Classes don’t start for two weeks, but parents already face a tough assignment: Shopping for back-to-school gear without busting the budget. This weekend’s Florida sales-tax holiday offers relief.
Friday through Sunday, shoppers are spared sales tax on clothing priced up to $75 per item and school supplies up to $15 per item. For the first time, computers and related accessories costing less than $750 per item also qualify.
As in years past, many stores will also offer additional discounts — buy-one, get-one deals are popular — along with coupons and sales that can effectively drop prices by half. Such deals will help stretch the estimated average $635 expenditure per child, down from last year’s $689, according to the National Retail Federation.
Knowing which items qualify is key. The Florida Department of Revenue has created a QR code for quick access to the list of exempt and taxable items.
• Clothing must cost less than $75 per item.
• School supplies must cost less than $15 per item.
• Computers and accessories must cost less than $750 per item.
• Items sold as a unit — such as a pair of shoes — cannot be split up to qualify for the tax exemption.
• Each item purchased must fall beneath the price limit. Buy-one, get-one and other discounted items cannot be averaged to qualify.
• Handbags, backpacks, diaper bags
• Binders, notebooks, pens
• Computers, tablets, keyboards, routers, printers, modems
• Non-recreational software
• Gift certificates used for payment
• Store coupons
• Layaway, provided the contract and deposit are made during the tax holiday
• Mail order and online purchases
• Gift certificates
• Suitcases/garment bags
• Sports gear
• Rental items
• Staplers, printing paper
• Video games and recreational software
• Digital cameras, televisions
• Purchase of gift certificate
• After-purchase rebates to qualify items
• Repairs or alterations
Returns and exchanges
• Exchanges for the same item in a different size or color after the tax holiday will not be taxed.
• Exchanges for different items after the tax holiday are taxable.
• Additional discounts: Check newspapers for information about store sales.
• Check o nline sites like www.retailmenot.com/deals/backtoschool/