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Tax Free Weekend Guide: Save Money While Supporting Texas Businesses
Texans can score big savings during Tax-Free Weekend in Texas! Shop for backpacks, shoes, and layaway August 11 -13, 2023.
As tax-paying citizens, it is crucial to be aware of opportunities that can help us save money while supporting local businesses. One such occasion is the annual Tax-Free Weekend in Texas. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the necessary information to make the most of this tax-free event. From eligible items and exemptions to purchasing options and refund requests, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!
What is the Tax Free Weekend in Texas?
The Tax-Free Weekend in Texas is a special event organized by the state government to encourage taxpayers like you to support local businesses. During this period, most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks priced under $100 are exempt from sales tax.
When is the Tax-Free Weekend?
This year’s Tax-Free Weekend in Texas will begin on Friday, August 11, and conclude at midnight on Sunday, August 13. It’s essential to mark these dates on your calendar to make the most of this tax-saving opportunity.
What Items Qualify for Tax Exemption?
Clothing and Footwear
During the Tax-Free Weekend, you can purchase most footwear and clothing items priced under $100 without paying any sales tax. The exemption applies to each eligible item and does not limit the number of qualifying products you can buy. For instance, if you purchase two shirts for $80 each, both shirts qualify for the exemption, even though the total purchase price is $160.
The following items do not qualify for exemption during the Tax-Free Weekend:
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, primarily worn for specific activities, do not qualify for the exemption. However, tennis shoes, jogging suits, and swimsuits can be worn for activities other than athletics and are thus eligible for the exemption.
Other items that do not qualify for exemption during the Tax-Free Weekend include clothing or footwear rentals, alterations and cleaning services, materials used to make or repair clothing, and various accessories such as jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, and watches.
Only specific school supplies priced under $100 qualify for the exemption. Here, an exemption certificate is not required, making it hassle-free to purchase the necessary supplies for the upcoming academic year.
Given the ongoing public health concerns, cloth and disposable fabric face masks are considered articles of clothing and thus exempt from sales tax during the Tax-Free Weekend. However, it is essential to note that industrial or medical-grade masks designed for personal protective equipment are not exempt.
Student backpacks priced under $100, including those with wheels and messenger bags, are exempt from sales tax during the Tax-Free Weekend. You can even buy up to 10 backpacks tax-free without providing an exemption certificate.
Special Scenarios and Considerations for Tax Free Weekend in Texas
During the Tax-Free Weekend, certain scenarios and considerations may arise. It’s important to understand how they affect your shopping experience:
Layaways in Texas
If you already have an item on layaway, you can make the final payment during the Tax-Free Weekend and still enjoy the tax exemption. Additionally, if you choose an item and put it on layaway during the Tax-Free Weekend, it is also eligible for the exemption.
Special Orders and Rain Checks
Even if an item must be special-ordered or is on back order during the Tax-Free Weekend, it still qualifies for the exemption as long as you pay for it during the exempt period. However, if you place a special order or receive a rain check but do not pay for the item until after the Tax-Free Weekend, the item will be taxable.
Online Purchases and Telephone Orders
Purchasing qualifying items during the Tax-Free Weekend is not limited to in-store purchases. You can buy items tax-free through various channels, including online, telephone orders, mail, custom order, or any other means. The key requirement is that the sale must take place during the specified period, regardless of when the item is delivered. Ensure that your payment is processed within the Tax-Free Weekend period to qualify for the tax exemption.
Delivery, Shipping, Handling and Transportation Charges for Texas’ tax free weekend
While clothing, backpacks, and school supplies must be under $100 to qualify for tax exemption, you should consider additional charges when determining the item’s sales price. Charges such as delivery, shipping, handling, and transportation by the seller contribute to the item’s total sales price. For example, if you purchase a pair of jeans for $95 with a $10 delivery charge, making the total price $105, the sales tax applies to the entire $105 amount.
Obtaining a Sales Tax Refund
If, during the Tax-Free Weekend, you inadvertently pay sales tax on qualifying items, it is possible to request a refund. You can approach the seller for a refund of the tax paid. Alternatively, the seller may provide you with Form 00-985, Assignment to Right to Refund, which allows you to file a refund claim directly with the Comptroller’s office.
Sellers: How to Make the Most of the Tax-Free Weekend
If you are a seller participating in the Tax-Free Weekend, here’s what you need to know:
Advertising for Non-Qualifying Items
If you sell items that do not qualify for the tax exemption, you can still attract customers by offering to pay the sales tax. Remember to clearly state in your advertisements or statements that you are paying the sales tax for your customers. However, make sure not to imply or assert that the sale is exempt or excluded from tax.
Mark your Calendar
The Tax-Free Weekend in Texas presents a fantastic opportunity to support local businesses while enjoying tax savings on qualifying clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks. Remember to be mindful of the eligibility criteria and various considerations detailed in this guide. By adhering to the guidelines and understanding the exemptions, you can make the most of this event and maximize your savings.
So mark your calendar for the upcoming Tax-Free Weekend and get ready to shop smart! Help your community thrive while saving money on essential back-to-school and everyday items. Happy tax-free shopping!