Save money on school supplies, face masks, clothing this weekend

Sun Englewood | by ELAINE ALLEN-EMRICH | Aug. 5, 2020

Parents and teachers, the 2020 Back-to-School sales tax holiday is Friday through Sunday.

Here’s a breakdown of what the three-day tax holiday means for shoppers.

What happens during the sales tax holiday?

During this sales tax holiday period, there is no state or local sales tax collected on any article of clothing or other items, including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs and diaper bags, and some electronic equipment with a selling price of $60 or less per item from Aug. 7-9. Also included this year are some safety equipment items like protective masks, which are included under “clothing.”

When students go back to school will they have to wear face masks?

“Yes,” says Mike Riley, spokesperson for the Charlotte County School District. “Students will not be asked to wear long sleeves or gloves, but they will be asked to wear masks throughout the school day and on the buses.”

Same is true in Sarasota County Schools, which approved a face-covering rule on Tuesday afternoon. “The schools will have face coverings for students to use, but families are encouraged to have supplies of their own in reserve,” wrote Kelsey Whealy, Sarasota County School Board spokesperson in an email to the Sun Tuesday

What’s not covered?

There are some noteworthy exceptions, of what is not covered this year including computers and accessories for businesses, rentals or leases of eligible items, repairs or alterations of clothing, sales of any eligible item in a theme park, entertainment complex or airport.

Are athletic items such as baseball gloves tax-exempt?

No, most athletic items such as baseball gloves, football shoulder pads, or soccer knee guards are not tax-exempt during the tax holiday.

Is there a limit on the number of qualifying items I can purchase?

No. The exemption is based on the sales price of each item.

What about gift cards?

Gift cards are not taxable. If you buy an eligible item during the sales tax holiday using a gift card, it will qualify for the exemption, regardless of when the gift card was purchased.

What about buy-one-get-one-free deals?

The total price of items advertised as “buy-one, get-one-free,” or “buy-one, get-one-for-a-reduced-price,” cannot be averaged for both items to qualify for the exemption.

Exchanging a purchase after the sales tax holiday period

When a customer purchases an eligible item, then later exchanges the item for the same item, no tax will be due even if the exchange is made after the sales tax holiday period. When a customer purchases an eligible item during the sales tax holiday period, then later returns the item and receives credit on the purchase of a different item, the new item purchased is subject to sales tax.

What about online ordering?

“Mail-order, catalog, or online sales eligible items are exempt when the order is accepted by the company during the sales tax holiday period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the sales tax holiday period.”

If I buy a package or set of items that contains both taxable items and items, is the package or set exempt during the holiday period?

No. Qualifying items that are tax exempt must be sold as separate items during the sales tax holiday period to qualify for the exemption. If a qualifying item is sold in a package or set with a non-qualifying taxable item, the purchase is subject to sales tax.

Where can I find a complete list of sale items for the tax holiday?

Go to

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