Back-to-School shopping during Tennessee tax holiday

Back To School

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — There’s still time to get in that last-minute back-to-school shopping and from midnight Friday, July 30 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 1 you can do that shopping tax-free.

The holiday focuses on clothing, school supplies and computers. The items are subject to price limits. Clothing and school supplies must be under $100 each and computers are restricted to less than $1,500.

Although the Tax-Free Holiday is open to everyone, it is traditionally geared toward back-to-school shopping.

“The benefit sort of the timing of it, the last weekend in July so a lot of schools start at the beginning of August,” said Kelly Cortesi, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Dept. of Revenue.

Cortesi said the timing allows families to get their kids ready for the school year without breaking the bank.

“It’s an opportunity to save a little bit of money, depending on where you live it can be almost a 10% savings on clothing, on back to school items,” said Cortesi. “That’s the idea, is to put some money back in people’s pockets, help them with their budgets. Help them sort of stock up on those things they’re going to need for the year, every year.”

However, there are items that are included that parents may overlook. Diapers, bibs and baby clothing all fall under the clothing category and can be bought tax-free.

There are plenty of items that are not exempt during the weekend. Items like shoes cannot be separated to stay below the $100 limit. For electronics, the computers themselves are covered, but accessories for those computers are not.

“You know when you buy a computer, sometimes when you buy a computer you’ll buy other accessories and it’s just the computer that is tax-exempt. So printers wouldn’t be covered, paper, ink, those sort of things,” said Cortesi.

For a full list of what is covered, click here.

Another tax holiday is running in conjunction and that is for food, food ingredients and prepared food. Caretakers can use this holiday as a time to stock up on lunchbox items for school.

A food item qualifies as prepared food if it is sold in a heated state or heated by the seller, contains two or more mixed ingredients, and is sold with eating utensils provided by the vendor.

Prepared food does not include food that is only cut, repackaged or pasteurized by the seller. Food and food ingredients do not include alcoholic beverages, tobacco, candy, dietary supplements, or prepared food.

The food tax-free holiday runs from midnight Friday, July 30 to 11:59 p.m. Thursday, August 5.

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