By ASHLEY INGE
ERATH COUNTY (August 6, 2018) – This year’s Sales Tax Holiday starts on Friday, Aug. 10 and runs through midnight on Sunday, Aug. 12.
Most states hold tax-free weekend shortly before school begins in the fall, during which time sales tax is removed on clothing, school supplies and/or similar items. Not all areas engage in tax holidays; it is up to the government of that area.
Along with previous tax-free weekends, customers in Texas can buy most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks tax free from a Texas store or any online business in Texas as long as they are priced below $100, which could save shoppers over $8 on every $100 they spend.
The sales tax exemption only applies to qualifying items that customers buy during the tax-free holiday. If a customer buys an item before or after the sales tax holiday, they will not qualify for an exemption and there will not be a tax refund available.
Many school supplies will be tax exempt from this weekend as long as they are priced under $100. Some school supplies that are exempt include: binders, blackboard chalk, calculators, highlighters, erasers, folders, lunch boxes, notebooks and many more. An exemption certificate is also not required unless you are using a business account.
Customers can use a business account for their tax-free items. A business account means you are using a business credit card or business check instead of a personal credit card or personal check; you are being billed under a business account maintained by the seller; or you are using a business membership at a membership-based retailer. If you buy qualifying school supplies under a business account, you must fill out Form 01-339, Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate, to the seller.
For clothing and footwear, the exemption applies to each eligible item sold for less than $100 and there is also no limit to the number of qualifying items customers can buy. For example, if you buy two shirts for $80 each, both shirts qualify for the exemption because they were both less than $100 individually even though the total price is over $100.
Some items do not qualify for the exemption including: textbooks, software, computers, clothing subscription boxes, clothing or footwear rentals, jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and other accessories. Specially-designed athletic activity or protective-use clothing or footwear do not qualify as well. The exemption does not apply to sales of special clothing or footwear that the manufacturer primarily designed for athletic activity so athletic, duffle or gym bags are not exempt. Golf cleats and football pads are mainly worn when individuals play sports. However, tennis shoes, jogging suits and swimsuits can be worn for other activities – not necessarily athletic activities – so they qualify for the exemption.
For backpacks, student backpacks that are sold for less than $100 are exempt from tax. The exemption also includes backpacks with wheels and messenger bags. Customers can also buy up to 10 backpacks tax free at one time without giving an exemption certificate to the seller. Items that do not qualify for the tax exemption include computer bags and framed backpacks.
Customers should also be aware that additional charges can affect the sales price. Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges by the seller are part of the item’s sales price. Since clothing, backpacks and school supplies have to be less than $100, you have to look at the item’s total sales price to determine if you can buy it tax free. For example, you buy a pair of jeans for $95 with a $10 delivery charge for a total price of $105. Because the jeans’ total price is not less than $100, tax is due on the entire $105 price.