Texas’ tax holiday begins tomorrow

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Texas shoppers will get a break from state and local sales taxes beginning tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Aug. 10. And you don’t have to live in Texas to participate. You just have to shop there.

As in previous years, the law exempts some clothing, footwear, most all school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales and use taxes.

These tax breaks could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. Texas state tax is 8.25 percent.

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The following items are eligible for tax-free purchases are long as they are individually under $100 in cost:

  • Binders
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers)
  • Notebooks
  • Paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets

Where confusion often comes in when clothing comes into play. Baseball caps, for example, are tax exempt, however, baseball cleats are taxable because they serve a specific function for athletics only and therefore are taxable. Items that are specifically for athletics only are not tax exempt. The same holds true for baseball jerseys, which are not taxable because they can be worn to school, for example. But baseball pants are taxable.

Items also can be purchased via the Internet during the tax-free holiday but users must also take into account any shipping charges that may apply because delivery charges billed in connection with the sale of an item may disqualify some products from exemption, according to Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller.

“During the sales tax holiday, only clothing, backpacks and school supplies with a total sales price less than $100 qualify for exemption from sales and use tax. The total sales price includes charges by the seller for delivery. The addition of delivery charges to the retail price of an item will cause the loss of the exemption if the total price exceeds $100. For example, the purchase of a dress priced at $89 plus a delivery charge of $10 will have a total sales price of $99 and will qualify for the exemption. But, a dress priced at $99 with a delivery charge of $10 would not qualify for the exemption because the total sales price would be $109 which exceeds the $100 cap.”

For more information on what is and what is not eligible, go to the Texas State Comptroller’s website at: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/taxholiday/m/.

 

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