Tax-free weekend is fast approaching. We know you’ll be too busy making your list and checking it twice to scroll through the fine print, so we’ve gathered a few basic facts you should know about tax-free weekend in Texas.
In 2015, tax-free weekend is August 7–9.
Anyone making a physical purchase in the state of Texas is eligible for the exemption. Out-of-state shoppers can cash in on the joys of tax-free weekend if they make purchases within our borders.
Tax-free weekend is mandated by state law, so all retailers in Texas should provide exemption on the qualifying items. The law also applies to online shopping if the seller is “engaged in business in Texas” – that is, if the seller maintains some physical presence in Texas, not just an Internet connection (click here for more information). If a store or online retailer does not comply, or if you believe you have been charged incorrectly, you can take steps to receive a refund.
The exemption only applies to items that are priced below $100, including shipping/delivery fees. This number refers to an individual item; for example, if the total cost of a group of items exceeds $100, but every item is priced below $100, then the exemption applies.
Clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies are the broad categories that qualify for the exemption.
For clothing and footwear, the exemption only applies to items that are for general use; for example, sneakers would be exempt but soccer cleats would be taxable. (You'll be glad to know that cowboy boots are exempt.) Accessories are generally taxable. Click here for a complete list of clothing, footwear and accessories that are and aren’t exempt.
Backpacks are exempt if they are intended for use by elementary and secondary students and are not defined as luggage, athletic gear or another specialized function. Rolling backpacks (as long as they can also be worn on the back) and messenger bags are exempt, but computer bags and purses are taxable.
Most school supplies are exempt, though textbooks and computers are (sadly) not. Click here for a comprehensive list of qualifying items.
The exemption does not apply to rental items except backpacks and school supplies. Layaway items qualify if you place the items on layaway this weekend or make the final payment on any layaway items this weekend.
For more information about tax-free weekend in Texas, visit the state website, where you’ll find lists, FAQs and, if you’re brave, excerpts from the tax code.