Last year, back-to-School was a bit of an oddball with many students schooling from home. Now that most schools will return to in-person, this year should have a busy Texas Sales Tax Weekend! It’s your opportunity to save on taxes by paying the exact price for qualified items.
The 2021 tax-free weekend in Texas is August 6 to 8. Anyone can shop and enjoy the tax break on applicable items, not just school-aged kids.
Here are a couple of things to know before you go:
- Stores cannot give out a rain check.
- The tax break doesn’t cover anything that costs $100 or more.
- Keep all of your receipts.
These three tips will help you make the most of shopping tax-free weekend.
- Check the official list of qualifying items
Not all school supplies and clothes will qualify for the tax break. For example, only some types of shoes are exempt. Stores will charge taxes on cleats but tennis shoes are exempt. Cowboy and general-purpose boots are exempt, but not ski boots or overshoes.
You may not think lunch boxes fall under clothes or school supplies, but they qualify. The same goes for pajamas, robes, baby diapers, adult diapers, and slippers.
You can find the official Sales Tax Holiday list at the Texas Comptroller’s webpage. Treat this as your tax-free shopping bible. Other resources reference this list, but not all of them interpret the rules correctly.
You might be surprised by what you find and don’t find on the list. Some sports-related things qualify. Swimsuits, tennis accessories, football jerseys, running shoes, golf shirts, and soccer socks are exempt. But soccer shoes, football pants, and golf shoes are taxable.
- Check store hours
A lot of Texas shopping malls, retailer centers, and stores extend their hours for the Sales Tax weekend. The hours won’t like Black Friday, but you’ll most likely have extra time to shop.
If you like to go shopping as soon as stores open to avoid the largest crowds, you wouldn’t want to arrive only to find out the store opened an hour earlier than usual. Check those hours before you go.
- Make a shopping list
Too often, families go shopping for what they think their kids need only to find out they already had some of the items. And they’re still missing other items.
Don’t use this weekend as an opportunity to try different-sized pants and shoes to confirm current sizes. Instead, confirm current sizes at home before you leave. Make a shopping list complete with the correct sizes. It’ll save you a lot of headaches and duplicates.
Saving on sales tax does not seem like much. However, many stores reduce their prices for the weekend. A $20 item marked down to $18 means a total savings of $3.65. Buy enough items and it’ll add up.
Happy shopping and saving!