BACK-TO-SCHOOL MEANS SALES TAX HOLIDAY
Back-to-school is right around the corner which means the arrival of Texas’ annual Sales Tax Holiday. From August 9-11, shoppers will pay no state or local sales tax on many schools supplies, school backpacks and most clothing and shoes priced under $100.
Lay-away plans can also be used to take advantage of the sales tax holiday. In addition to lay-away plans, individuals can also use rain checks. It is important however to remember that individuals can use a rain check during the tax free weekend regardless of when it was issued and receive the tax exemption, but rain checks that are issued during the tax free weekend cannot be used after August 11th if you wish to receive the tax exemption.
The tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999. This year, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs predicts shoppers will save $78.9 million in state and local sales taxes during the holiday.
As in previous years, the law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. Backpacks under $100 and used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt. The backpack exemption also includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack, and messenger bags. The exemption does not include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic/duffle/gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks.
As in years past, in addition to clothes, footwear and some backpacks, Texas families also get a sales tax break on most school supplies priced at less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.
No exemption certificate is required for holiday purchases – with one exception. If the purchaser is buying the supplies under a business account, the retailer must obtain an exemption certificate from the purchaser certifying that the items are purchased for use by an elementary or secondary school student. “Under a business account” means the purchaser is using a business credit card or business check rather than a personal credit card or personal check.
Here is a list of school supplies which qualify for a tax exemption during the Sales Tax Holiday weekend:
• Book bags
• Cellophane tape
• Blackboard chalk
• Composition books
• Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
• Glue, paste and paste sticks
• Index cards
• Index card boxes
• Legal pads
• Lunch boxes
• Markers (including dry erase markers)
• Paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper
• Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
• Pencil sharpeners
• Writing tablets
As a cautionary note, companies are not allowed to advertise that they will pay the sales tax on items that do not qualify for the tax exemption, but they may however advertise that the price includes sales tax.
To assist families who are planning to take advantage of the savings, the Comptroller’s website provides complete lists of tax-free apparel and school supplies. Theses lists can be found online at Sales Tax Holiday.
If you have any questions regarding the annual Sales Tax Holiday, please don’t hesitate to contact either my Capitol or District office. It’s a busy time of year for parents so my offices are available to assist at any time to with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces (Part). He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 512-463-0672.