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2023 Back

Apr 09, 2024Apr 09, 2024

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. This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 11, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 13.

“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.

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.

More information can be obtained by visiting the Texas Comptroller’s Website.

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

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:

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:

Supplies that are NOT exempt this weekend include:

clothing items priced under $100 that qualify for the tax exemptionlothing, footwear and other wearable items specifically listed because they DO NOT qualify for the tax exemptionschool supplies that ARE on the tax-exempt list Supplies that are NOT exempt this weekend