Can you believe the summer is coming to an end and the kids will be heading back to school soon? July has vanished in the blink of an eye and it is that time of year again to start finding the best deals for back-to-school clothing and cool stuff for your kids. Thanks to the annual Florida Sales Tax Holiday, you can do that soon, tax-free.
The State of Florida’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday is held every year on the first Friday of August and ends the following Sunday night. This year’s three-day sales tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. this Friday, Aug. 2 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4.
Back-to-school shopping isn’t just No. 2 pencils and new shoes and backpacks, it’s the second-most important time of the year for retailers, and it often sets the tone for Christmas, the most profitable time of the year.
The Sales Tax Holiday is a perfect time for parents who need to pick up school supplies, clothing, shoes and other back-to-school items. It’s not just geared for kids preparing for school, but benefits people of all ages.
The 2013 Florida Legislature passed and the governor approved a tax-free period that states: No sales tax shall be collected on the sale of clothing, wallets, or bags, including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs and diaper bags, but excluding briefcases, suitcases and other garment bags, having a sales price of $75 or less per item, on sales of certain school supplies having a sales price of $15 or less per item, or on sales of personal computers and certain related accessories having a sales price of $750 or less per item.
Families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade spent nearly $690, on average, on school-related items last year, according to the National Retail Federation. So it’s no surprise that many of the parents surveyed by the NRF this year said they’re looking for ways to keep back-to-school costs down — with 48 percent planning to shop during sales, 37 percent planning to use coupons and 37 percent planning to buy generic rather than name-brand items.
“I would like to encourage parents to take advantage of this Sales Tax Holiday for their kids’ back-to-school supplies and thank the Florida Legislature for budgeting for this once again,” Miami Springs mayor Zavier Garcia said. “It's great to live in one of only 17 states that have a sales tax holiday.”
“Back to School Sale” doesn’t always mean tax-free. Retail stores may advertise back-to-school sales because they know consumers are buying items for the upcoming school year. Those discounts will still have taxes applied to them unless the item appears on the state comptroller’s tax-free list. For example, many sporting goods are not tax-exempt in Florida, such as pads and sports helmets; however, cleat and spiked shoes are.
Let’s shop local! Office Depot in Miami Springs would love to be your favorite destination for one-stop shopping.
“Office Depot is here to help save you money,” said store manager Yamira Castillo. “We’ve kicked off our back-to-school season with One Direction’s collection (a British music group) of notebooks, pens, stickers and collectibles and a lot of other new and exciting items. Come in and shop with us. We look forward to having you!”