From August 11 – 13, Texas shoppers can save about 8% sales tax on most clothing, footwear, backpacks, and other school supplies priced at $100 or less. As a shopper in Texas, make the most out tax-free shopping by purchasing items in the tax-exempt categories and staying away from those items that are still taxable:
Tax-Free (Under $100)
Dresses, jeans, pajamas, baby clothing and diapers, jogging apparel, shirts, shorts, jackets, sweaters, coats, ponchos, raincoats, and gloves
Accessories like barrettes, wallets, watches, and jewelry, leather goods (aside from leather apparel and belts with buckles), safety clothing, and football/baseball pants
Shoes: sandals, tennis, sneakers, cowboy or hiking boots, and slippers
Baseball cleats, roller blades, skates, and boots for climbing, skiing, or fishing
Socks, hosiery, and underclothes
Buttons, zippers, and handkerchiefs
Hats: fishing, golf, knitted, or baseball
Hard hats or helmets for biking, baseball, hockey, football, or other sports
Backpacks made for elementary and secondary students
Luggage, purses, duffle bags, computer bags, briefcases, and framed backpackes
A few more tips to keep in mind as you head out to the stores:
If you’re planning on using a business account to purchase your tax-free items, make sure you have an exemption certificate to prove you’re shopping for a student
Use this as a chance to shop for more than just back-to-school items, like office supplies and work clothes or work uniforms. I plan to stock up on as many baby diapers as I can afford.
According to the Texas Comptroller’s office, you can use layaway plans to purchase tax-free items, provided you put it on layaway – or make the final payment – during the holiday.
There’s no official word on whether online purchases are eligible for tax exemption, but if Texas is anything like other other states, you can expect online purchases to be exempt … though retailers don’t have to participate in the sales tax holiday.
What About the Other Stuff?
Many essential school supplies didn’t make the list. Anything that costs more than $100 is excluded, which includes laptops, textbooks, smartphones, and electronic readers. However, tax-free savings is about a 6% discount. While that’s nothing to shake a stick at, when you’re shopping for a big-ticket item like a new laptop, you’ll want to save a little bit more.