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2022 Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Observed Aug. 5-7

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Sales Tax Waived On Qualifying School Supplies, Clothes, Shoes and Student Backpacks Priced Under $100 This Weekend in Texas

If you’re planning to buy school clothes or supplies, waiting until this weekend to do so could prove monetarily advantageous as this weekend is the annual sales tax holiday in Texas.

State law exempts sales tax on qualified items — such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks — priced below $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. The Comptroller’s office estimates that shoppers will save $112 million in state and local sales tax during this sales tax holiday.

Texas Sales Tax Holiday

 “With inflation driving prices higher on just about everything, this sales tax holiday provides Texas families some small relief managing the costs associated with kids heading back to the classroom. As the father of three school-aged children myself, I know how these expenses can add up,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said of the upcoming sales tax holiday.

First enacted in 1999, the back-to-school sales tax holiday allows Texas shoppers (any shopper making a qualifying purchase in Texas) to save money during one weekend by waiving sales tax on qualifying school supplies, clothes, shoes and student backpacks priced under $100. The dates of the sales tax holiday and list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature.

This year, the Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday, Aug. 7 and continues through Sunday, Aug. 7. This is good for qualifying Texas purchases in-store, online, by phone, mail or custom order provided the qualifying purchase is paid for Aug. 5-7, 2022. Qualifying purchases may be paid in cash, check, card or electronic transfer to a Texas business. Those ordering items that have to be shipped, should keep in mind that the shipping fees count toward the overall cost, which has to be less than $100, and the tax exemption only applies to qualifying items bought in Texas. Date of shipping doesn’t count so long as the purchase is processed during the tax free holiday weekend.

For example, if a purchaser enters their credit card information in an online shopping website on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, at 5 p.m. to purchase qualifying school supplies, but the school supplies will not be shipped until Friday, Aug. 12, and will not arrive until Tuesday, Aug. 16, the purchase still qualifies for the exemption. However, if the charge to the credit card is declined by the payment processor at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, and the purchaser does not resubmit payment until Monday, Aug. 8, the purchase is taxable.

If qualifying items are purchased Aug. 5-7 as a rain check, put on layaway or a final payment on a layaway, payment at that time would be tax exempt as well, regardless of when the items is shipped, arrives in stock, it should be tax free, according to Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

So what items under $100 are tax free during the holiday? Most footwear and clothing sold for less than $100. The exemption applies to each eligible item sold for less than $100, and there is no limit to the number of qualifying items that may be bought at one time.

For example, if you buy two shirts for $80 each, each shirt qualifies for the exemption because each is less than $100, even though the total purchase price is $160.

Cloth and disposable fabric face masks meet the definition of an article of clothing and are exempt from sales tax during the upcoming Sales Tax Holiday. However, industrial or medical grade masks (N95 or other masks designed as personal protective equipment) or other similar personal protection equipment are not exempt during the sales tax holiday. If a cloth or disposable fabric face mask is sold with a filter, the mask is exempt during the holiday; however, replacement filters are taxable.

Additional clothing items priced under $100 that qualify for the tax exemption include:

  • Household aprons
  • Baby Bibs
  • Baby Clothes
  • Belts with attached Buckles
  • Blouses and Shirts: Hooded Shirts and Sweatshirts, Jerseys (baseball, football, etc.), Bowling Shirts, Sweaters
  • Boots: General Purpose, Cowboy and Hiking
  • Bow Ties, Neckwear, Ties, Scarfs, Shawls, Wraps
  • Camp Clothes
  • Caps (baseball, fishing, golf, knitted)
  • Chef Uniforms
  • Children’s Novelty Costumes
  • Clerical Vestments
  • Coats and Wraps
  • Coveralls
  • Diapers (adult and baby/cloth and disposable,)
  • Dresses and Skirts (including golf dresses and tennis skirts)
  • Cold Weather Earmuffs
  • Gloves (general, dress, leather)
  • Jackets, Windbreakers, Coats, Wraps,
  • Graduation caps and gowns
  • Gym Suits and Uniforms, Workout clothes
  • Hats (including knitted)
  • Hooded shirts and sweatshirts
  • Hosiery (including support hosiery) and Panty Hose
  • Hunting Vests
  • Jeans, Pants and Shorts: Jogging Pants and Apparel, Painter Pants, Slacks, Tennis Shorts, Trousers
  • Leg Warmers
  • Masks: costume, cloth and disposable fabric face masks
  • Nightgowns, Nightshirts, Pajamas, Sleepwear
  • Raincoats, Ponchos and Rain Hats
  • Religious Clothes, Clerical Vestments
  • Robes
  • Scout Uniforms
  • Suits, Slacks, jackets
  • Shoes: General, Boat shoes, dress shoes, jellies, running shoes without cleats, safety shoes suitable for everyday wear, sandals, slippers, sneakers and tennis shoes, walking shoes, cross trainers, flip-flogs (rubber thongs),
  • Socks: athletic, soccer
  • Suspenders
  • Under Garments: Bras, Slips, Tights, Underpants, Underclothes, Undershirts, Leotards, Tights
  • Uniforms: School, Work, Nurse, Waitress, Military, Postal, Police, Fire, work clothes and uniforms (unless rented)
  • Vests: General, Non-Flotation Fishing, Hunting

