Most people without school-age children don’t think about what tax-free weekends can do for them. However, everybody can take advantage of special sales and promotions and reap the benefits of passing on the sales tax.
So, What Does “Tax Free” Really Mean?
Many states and local governments sponsor tax holidays around back-to-school time to help families stock up on clothes and school supplies, including new computers and tablets. During the three days from Friday to Sunday, eligible purchases are partially or entirely sales-tax free.
In general, sales tax is forgiven up to a certain dollar amount per approved item. For instance, a new pair of sneakers may be tax-free as long as it costs $100 or less, while in order to be tax free, individual school supply items may be limited to a cost of $15, and computers are tax free up to $750 per computer.
In many states the sales-tax exemption now extends to sports equipment such as bicycle helmets, in-line skates, weight-lifting belts and swim masks.
The rules for most tax holidays include stipulations for mail order and online shopping, (save your receipts) and can include shipping and handling.
You’re also entitled to the tax exemption on rain checks issued during the tax holiday for out-of-stock items even after the tax-free weekend is over. Shoppers can even put items on layaway or take delivery on layaways as long as they do so during the tax holiday.
Check your state’s Department of Revenue website for more information and comprehensive lists of sales-tax exempt items.
So, It’s OK Even for People with No Kids?
Public sales, back-to-school or not, are open to everyone. Most shoppers won’t have any children in tow, and they don’t have to show any paperwork to prove they have kids.
Tax holidays are great times to stock up on essentials like socks and underpants, t-shirts and office supplies.
However, there are ways to give back.
For example, plan ahead to collect multiples of coupons and other transferrable discounts to use and share. Leave any extras at the sales counter for other shoppers.
And in order to give school kids and their families the first shot, consider shopping later on Saturday and on Sunday.
Help prove that tax holidays work for everyone as well as take advantage of some of the best prices outside Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Is the merch going to be any better if you’ve paid more for it?
Still Feeling Guilt-Ridden?
Consider taking advantage of the tax holiday to donate school supplies and new clothes to a local school or church group. Most schools and churches maintain stores to give to families with more children than money.
Also, many retailers maintain donation boxes during tax holidays to encourage shoppers to give from the heart. Sales and coupons make it easier to donate as well.
For more information on how to save on back-to-school supplies, read “10 Tips for Saving On Back-to-School Shopping” on iRazoo.com.