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Florida’s tax-free holiday ends Sunday. Here’s what you need to know

Backpacks, clothes and personal computers are among the many items that can be purchased tax-free during the 2017 Florida tax holiday August 4 - 6.
Backpacks, clothes and personal computers are among the many items that can be purchased tax-free during the 2017 Florida tax holiday August 4 - 6. El Nuevo Herald

Get your credit card ready. From Aug. 4-6, Florida shoppers won’t have to pay the usual sales tax on many items ranging from personal computers to backpacks and T-shirts. In Miami-Dade, that means savings of 7 percent, or $52.50, on the most expensive computers allowed. In Broward, the savings is 6 percent.

During the state’s 2017 back-to-school tax-free holiday, personal computers priced up to $750 are exempt — a significant change from 2016, when they weren’t included.

Generally speaking, the tax exemption applies to most school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; most clothing and footwear for $60 or less per item; and personal computers and accessories for noncommercial use selling for $750 or less per item. Look for sales; many local retailers are offering discounts to get you in the door.

Online purchases qualify if ordered during the tax-free holiday for immediate delivery, even if they arrive after the holiday. So do lay-away items — even if the final payment doesn’t occur until after the holiday ends.

But some items you think might quality don’t — and vice versa:

On the GO list

▪ Lunch boxes

▪ Poster paper

▪ Diapers (child and adult)

▪ Ski suits (but not ski boots)

▪ Swimsuits

▪ Blank computer disks

▪ Flash drives and back-up hard drives

▪ Scanners

▪ Antivirus software

▪ Earbuds

On the NO list

▪ Most athletic equipment and gear, including protective pads

▪ Printer and computer paper

▪ Cellphones

▪ Batteries

▪ Clothing alterations

▪ Duffel bags and luggage

▪ Jewelry

▪ Surge protectors

▪ Gaming systems

▪ MP3 players

▪ Standalone fax machines

More fine print:

▪ Youth bicycle helmets within the price limits are tax free, but adult helmets are not.

▪ Many items — such as formal wear — qualify if purchased but not if they are rented.

▪ Any item purchased in a theme park, hotel or airport does not qualify.

▪ When it comes to Buy One, Get One Free items, the prices can’t be averaged to qualify. Each individual item has to fall below the required price limit.

▪ The tax-free period begins at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 4 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 6.

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