Clothing items that do not qualify for the tax exemption include clothing subscription boxes; specially-designed athletic activity or protective-use clothing or footwear, clothing or footwear rentals; alterations (including embroidery) and cleaning services; and items used to make or repair clothing, such as fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, snaps, hooks and zippers.

Among the clothing, footwear and other wearable items specifically listed because they DO NOT qualify for the tax exemption are:

  • Bathing Caps
  • Baseball, Sports and Athletic Accessories Accessories and Gear: Cleats, Padding and Pads (knee, elbow, football, shoulder, hockey, soccer), Gloves, Pants, Swim Fins, Football Pants, Sports Helmets (including bike and motorcycle), Golf Purses, Shin Guards
  • Belt Buckles, Belts For Weight Lifting
  • Cloth, Lace, Knitting Yarn, Fabrics, Zippers, Snaps, Hooks, Buttons, Thread, Iron-On Patches, Patterns, Embroidery, Tapes, Shoulder Pads (for dresses, jackets, etc.) or other items used to make or repair clothing.
  • Corsages, Boutonnieres
  • Dry Cleaning Services
  • Ear Muffs: Noise Cancellation or Noise Cancelling
  • Gloves: baseball, batting, bicycle, garden, golf, hockey, rubber, surgical, tennis, work
  • Hair Accessories: Barrettes, Bobby Pins, Elastic Ponytail Holders, Hair Bows, Hair Clips, Headbands, Head Nets, Ribbons,
  • Handkerchiefs, Pocket Squares
  • Ice Skates, Roller Skates, Roller Blades
  • Life Jackets and Vests, Personal Flotation Devices, Wet and Dry Suits
  • Masks: N95, Welder, Umpire, Swim or Other similar Personal Protective Equipment, Swimming Masks and Goggles,
  • Monogramming Services
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Safety Accessories: Chest Protectors, Goggles, Hard Hats, Paint or Dust Respirators and Incidental Supplies, Gloves, Safety Clothing (worn in hazardous occupations), Safety Glasses, Safety Shoes (not adaptable for street wear), bulletproof vests,
  • Rented Clothing (including uniforms, formal wear, costumes)
  • Repair of Clothing or Footwear, including shoe shines
  • Shoes and Boots: Ballet, Baseball Cleats, Cleated Bicycle Shoes, Cleated or Spiked, Climbing Boots, Rubber Work Boots, Ski Boots, Fishing Boots and Waders, Bowling Shoes (rented or sold), Golf Shoes, Overshoes and Galoshes, Football Shoes, Golf Shoes, Jazz and Dance Shoes, Tap/Dance Shoes, Track Cleats,
  • Shoe Accessories or Repairs: Insoles, Inserts, Shoelace
  • Sunglasses (except prescription)
  • Umbrellas
  • Vests: Bulletproof, Flotation, Scuba, Water-ski
  • Watches, Watch Bands, Wallets, Purses,
  • Wristbands

Similarly, student backpacks sold for less than $100 each are tax exempt, but that does not extend to luggage. Backpacks with wheels and messenger bags are included among the exempt items, in fact, up to 10 backpacks can be purchased tax free at one time during the sales tax-free weekend (without providing a completed exemption certificate). The tax statute specifically lists among the items that do not qualify for tax exemption this weekend: framed backpacks, luggage, briefcases, athletic bags, gym bags, duffle bags, computer bags, purses.

Also on the list of items people will be required to pay tax on regardless of the ticket price this weekend are jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, other accessories.

Among the school supplies that ARE on the tax-exempt list include:

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders – expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Kits ** (For kits of school supplies that contain exempt items, as well as taxable ones, the taxability depends on the value of exempt or taxable items in it. There is no limit on the quantity of school supplies in a kit, but if the value of the exempt items is more than the taxable ones, the kit is exempt. If the value of the taxable items is more than the exempt ones, then the kit is taxable).
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers)
  • Notebooks
  • Paper – loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets

Supplies that are NOT exempt this weekend include:

  • computers
  • software
  • textbooks.

Author: Faith Huffman

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