By David Jenkins
The start of the 2015-’16 school year is a little over a month away.
For those who haven’t stocked up on back-to-school essentials, the Tax Free Holiday is scheduled for Aug. 7-9.
According to information from the Texas Comptrollers website, as in past years, the law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 for sales and use tax.
This discount could possibly save shoppers about $8 on every $100 spent.
This year, shoppers will save an estimated $87 million in state and local sales taxes during the sales tax holiday.
The tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999.
Below is a breakdown of the fine print for the three-day event.
Clothing and footwear
The exemption doesn’t extend to rental of clothing or footwear.
Nor does it apply to alteration (including embroidery) or cleaning services performed on clothes and shoes.
Additionally, tax is due on sales of accessories, including jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and similar items.
Those items priced under $100 that are sold for use by elementary and secondary students are exempt during the sales tax holiday.
The exemption includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack and messenger bags.
The exemption doesn’t include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic-duffle-gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks.
Ten or fewer backpacks can be purchased tax-free at one time without providing an exemption certificate to the seller.
Texas families also get a sales tax break on most school supplies priced at less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.
A sale of a qualifying item under a layaway plan qualifies for exemption if the customer places the qualifying merchandise on layaway during the holiday or makes the final payment during the holiday.
Eligible items that customers purchase during the holiday with use of a rain check qualify for the exemption regardless of when the rain check was issued.
However, issuance of a rain check by a seller during the holiday period will not qualify an eligible item for the exemption if the item is actually purchased after the holiday is over even if the rain check is presented at the time of purchase.
Qualifying school supplies
Binders, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, blackboard chalk, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila), Glue, paste, glue sticks, highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers (including dry erase markers), notebooks, paper, pencil boxes (other supply boxes), pencil sharpeners, pencils, protractors, rulers, scissors and writing tablets.