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Looking to save on your back-to-school shopping? Here’s what you need to know before you hit the shops during tax-free weekend.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Ahh, another summer drawing to a close. Teachers, parents, and kiddos alike are gearing up for the start of another school year– and what does that mean? Back-to-school shopping!
When I was a kid, no matter how much I was dreading the summer coming to an end, I loved school supply shopping. Something about a fresh notebook just gets me every time.
Maybe you want to save some money on that 64-pack of crayons or that glitter glue, maybe your kid hit a summer growth spurt and outgrew every single article of clothing they own in the past 2 months, maybe you’re a college student desperately in need of a new laptop.
Have no fear! Tax-free weekend is (almost) here! We’ve got all you need to know right here.
1. Dates and Times
Tax-free weekend is July 19-21.
- BEGINS: Friday, July 19 at 12:01am
- ENDS: Sunday, July 21 at 12 midnight
That’s 72 hours of shopping time, people! Buggies (or carts, depending on where you’re from) at the ready!
2. There are four main categories of items that are exempt from taxes this weekend
- Computers, Computer Software, & School Computer Supplies
- School Supplies, School Art Supplies & School Instructional Material
However, there are some exceptions to these! Keep reading to find out what’s included and what’s not.
3. Clothing – What’s Taxable and What’s Not
- Includes “all human wearing apparel suitable for general use”
- Think: Prettyyyy much anything you can wear (including hats, shoes, belts)
- You may not realize: This includes diapers! So even if your little one isn’t in need of notebook paper quite yet, you can still benefit from tax-free weekend
- Must be $100 or less per article of clothing
- Clothing accessories such as cosmetics, handbags, jewelry, eye or sun glasses, wallets, watches, etc
- Protective equipment such as hard hats, helmets, tool or safety belts, etc
- Sport or recreational equipment such as dance shoes, instruments, cleats and skates, shin and mouth guards, wetsuits, etc
4. Computers – What’s Taxable and What’s Not
- Laptop, desktop, or tower computer system
- Computer software
- You may not realize: This includes computer supplies like printers, printer paper/ink, and computer storage media
- Item must be $750 or less
- Devices such as a display monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers that are NOT sold in a package with a computer
- Any systems, devices, software, peripherals designed or intended primarily for recreational use
- Video games of a non-educational nature
5. School Supplies – What’s Taxable and What’s Not
- Pretty much any writing utensil and form of notebook
- Basic calculators, scissors, rulers, protractors, folders and binders, lunch boxes, etc
- TEACHERS: Reference maps and globes are included in this
- You may not realize: This includes art supplies such as clays and glazes, paints, paintbrushes, sketch pads, and more
- Any commercial purchase
- Anything individual item over $50 (for example, a high-priced scientific or graphing calculator would be taxed)
- Textbooks that are less that $30 or more than $50
6. Books – What’s Taxable and What’s Not
- “The term book is defined as a set of printed sheets bound together and published in a volume with an ISBN number.”
- Non-commercial purchases
- Sales price must be under $30 per book
- Any Other Document Printed or Offered for Sale in a Non-Bound Form
Need more info? You can check out this document from the Alabama Department of Revenue for even more details.