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Do’s and don’ts for Tax Free weekend

Posted: 12:28 PM, Aug 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-10 13:28:52-04

During this annual sales tax holiday, you can buy most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100) tax free from a Texas store or from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas. In most cases, you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy qualifying items tax free.

This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 10, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 12.

The sales tax exemption applies only to qualifying items you buy during the sales tax holiday. Items you buy before or after the sales tax holiday do not qualify for exemption, and there is no tax refund available.

School Supplies
Only the school supplies on this list priced under $100 qualify for exemption from tax during the sales tax holiday.

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders – expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Kits*
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers)
  • Notebooks
  • Paper – loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets
    * For kits of school supplies that contain exempt items, as well as taxable ones, the taxability depends on the value of exempt or taxable items in it. There is no limit on the quantity of school supplies in a kit, but if the value of the exempt items is more than the taxable ones, the kit is exempt. If the value of the taxable items is more than the exempt ones, then the kit is taxable.

Items that Do Not Qualify
The following items do not qualify for exemption during the sales tax holiday:

  • items sold for $100 or more
  • clothing subscription boxes
  • specially-designed athletic activity or protective-use clothing or footwear
  • For example, golf cleats and football pads are usually worn only when people play golf or football, so they do not qualify for the exemption.
  • Tennis shoes, jogging suits and swimsuits, however, can be worn for other than athletic activity and qualify for the exemption.
  • clothing or footwear rentals, alterations (including embroidery) and cleaning services
  • items used to make or repair clothing, such as fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, snaps, hooks and zippers
    jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and other accessories
  • computers
  • software
  • textbooks

During the sales tax holiday, student backpacks sold for less than $100 are exempt from tax.

The exemption includes backpacks with wheels and messenger bags. You can buy up to 10 backpacks tax free at one time without giving an exemption certificate to the seller.

Items that Do Not Qualify
The following items do not qualify for this exemption:

  • framed backpacks
  • luggage
  • briefcases
  • athletic, duffle or gym bags
  • computer bags
  • purses

During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying items tax free when you:

  • make the final payment on an item already on layaway; or
  • choose an item and place it on layaway

A complete list of qualifying items:

The items on this list that qualify for exemption from tax during the sales tax holiday must be priced under $100. Items that do not qualify for exemption are also included. (Exempt items are in bold.)

Accessories (generally) (T)
Barrettes (T)
Belt buckles (sold separately) (T)
Bobby pins (T)
Briefcases (T)
Elastic ponytail holders (T)
Hair bows (T)
Hair clips (T)
Handbags (T)
Handkerchiefs (T)
Headbands (T)
Jewelry (T)
Key cases (T)
Purses (T)
Wallets (T)
Watch bands (T)
Watches (T)
Adult diapers (E)
Alterations (T)
Aprons (household) (E)
Aprons (welders) (T)
Athletic socks (E)
Baby bibs (E)
Baby clothes (E)
Baby diapers (cloth or disposable) (E)
Backpacks (unless for use by elementary/secondary students) (T)

Baseball accessories
Baseball caps (E)
Baseball cleats (T)
Baseball gloves (T)
Baseball jerseys (E)
Baseball pants (T)
Bathing caps (T)

Belt buckles (T)
Belts with attached buckles (E)
Belts for weight lifting (T)
Bicycle shoes (cleated) (T)
Blouses (E)
Boots (general purpose) (E)
Climbing (cleated or spiked) (T)
Cowboy (E)
Fishing (waders) (T)
Hiking (E)
Overshoes and galoshes (T)
Rubber work boots (T)
Ski (T)
Waders (T)
Bow ties (E)
Bowling shirts (E)
Bowling shoes (rented and sold) (T)
Bras (E)
Buttons and zippers (T)
Camp clothes (E)
Caps (baseball, fishing, golf) (E)
Chef uniforms (E)
Children’s novelty costumes (E)
Chest protectors (T)
Clerical vestments (E)
Cloth and lace, knitting yarns, and other fabrics (T)
Clothing repair items, such as thread, buttons, tapes, and iron-on patches (T)
Coats and wraps (E)
Corsages and boutonnieres (T)
Coveralls (E)
Diapers (cloth and disposable) (E)
Dresses (E)
Dry cleaning services (T)

Earmuffs
Cold weather (E)
Noise cancellation or noise cancelling (T)
Elbow pads (T)
Embroidery (T)
Employee uniforms (unless rented) (E)
Fabrics, thread, buttons, lace, patterns, knitting yarns (T)
Fins (swim) (T)
Fishing boots (waders) (T)
Fishing caps (E)
Fishing vests (non-flotation) (E)

Football accessories
Football jerseys (E)
Football pads (T)
Football pants (T)
Gloves (generally) (E)
Baseball (T)
Batting (T)
Bicycle (T)
Dress (unless rented) (E)
Garden (T)
Golf (T)
Hockey (T)
Leather (E)
Rubber (T)
Surgical (T)
Tennis (T)
Work (T)
Goggles (T)

