealer in IL, the dealer's location governs.

I live in Lake County (7%), bought online and was assigned to the Oakbrook store and charged the Oakbrook rate (7.25%)

Kapil | September 1, 2013

That sucks. I might have to take delivery in Indiana or Wisconsin Tesla stores there. Then I can pay the private party use tax rate. 7.25 * 90k > $1500.

Don Schmidt | September 2, 2013

Take a look at Incentives under the Buy menu. Looks like Illinos refunds $4,000 on sales tax and registration is $18 rather than $99.

Vancouver, WA

madbuns | September 2, 2013

The sales tax determination is state-driven. Wisconsin is a title-location state, not purchase location state. In this instance, since Tesla does not have an outlet in WI, a WI buyer should not pay any IL sales tax; rather, they will pay for temporary IL plates and take responsibility for registering the vehicle in the county where the vehicle will be domiciled. I live in Kenosha, so, I will pick up the car in Villa Park, have a bit of fun, then run to the DMV and pay my 5.5% to the state of WI for registering a vehicle that was purchased in another state (used/new is immaterial for WI - comes down to the price paid - that is the price that sales tax is charged on in WI).

rodhoffman | September 2, 2013

Sales tax is determined in where you take delivery FOB. I paid 2.3% in clear Creek County in Colorado. You really need to check your fact folks as it is VERY state and locale dependent.

Kapil | September 2, 2013

@dschmidt - The $4,000 rebate is not tied to sales is offered by the IL EPA to encourage EV adoption. And it's a rebate, not a tax credit so I would get the $4,000 whether I paid 4k in IL income tax or not.

Incidentally, this is different, from what I gather, than the federal 7.5k credit which is basically $7,500 off your income tax bill for the year...if you owe less than the maximum credit amount, then you get that amount, but you don't get a check from the IRS for the remainder. I think most people who have enough money to buy a Model S probably owe more than $7,500 in income tax so it's not an issue.

@madbuns - Did you mean the opposite? A WI resident buying in IL would still owe WI sales tax since, as you said, it's a title-location state.

IL gives the buyer the option to pick one...or at least I've been able to pick the location with the lower tax rate - my home or the dealership - during previous car purchases.

If Tesla delivers a vehicle to me outside the state of IL - say a friend's house in Kenosha - then Tesla is not obligated to collect IL sales tax. In fact, I'm not even sure if it's the Illinois Tesla entity that would be the seller in that case. So, if this were to happen, then I'd be obligated to pay the state the "private party" auto use tax which maxes out at $1,500 and I would still qualify for the IL EPA rebate and the lower registration fees since the car would be registered in IL.

teslamonkey | September 2, 2013

IL gives the buyer the option to pick one...or at least I've been able to pick the location with the lower tax rate - my home or the dealership - during previous car purchases.


Neither Tesla or Illinois gave me a choice to copse my sakes tax card off of title location or dealer location. I spoke with Dept if Revenue and they insist rate I'd based on dealer location for Illinois sitused dealers

madbuns | September 4, 2013

@Kapil - apologies - I should have been clearer when "speaking" in blog...I might have clarified that I would be taking my car to a Wisconsin DMV - not an IL one - after playing with the car a bit (and by playing, I mostly mean driving the car back to WI from Villa Park). I will owe WI sales tax, but Tesla will not be collecting on behalf of WI until they have a WI, free ride for as long as the temporary title lasts...but not really...

Friday :)

Nlupei | September 4, 2013

Unfortunately I live in Cook County and had to pay 9.25%... hurt a little, but when your spending over 70K whats another 6K.. Best idea is to trade in and cut down on overall tax due (which is what I did )