The Illinois Department of Revenue recently released General Information Letter ST-21-0025-GIL, providing that an e-commerce retailer’s provision of tangible personal property to its subscribers for sampling prior to deciding whether to buy was not a taxable transaction, while an eventual purchase of the property was taxable. The taxpayer, based outside of Illinois, operates an e-commerce website that offers a month-to-month subscription program, which, in exchange for the subscription fee, allows subscribers to try the taxpayer’s merchandise before deciding whether to purchase it. The Department determined that the subscription receipts were not subject to sales tax because there was no transfer of the ownership of the property. The Department also determined that the subscription receipts were not subject to the Illinois “rental purchase agreement occupation and use tax” which imposes tax on the rental of merchandise under an initial rental-purchase agreement of less than four months, because a subscription model with a separate option to purchase, such as the taxpayer’s, was different than “rent-to-own dealers” contemplated by the rental purchase agreement occupation tax. Lastly, the Department determined that the taxpayer was not making a taxable use of the sample merchandise in the state as the demonstration exemption would apply.