The Comptroller of Texas encourages all taxpayers to take advantage of the annual Tax-Free weekend, where you can enjoy tax-free purchases on most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks priced below $100. Whether you shop at a Texas store or from an online/catalog seller operating in Texas you can make tax-free purchases on qualifying items without the need for an exemption certificate.
Mark your calendars for this year’s tax-free weekend, starting from Friday, Aug. 11, until midnight on Sunday, Aug. 13. Save Money and Support Texas Businesses: Tax-Free Weekend Offers Great Deals on Clothing, Footwear, School Supplies, and Backpacks.
Guidelines for In-Store and Online Purchases During the Tax-Free Weekend
Remember, the sales tax exemption only applies to the qualifying items purchased during the tax-free weekend. Items bought before or after this period are not eligible for the exemption, and no tax refunds are available. Show your support for local businesses while enjoying significant savings on tax-free purchases.
During the tax-free holiday period, you have the flexibility to buy qualifying items through various methods, such as in-store, online, via telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means. The crucial factor is that the sale of the item must occur within the specified period.
Determining the purchase date is straightforward for in-store purchases. However, for remote purchases like online shopping, it can be more complex. To qualify for the tax exemption, the purchaser must have provided the payment or consideration for the item during the tax-free period, even if the item is scheduled for delivery after the period has ended.
For instance, if a purchaser enters their credit card information on an online shopping website to buy qualifying school supplies on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, at 5:00 p.m., but the supplies are not shipped until Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, and won’t arrive until Tuesday, Aug. 22, the purchase will still be eligible for the tax exemption.
On the other hand, if the charge to the credit card is declined by the payment processor at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, and the purchaser does not resubmit payment until Monday, Aug. 14, the purchase will be subject to taxation. In summary, as long as payment is processed and consideration is given during the tax-free period, the purchase qualifies for the tax exemption, regardless of the delivery date.
Impact of Additional Charges on the Sales Price
When considering tax-free eligibility for clothing, backpacks, and school supplies (each priced below $100), it’s important to factor in the item’s total sales price, which includes delivery, shipping, handling, and transportation charges imposed by the seller.
To illustrate, suppose you purchase a pair of jeans priced at $95, and the seller adds a $10 delivery charge, making the total price $105. Since the total price exceeds $100, the entire $105 amount becomes taxable. In cases where the delivery charge is applied per item, and an invoice includes both exempt and taxable items, only the qualifying exempt item’s delivery charge is eligible for exemption.
Alternatively, if the delivery charge is a flat rate per package, irrespective of the number of items contained within, the total charge can be attributed to any one of the items in the package.
If you happen to pay sales tax on qualifying items during the sales tax holiday, you have the option to request a refund from the seller. The seller can choose to grant the refund directly or provide you with Form 00-985, Assignment to Right to Refund (PDF), which empowers you to file the refund claim directly with the Comptroller’s office.