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Save money on school supplies, clothes during Tax-Free Weekend

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During this annual sales tax holiday, you can buy most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100) tax free from a Texas store or from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas. In most cases, you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy qualifying items tax free.

This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 10, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 12.

The sales tax exemption applies only to qualifying items you buy during the sales tax holiday. Items you buy before or after the sales tax holiday do not qualify for exemption, and there is no tax refund available.

Clothing, Footwear and Other Items – Qualifying and Nonqualifying Items

The items on this list that qualify for exemption from tax during the sales tax holiday must be priced under $100. Items that do not qualify for exemption are also included.

(T) = Taxable; (E) = Exempt

  • Accessories (generally) (T)
    • Barrettes (T)
    • Belt buckles (sold separately) (T)
    • Bobby pins (T)
    • Briefcases (T)
    • Elastic ponytail holders (T)
    • Hair bows (T)
    • Hair clips (T)
    • Handbags (T)
    • Handkerchiefs (T)
    • Headbands (T)
    • Jewelry (T)
    • Key cases (T)
    • Purses (T)
    • Wallets (T)
    • Watch bands (T)
    • Watches (T)
  • Adult diapers (E)
  • Alterations (T)
  • Aprons (household) (E)
  • Aprons (welders) (T)
  • Athletic socks (E)
  • Baby bibs (E)
  • Baby clothes (E)
  • Baby diapers (cloth or disposable) (E)
  • Backpacks (unless for use by elementary/secondary students) (T)
  • Baseball accessories
    • Baseball caps (E)
    • Baseball cleats (T)
    • Baseball gloves (T)
    • Baseball jerseys (E)
    • Baseball pants (T)
  • Bathing caps (T)
  • Belt buckles (T)
  • Belts with attached buckles (E)
  • Belts for weight lifting (T)
  • Bicycle shoes (cleated) (T)
  • Blouses (E)
  • Boots (general purpose) (E)
    • Climbing (cleated or spiked) (T)
    • Cowboy (E)
    • Fishing (waders) (T)
    • Hiking (E)
    • Overshoes and galoshes (T)
    • Rubber work boots (T)
    • Ski (T)
    • Waders (T)
  • Bow ties (E)
  • Bowling shirts (E)
  • Bowling shoes (rented and sold) (T)
  • Bras (E)
  • Buttons and zippers (T)
  • Camp clothes (E)
  • Caps (baseball, fishing, golf) (E)
  • Chef uniforms (E)
  • Children’s novelty costumes (E)
  • Chest protectors (T)
  • Clerical vestments (E)
  • Cloth and lace, knitting yarns, and other fabrics (T)
  • Clothing repair items, such as thread, buttons, tapes, and iron-on patches (T)
  • Coats and wraps (E)
  • Corsages and boutonnieres (T)
  • Coveralls (E)
  • Diapers (cloth and disposable) (E)
  • Dresses (E)
  • Dry cleaning services (T)
  • Earmuffs
    • Cold weather (E)
    • Noise cancellation or noise cancelling (T)
  • Elbow pads (T)
  • Embroidery (T)
  • Employee uniforms (unless rented) (E)
  • Fabrics, thread, buttons, lace, patterns, knitting yarns (T)
  • Fins (swim) (T)
  • Fishing boots (waders) (T)
  • Fishing caps (E)
  • Fishing vests (non-flotation) (E)
  • Football accessories
    • Football jerseys (E)
    • Football pads (T)
    • Football pants (T)
  • Gloves (generally) (E)
    • Baseball (T)
    • Batting (T)
    • Bicycle (T)
    • Dress (unless rented) (E)
    • Garden (T)
    • Golf (T)
    • Hockey (T)
    • Leather (E)
    • Rubber (T)
    • Surgical (T)
    • Tennis (T)
    • Work (T)
  • Goggles (T)
  • Golf accessories
    • Golf caps (E)
    • Golf dresses (E)
    • Golf gloves (T)
    • Golf jackets and windbreakers (E)
    • Golf shirts (E)
    • Golf skirts (E)
    • Golf purses (T)
    • Golf shoes (T)
  • Graduation caps and gowns (E)
  • Gym suits and uniforms (E)
  • Hair nets, bows, clips, and barrettes (T)
  • Handbags and purses (T)
  • Handkerchiefs (T)
