Photo courtesy of syracuse.com
The first day of school is nearing quickly. You're probably counting down the days to send the kids off with their new backpacks—the kids, on the other hand, are clinging tightly to their last precious few days of no school or homework.
Still, you might be able to entice your children with some new threads and a cool backpack that you saved some cash on this upcoming tax-free weekend (Aug. 9-11). Here are some tips for your tax-free shopping and a few handy reminders on saving $8.25 for every $100 you spend:
- Clothing and footwear under $100 as well as backpacks under $100 for elementary and secondary students are eligible for the tax exemption. Now, a couple of catches:
- Your sales tax will ONLY be excluded if the item you’re purchasing is under $100. Let’s say you want to buy an adorable pair of jeans—but they’re $103.99—gotta pay for sales tax. On the flip side, if all of your items are individually less than $100 but add up to more than $100, you get to bypass sales tax for each hundred you spend.
- Your sales tax WILL be included if you’re buying an article of clothing “primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use.” Here’s what that means: soccer cleats = sales tax; tennis shoes = no sales tax.
- Your sales tax WILL be included if you’re buying accessories—think jewelry and purses. Unfortunately, they don’t count as clothing. Swimsuits, hats, scarves, ties and belts, however, are tax-free.
And some reminders...
- Shop with a list. Because self-control is hard, and it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. The kids walk up with piles of items in their arms (I know because I did it), ready to throw in the basket, but you’ll be most time- and cost-efficient if you just stick to the list.
- Buy in bulk. Since deals are everywhere, it’s the best time of the year (besides Black Friday, maybe, to buy what you need for the months ahead). I noticed that diapers are tax-exempt—I’d load up on those if I had babies.
- Go early. The early bird gets the worm, right? It works the same way with sales. Retailers are going to be offering special deals in accordance with the tax-free weekend, but you might miss out if you wait until later in the day to stroll into your Targets and shopping malls.
For a more exhaustive list of the clothing items that are tax-exempt this weekend, click here
For an all-inclusive list of qualifying school supplies, click here.