The holiday begins August 9 and continues until August 11.
During the course of the three days, retailers will not collect sales tax on back-to-school items required of school-aged children such as clothing, shoes, and backpacks.
Items Covered by Tax Exemption:
Clothing: Belts, jerseys, raincoats, sleepwear and undergarments all make the cut. Personal flotation devices, rental clothing and baseball pants however will not be tax-free.
Shoes: Thumbs up for things such as cowboy boots, sandals, slippers, hiking boots and socks. Thumbs down for footwear such as ice skates, cleats, and roller blades.
School supplies valued at less than $100 including lunch boxes, calculators, tape and backpacks are all okay. All qualifying backpacks must be purchased for a school-aged child and can not have wheels.
Take note of required dollar amounts. For example, if you’re planning on buying a fancy calculator for your little mathematician that cost $200 dollars, you should also plan on paying taxes on it. More times than not, $100 will be the tax free limit.
Plan ahead by studying sales papers and seeing who is offering what. It may be a good idea to sign up for email updates from your favorite stores as well. Many will be offering coupons via email list serve. And if a store is advertising that they will pay the tax for you on various non-applicable items, steer clear. That is no-no according to the Texas Comptroller.
Same goes for coupons and layaway. Call ahead to find out each store's policy on each item. One store may allow you to use coupons while another won’t. Always check ahead of time.
Go early. Most folks aren't too jazzed about the idea of waking up at 5 a.m. for a Saturday trip to Walmart. But doing so can save you quite a bit of time as you'll beat traffic jams and long lines.
Leave the kiddos at home if at all possible. The crowds can be pretty overwhelming during this time. Having the little ones tugging at your pants and requesting non-schoolish items can cause you to overlook the items you actually need. Please note that this is just a personal preference.
For an extensive listing of tax-free items, visit here.