  • Hard hats (T)
  • Hats (E)
  • Headbands (T)
  • Helmets (bike, baseball, football, hockey, motorcycle, sports) (T)
  • Hockey gloves (T)
  • Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts (E)
  • Hosiery, including support hosiery (E)
  • Hunting vests (E)
  • Ice skates (T)
  • Insoles (T)
  • Jackets (E)
  • Jeans (E)
  • Jewelry (T)
  • Jogging apparel (E)
  • Knee pads (T)
  • Knitted caps or hats (E)
  • Laundering services (T)
  • Leg warmers (E)
  • Leotards and tights (E)
  • Life jackets and vests (T)
  • Luggage (T)
  • Mask, costume (E)
  • Mask, protective - welder, umpire, swim (T)
  • Monogramming services (T)
  • Neckwear and ties (E)
  • Nightgowns and nightshirts (E)
  • Overshoes and rubber shoes (T)
  • Pads (football, hockey, soccer, elbow, knee, shoulder) (T)
  • Paint or dust respirators and incidental supplies (T)
  • Painter pants (E)
  • Pajamas (E)
  • Pants (E)
  • Panty hose (E)
  • Patterns (T)
  • Personal flotation devices (T)
  • Pocket squares (T)
  • Protective gloves (T)
  • Protective masks (T)
  • Raincoats and ponchos (E)
  • Rain hats (E)
  • Religious clothing (E)
  • Rented clothing (including uniforms, formal wear, and costumes) (T)
  • Repair of clothing or footwear (T)
  • Ribbons (T)
  • Robes (E)
  • Roller blades (T)
  • Roller skates (T)
  • Safety accessories
    • Safety clothing (normally worn in hazardous occupations) (T)
    • Safety glasses (except prescription) (T)
    • Safety shoes (adaptable for street wear) (E)
    • Safety shoes (not adaptable for street wear) (T)
  • Scarves (E)
  • Scout uniforms (E)
  • Sewing patterns (T)
  • Shawls and wraps (E)
  • Shin guards and padding (T)
  • Shirts (E)
  • Shirts (hooded) (E)
  • Shoe inserts (T)
  • Shoelaces (T)
  • Shoes (generally) (E)
    • Ballet (T)
    • Baseball cleats (T)
    • Bicycle (cleated) (T)
    • Boat (E)
    • Bowling (T)
    • Cleated or spiked (T)
    • Cross trainers (E)
    • Dress (E)
    • Fishing boots (waders) (T)
    • Flip-flops (rubber thongs) (E)
    • Football (T)
    • Golf (T)
    • Jazz and dance (T)
    • Jellies (E)
    • Overshoes (T)
    • Running (without cleats) (E)
    • Safety (suitable for everyday use) (E)
    • Sandals (E)
    • Slippers (E)
    • Sneakers and tennis (E)
    • Soccer (cleated) (T)
    • Spiked or cleated (T)
    • Tap dance (T)
    • Tennis (E)
    • Track and cleats (T)
    • Wading/water sport (T)
    • Walking (E)
  • Shoe shines (T)
  • Shoe repairs (T)
  • Shoulder pads (for dresses, jackets, etc.) (T)
  • Shoulder pads (football, hockey, sports) (T)
  • Shorts (E)
  • Shower caps (T)
  • Skates (ice and roller) (T)
  • Ski boots (snow) (T)
  • Ski suits (snow) (T)
  • Ski vests (water) (T)
  • Skirts (E)
  • Sleepwear, nightgowns, pajamas (E)
  • Slippers (E)
  • Slips (E)
  • Soccer socks (E)
  • Socks (E)
  • Sports helmets (T)
  • Sports pads (football, hockey, soccer, knee, elbow, shoulder) (T)
  • Suits, slacks, and jackets (E)
  • Sunglasses (except prescription) (T)
  • Support hosiery (E)
  • Suspenders (E)
  • Sweatbands (arm, wrist, head) (T)
  • Sweatshirts (E)
  • Sweat suits (E)
  • Sweaters (E)
  • Swimming masks and goggles (T)
  • Swimsuits (E)
  • Tennis accessories
    • Tennis dresses (E)
    • Tennis shorts (E)
    • Tennis shoes (E)
    • Tennis skirts (E)
  • Ties (neckties - all) (E)
  • Tights (E)
  • Track shoes and cleats (T)
  • Trousers (E)
  • Umbrellas (T)
  • Underclothes (E)
  • Underpants (E)
  • Undershirts (E)
  • Uniforms (school, work, nurse, waitress, military, postal, police, fire) (E)
  • Veils (E)
  • Vests (generally) (E)
    • Bulletproof (T)
    • Fishing (non-flotation) (E)
    • Flotation (T)
    • Hunting (E)
    • Scuba (T)
    • Water-ski (T)
  • Wallets (T)
  • Watch bands (T)
  • Watches (T)
  • Water ski vests (T)
  • Weight lifting belts (T)
  • Wet and dry suits (T)
  • Work clothes (E)
  • Work uniforms (E)
  • Workout clothes (E)
  • Wrist bands (T)

