Illinois Offers Sales Tax Relief to Bars/Restaurants; Chicago Extends Some Tax Deadlines
March 19, 2020

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker today announced a two-month delay in state and local sales tax payments for the state’s small and medium-size restaurants and bars. Eating and drinking establishments were severely impacted by his order to shut down dine-in service.

Eligible restaurants and bars – those that had less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities in 2019 – will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May of this year. According to an Illinois Department of Revenue estimate, this will impact close to 80% of bars and restaurants in the state.

Establishments taking advantage of the holiday will still be expected to file sales tax returns. They can make payments in four installments between May and Aug. 20.

In separate news, the governor also announced that he has requested a statewide Economic Injury Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. If approved, Illinois small businesses will be eligible for low-interest federal loans of up to $2 million to defray costs, including payroll, accounts payable and other bills.


On March 19, 2020, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a number of measures intended to ease economic hardships on Chicago businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. These measures include the following:

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund

The City of Chicago, along with other backers, is creating a $100 million fund to provide low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming months. This fund will make working capital loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses suffering economic hardships due to the COVID-19 outbreak so that these businesses may meet rent and payroll obligations. The City will be working with a network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), who will be responsible for providing support with application screening, credit underwriting, loan disbursements and servicing.

Deferral of Tax Payments

In addition to the loan fund described above, the city is also extending due dates for the following taxes to April 30, 2020:

  • Bottled Water Tax
  • Checkout Bag Tax
  • Amusement Tax
  • Hotel Accommodation Tax
  • Restaurant Tax
  • Parking Tax

Should you have any questions on how the above may affect your business, please reach out to Carrie Merickel at (312) 344-2914 or your Miller Cooper representative.

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