Tax free weekend
Beginning midnight on August 4, through 11:59 p.m. August 6, Florida will enjoy a back-to-school sales tax holiday. From Friday through Sunday, tax is exempt from shoes, clothes, some electronics and school supplies.
“Florida legislators were a bit more generous this year by increasing some of the amounts per item,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent home insurance agency.
However, this benefit is not only for students. Anyone buying clothes, shoes, office supplies and computers this weekend can get in on the savings. The National Retail Federation expects back-to-school shopping to hit an all-time high this year. The sales tax discount also applies to eligible items ordered online at places such as, Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com.
The Florida Department of Revenue provides the details on what exactly is tax exempt.
Tax free school supplies include; pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook paper, binders, legal pads, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition notebooks, scissors, cellophane tape, glue, paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses and calculator. School supplies must cost $15 or less per item. There is no limit on the number of items purchased.
Clothing, shoes and certain accessories costing $60 or less per item will not be taxed. Again, there is no limit on the number of items you can buy in this category. The clothing category is broad and is defined as, “apparel worn on or about the human body.” This includes items such as; athletic clothes and uniforms, baby clothes, bathing suits, youth only bike helmets, orthopedic items, choir robes, undergarments, costumes, formal clothing, suits, rain coats, sleepwear, shoes, boots, slippers, cleats, ties and more. Tax free accessories include; wallets, bags, back packs, purses, hats, gloves, hair accessories, scarves, belts and more.
Keep in mind, what is and is not taxable can be hard to determine if you are looking for something in particular. For instance, a snow ski suit is tax exempt but not ski boots. A fishing vest in tax exempt, but not fishing waders. Other items that are not tax exempt include, make-up bags, duffel bags, jewelry, watches and athletic gloves.
Computers and Accessories
Personal computers and certain computer accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use are tax free. Each item must cost less than $750. Items include; laptop, desk top, tablets, ebook readers, hard drives, headphones, keyboards, modems, scanners, printers, printer cartridges, routers, software, web cameras and more. Video game consoles and cell phones are not included.
Retailers are competitive during this busy shopping weekend, so take advantage of the deals.