Texas Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Has Strange List of Exempt Items

Earlier this year, the Texas state legislature voted to create a sales tax holiday that will coincide with the back-to-school time frame. The state has had a back-to-school sales tax holiday each year since 1999.

The Texas State Comptroller announced on Friday that the sales tax holiday will last from August 8 to August 10, 2014. Sales of qualifying items will be exempt from sales taxon items costing up to $100, or the first $100 of the retail cost.

With a state sales tax of 6.25 percent, and local taxes that range up to two percent, shoppers can save as much as 8.25 percent during the sales tax holiday. The Comptroller's Office estimated that shoppers could save an estimated $82.7 million during that period.

The sales tax break includes virtually all traditional school supplies, such as binders, notebooks, crayons, lunch boxes, pens, pencils, glue, books and scissors. Other items exempt from taxes during this period include such miscellaneous things as:

  • Baby and adult diapers
  • Kitchen aprons
  • Socks
  • Baseball hats (but not gloves)
  • Baseball jerseys (but not pants)
  • Belts with attached buckles (but not buckles, or weight lifting belts)
  • Bow ties
  • Bowling shirts (but not bowling shoes)
  • Bras
  • Caps
  • Costumes
  • Coats and most clothes (but not sewing materials)
  • Football jerseys (but not football pads or pants)
  • Golf caps, jackets, shirts and "golf dresses?" (but not golf gloves or shoes)
  • Shoes (but not overshoes, inserts, laces or repairs)

The list of items exempt from sales taxes during the back-to-school shopping holiday does not include any computers, mobile devices or electronics. The sales tax exemption includes items sold in physical retail stores, online, by catalog or by phone.

A complete list of items qualifying for the sales tax holiday is available on the Texas Comptroller website.