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Telecommunications Tax

Statutory Reference

Electronic Services


Telecommunications Excise Tax Act (TETA)
The tax is imposed on intrastate messages as well as interstate messages (i.e., those that originate or terminate in Illinois and are billed to a service address in Illinois). The types of telecommunications which are taxable include, but are not limited to, messages or information transmitted through use of local, toll, or wide area telephone services; private line services; channel services; telegraph services; teletypewriter; computer exchange services; cellular mobile telecommunication services; specialized mobile radio; stationary two-way radio; paging services; any other form of mobile and portable one-way or two-way communications; and any other transmission of messages or information by electronic or similar means.

Note: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services purchased, used, or sold by a provider of internet access, to provide internet access were subject to Illinois Telecommunication Taxes until July 1, 2008. DSL services purchased, used, or sold by a non-provider of internet access remain subject to Illinois Telecommunication Tax.

Tax Rate

Use the Tax Rate Database to determine the rate.

Form/Filing & Payment Requirements

**A taxpayer that has an average monthly liability that is over $1,000 must file and pay all returns and schedules electronically. For more information please see MyTax Illinois or Tax-Prep Software.

Return Form RT-2, Telecommunications Tax Return is due either monthly, quarterly, or annually based on the taxpayer’s average monthly liability. The department determines how often a return must be filed.

Form RT-2-X, Amended Telecommunications Tax Return

Quarter-monthly payments - Companies (other than a unit of local government) that have an average monthly liability of $25,000 or more must make quarter-monthly payments by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Payments are due on the 7th, 15th, 22nd, and the last day of the month. Payments can be made using MyTax Illinois.

Allowable Deductions and Nontaxable Sales

The following telecommunication messages are not subject to this tax:

Prepaid telephone calling arrangements (prepaid calling cards) are not subject to Telecommunications Excise Tax but are subject to sales tax.

Local Taxes

The rate, which can be imposed in quarter-percent increments, cannot exceed 6%. The department collects the municipal tax for all municipalities that have an ordinance in effect other than the city of Chicago. For the most current tax rate information, use the Tax Rate Database.