School Supplies

Only the school supplies on this list priced under $100 qualify for exemption from tax during the sales tax holiday.

  • 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*
  • 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

* 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.

Clothing and Footwear - Qualifying Items

During the sales tax holiday, you can buy most footwear and clothing (sold for less than $100) tax free. You do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate.

The exemption applies to each eligible item sold for less than $100, and there is no limit to the number of qualifying items you can buy.

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.

Items that Do Not Qualify

The following items do not qualify for exemption during the sales tax holiday:

  • items sold for $100 or more
  • clothing subscription boxes
  • specially-designed athletic activity or protective-use clothing or footwear
    • For example, golf cleats and football pads are usually worn only when people play golf or football, so they do not qualify for the exemption.
    • Tennis shoes, jogging suits and swimsuits, however, can be worn for other than athletic activity and qualify for the exemption.
  • clothing or footwear rentals, alterations (including embroidery) and cleaning services
  • items used to make or repair clothing, such as fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, snaps, hooks and zippers
  • jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and other accessories
  • computers
  • software
  • textbooks

Backpacks

During the sales tax holiday, student backpacks sold for less than $100 are exempt from tax.

The exemption includes backpacks with wheels and messenger bags. You can buy up to 10 backpacks tax free at one time without giving an exemption certificate to the seller.

Items that Do Not Qualify

The following items do not qualify for this exemption:

  • framed backpacks
  • luggage
  • briefcases
  • athletic, duffle or gym bags
  • computer bags
  • purses

School Supplies

Only specific school supplies sold for less than $100 qualify for the exemption, and an exemption certificate is not required.

Special Purchases 

School Supplies Purchased Using a Business Account – Exemption Certificate Required

If you buy qualifying school supplies under a business account, you must give a properly completed Form 01-339, Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate, to the seller.

"Under a business account" means you are:

  • using a business credit card or business check and not a personal credit card or personal check;
  • being billed under a business account maintained by the seller; or
  • using a business membership at a membership-based retailer.

Layaways

During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying items tax free when you:

  • make the final payment on an item already on layaway; or
  • choose an item and place it on layaway

Special Orders and Rain Checks 

During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying items tax free, even if the items have to be ordered.

For example, if you pay for an $80 shirt that must be special-ordered or is on back order, and you pick up the shirt after the sales tax holiday, then it still qualifies for the exemption.

If you buy the qualifying item after the sales tax holiday, a special order made or rain check given during the sales tax holiday does not qualify the item for exemption.

For example, if you place a special order (or receive a rain check) to buy a $50 shirt and did not pay for the shirt during the sales tax holiday, then the shirt is taxable.

Additional Charges Affect the Sales Price

Delivery, Shipping, Handling and Transportation Charges

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges by the seller are part of the item’s sales price.

Since clothing, backpacks and school supplies have to be less than $100, you have to look at the item’s total sales price to determine if you can buy it tax free.

For example, you buy a pair of jeans for $95 with a $10 delivery charge for a total price of $105. Because the jeans’ total price is not less than $100, tax is due on the entire $105 price.

If a delivery charge is billed per item, and an invoice has both exempt and taxable items, only the qualifying exempt item’s delivery charge is exempt.

If the delivery charge is a flat rate per package, and the amount charged is the same regardless of how many items are included in the package, the total charge can be attributed to any one of the items in the package.

Sellers – What You Need to Know

Advertising for Non-Qualifying Items

If you sell items that do not qualify for the sales tax holiday exemption, you cannot advertise that you will pay the sales tax for your customers.

You can, however, advertise that tax is included in the sales price of the taxable items you sell.

Reporting Tax

If you sold qualifying items tax free during the sales tax holiday, only include these tax-free sales in Total Sales (Item 1) of your sales tax return. Do not include your tax-free sales in Taxable Sales (Item 2).

Be aware, if you sold qualifying exempt items and collected sales tax, then you must remit it to our office.

Reporting Exempt Sales – Example

During the sales tax holiday, your store sold a shirt for $50 and did not collect tax on the shirt. The shirt qualifies as a tax-free item, so tax is not due.

On your sales tax return, you must include the $50 in Total Sales (Item 1).

Reporting Taxable and Exempt Sales – Example

During the sales tax holiday, you sold 10 $20 shirts ($200) and 10 $5 wallets ($50).

On your sales tax return, you must enter $250 in Total Sales (Item1), the amount of all sales made during your reporting period and enter the $50 for the wallets in the Taxable Sales column (Item 2) because the wallets are not exempt.

Reporting Tax Included Sales – Example

Your store advertises that 8.25 percent sales tax is included in the price of clothing over $100. Your store sold 10 $50 ($500) shirts and 10 $150 suits ($1500, tax included).

Total Sales (Item 1)

When computing sales tax on your return, “back out” the tax before computing the Total Sales amount.

To do this, take the total amount of sales in which tax was included ($1500) and divide that amount by one plus the tax rate ($1500/1.0825 = $1385.68).

The difference between the $1500 and the $1385.68 is the tax of $114.32 included in the charge to the customer.

You must include $1385.68 in Total Sales (Item 1) for the taxable suits and add this amount to the $500 for the tax-free shirts for a total of $1885.68. Report this amount in Item 1.

Taxable Sales (Item 2)

Report $1385.68 in Item 2. Send the $114.32 with your sales tax return.

Reporting Discounts – Examples

Your store offers an 8.25 percent discount on the price of all clothing.

A shirt, which regularly sells for $100, is now $91.75 (qualifying for the exemption) and no tax is due. You should include the $91.75 in Total Sales (Item 1).

A shirt, which regularly sells for $200, is now $183.50 and is taxable. The customer pays $198.64 (sales price and tax). You must report $183.50 in Total Sales (Item 1) and Taxable Sales (Item 2), and send the $15.14 in tax with your sales tax return.

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