Golf accessories
Golf caps (E)
Golf dresses (E)
Golf gloves (T)
Golf jackets and windbreakers (E)
Golf shirts (E)
Golf skirts (E)
Golf purses (T)
Golf shoes (T)

Graduation caps and gowns (E)
Gym suits and uniforms (E)
Hair nets, bows, clips, and barrettes (T)
Handbags and purses (T)
Handkerchiefs (T)
Hard hats (T)
Hats (E)
Headbands (T)
Helmets (bike, baseball, football, hockey, motorcycle, sports) (T)
Hockey gloves (T)
Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts (E)
Hosiery, including support hosiery (E)
Hunting vests (E)
Ice skates (T)
Insoles (T)
Jackets (E)
Jeans (E)
Jewelry (T)
Jogging apparel (E)
Knee pads (T)
Knitted caps or hats (E)
Laundering services (T)
Leg warmers (E)
Leotards and tights (E)
Life jackets and vests (T)
Luggage (T)
Mask, costume (E)
Mask, protective – welder, umpire, swim (T)
Monogramming services (T)
Neckwear and ties (E)
Nightgowns and nightshirts (E)
Overshoes and rubber shoes (T)
Pads (football, hockey, soccer, elbow, knee, shoulder) (T)
Paint or dust respirators and incidental supplies (T)
Painter pants (E)
Pajamas (E)
Pants (E)
Panty hose (E)
Patterns (T)
Personal flotation devices (T)
Pocket squares (T)
Protective gloves (T)
Protective masks (T)
Raincoats and ponchos (E)
Rain hats (E)
Religious clothing (E)
Rented clothing (including uniforms, formal wear, and costumes) (T)
Repair of clothing or footwear (T)
Ribbons (T)
Robes (E)
Roller blades (T)
Roller skates (T)

Safety accessories
Safety clothing (normally worn in hazardous occupations) (T)
Safety glasses (except prescription) (T)
Safety shoes (adaptable for street wear) (E)
Safety shoes (not adaptable for street wear) (T)
Scarves (E)
Scout uniforms (E)
Sewing patterns (T)
Shawls and wraps (E)
Shin guards and padding (T)
Shirts (E)
Shirts (hooded) (E)
Shoe inserts (T)
Shoelaces (T)

Shoes (generally) (E)
Ballet (T)
Baseball cleats (T)
Bicycle (cleated) (T)
Boat (E)
Bowling (T)
Cleated or spiked (T)
Cross trainers (E)
Dress (E)
Fishing boots (waders) (T)
Flip-flops (rubber thongs) (E)
Football (T)
Golf (T)
Jazz and dance (T)
Jellies (E)
Overshoes (T)
Running (without cleats) (E)
Safety (suitable for everyday use) (E)
Sandals (E)
Slippers (E)
Sneakers and tennis (E)
Soccer (cleated) (T)
Spiked or cleated (T)
Tap dance (T)
Tennis (E)
Track and cleats (T)
Wading/water sport (T)
Walking (E)
Shoe shines (T)
Shoe repairs (T)
Shoulder pads (for dresses, jackets, etc.) (T)
Shoulder pads (football, hockey, sports) (T)
Shorts (E)
Shower caps (T)
Skates (ice and roller) (T)
Ski boots (snow) (T)
Ski suits (snow) (T)
Ski vests (water) (T)
Skirts (E)
Sleepwear, nightgowns, pajamas (E)
Slippers (E)
Slips (E)
Soccer socks (E)
Socks (E)
Sports helmets (T)
Sports pads (football, hockey, soccer, knee, elbow, shoulder) (T)
Suits, slacks, and jackets (E)
Sunglasses (except prescription) (T)
Support hosiery (E)
Suspenders (E)
Sweatbands (arm, wrist, head) (T)
Sweatshirts (E)
Sweat suits (E)
Sweaters (E)
Swimming masks and goggles (T)
Swimsuits (E)

Tennis accessories
Tennis dresses (E)
Tennis shorts (E)
Tennis shoes (E)
Tennis skirts (E)
Ties (neckties – all) (E)
Tights (E)
Track shoes and cleats (T)
Trousers (E)
Umbrellas (T)
Underclothes (E)
Underpants (E)
Undershirts (E)
Uniforms (school, work, nurse, waitress, military, postal, police, fire) (E)
Veils (E)
Vests (generally) (E)
Bulletproof (T)
Fishing (non-flotation) (E)
Flotation (T)
Hunting (E)
Scuba (T)
Water-ski (T)
Wallets (T)
Watch bands (T)
Watches (T)
Water ski vests (T)
Weight lifting belts (T)
Wet and dry suits (T)
Work clothes (E)
Work uniforms (E)
Workout clothes (E)
Wrist bands (T)