Back-to-school season is always a hectic time for parents scrambling to find all the necessary classroom supplies for their children.

This year, Florida’s annual back-to-school sale’s tax holiday will provide plenty of time for overwhelmed parents to shop for school supplies. It’s been expanded to 10 days, taking place from Saturday, July 31 through Monday, August 9.

For this period, folks skip the 6 per cent sales tax on qualifying items. That’s good news for parents looking to save a few bucks on tech, books, clothing, and more.

According to the Florida Department of Revenue, items that qualify for the sales tax exemption are most school supplies that sell for $15.00 or less, clothing, footwear, and accessories that sell for $60.00 or less, and the first $1,000.00 of the sales price of a computer or computer accessories.

However, not all classroom and back-to-school items are subject to the exemption. Some things are considered “vanity items” and still cost full price.

We’ll take you through what’s exempt and what’s not during this annual tax holiday!

Clothing & Footwear

Kids of all ages are constantly growing, and that means they’re always in need of new clothing and footwear. Lucky for parents, they can save a bundle on a new wardrobe for the whole family during this 10-day holiday.

So what qualifies for the tax exemption?

Well, almost everything you can think of — at $60.00 or less per item, that is. From belts, boots, and barrettes, to men’s and women’s underwear, athletic wear, baby clothes, formal wear, and more.

And although the summer season is almost at its end, you can take this opportunity to stock up on swimwear, as bathing suits, caps, trunks, and cover-ups are also exempt for this period.

If you’re running low on baby supplies, or you’re expecting, you’re in luck — baby clothes, bibs, diapers, and diaper bags are exempt from the six per cent tax as well!

Although there are many clothing and footwear items that are tax exempt during the holiday, there are also many that aren’t.

Accessories such as jewelery, watches, and keychains will still be subject to tax. So will some miscellaneous athletic gear such as duffel bags, roller skates, athletic pads, baseball, batting, and bicycle gloves, and ice skates.

For a full list of exempt and non-exempt clothing items, read the Florida Revenue Tax Information Publication.

Classroom Supplies

Every year, the school will send a list home with things to buy for the new school year. Of course, it follows that as your child progresses through grade levels, the list becomes longer. And the more children you have, the more long lists you have to shop from!

Well, the back-to-school sales tax holiday might ease your stress a little. For 10 days, you can skip the sales tax on school supplies priced $15.00 or less per item.

That includes staples such as binders, pens and pencils, markers and highlighters, erasers, notebooks, and lined paper. Essential tools like rulers, calculators, and protractors are also exempt, so your children can be as prepared as possible for the next step in their education.

Is your child anticipating a big school project coming up? Not to worry! You can count on savings on construction paper, glue and paste, staplers and staples, and poster board too!

Non-exempt items include most books, white-out fluid, masking tape, and printer paper, among other items.

For a full list of exempt and non-exempt classroom items, read the Florida Revenue Tax Information Publication.

Computers & Computer Accessories

One of the more high-ticket items on parents’ back-to-school shopping lists — especially for older kids going off to college or university — is a computer and the accessories that come with it.

Fortunately, folks can skip the sales tax on the first $1,000.00 towards the purchase of a computer, as well as save on many other exempt items.

Computer purchases count towards laptops, desktops, or tablets, making it easy for you to shop for your family’s flexible needs while still taking full advantage of the exemption.

During this time, accessories like CPUs, batteries, cables, storage drives, flash drives, memory cards, modems, keyboards, webcams, printers, and monitors are all exempt from the sales tax.

Unfortunately, parents looking to buy their teenager a new phone won’t see any savings there. Cellphones aren’t exempt, and neither are gaming laptops or controllers, digital cameras, gaming consoles, MP3 devices, or TVs.

For a full list of exempt and non-exempt computers and computer-related items, read the Florida Revenue Tax Information Publication.

We hope you’re excited for the savings this holiday will bring to you and your family, but more importantly, we hope you’re excited for back-to-school!

Sure, it’s stressful to get everything in order, but you have to admit it’s also a thrilling time of year. For your kids, it’s the expectation of new friends, fresh opportunities, and the prospect of a brand-new school year! For you, it’s a long anticipated break after a summer of non-stop noise — err, family fun.

Enjoy the excitement while you can, and take advantage of all the savings — you never know when you could use that money later on!

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