Back-To-School Shopping Becomes Tax-Free!

Back-To-School Shopping Becomes Tax-Free!
Target “Back to School” 2014 Mike Mozart / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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As the start of the school year comes closer, tax-free shopping for parents and children is being made available in several states. While there are 17 states that have sales tax holidays this year, 13 start theirs giving school-goers an opportunity to shop tax-free.


‘We Can Save A Couple Of Dollars Here And There’

Kyle James, founder of, said that depending on one’s state, customers can avail a discount between 6 to 9 percent on back-to-school purchases.

“Keep in mind that your biggest savings are going to be on tech needs like laptops, desktops and tablets,” James said.

Customer Alyssa Vandivier expressed her concerns about the expensiveness of the school shopping. “We try to get most of the stuff early,” she said. “Some of stuff we wait on so we can get it tax-free. So we can save a couple of dollars here and there.”

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She and her husband have six children, but they purchase supplies for four of them.

“Just to have a little cheaper load on us. Getting four boys school supplies can be a little expensive,” she said.

According to WTSP, the discounts are available on clothing (up to $100 per item), school supplies (up to $15 per item), and computers (up to $750 per item), among others. The tax-free holiday will last from August 7 through August 16.

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Shane Spassoff, store team leader at Target in South Lakeland, said they “are going to have a nice little lift in sales.”

He further encouraged customers to take advantage of the discounts.

“It’s not going to be as a crazy event, it’s going to be a little more spread out,” he said. “It gives people a little time, you have two weekends to shop for it. You more time to really plan and prepare your tactic.”

Regina Conway, consumer expert with Slickdeals, emphasized on the necessity of researching online and making lists before starting with the shopping.

“In some cases, the tax savings may not outweigh the deals you can find during other store promotions,” she said as reported by ABC News. “Pick the essential items that your child will need and do a price search for those items before you head to the store. When in store, do a quick search on your mobile phone before making the purchase to confirm that you’re getting the best deal.”

However, certain factors will need to be considered by shoppers. For instance, in case of computers, customers may be able to get a tax-exempted purchase, but the bag they bought for the computer may not.

Customer Michelle Williams intends to spread out his shopping over the entire run of the tax-exempted shopping program

“Big stuff first and then come back and get the little things,” he said.

Spassoff said the tax-free program is a good way to help people financially.

“It’s really meant to help some of the burden for our families that are trying to get kids back in school,” he said.

‘Every Day is a New York Sales Tax Holiday’

On Tuesday, the New York State Tax Department announced that “Every Day is a New York Sales Tax Holiday,” as the clothing and footwear items that are priced at less than $110 are always exempt from the state’s 4 percent sales tax.

Students spend $899 on average as part of their back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation’s Back-To-School Spending Survey. This includes $137 on apparel and $73 on shoes.

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Findings of another survey suggest that families with children in grades K-12 will spend 92.7 percent on new apparel this year, according to Sioux City Journal. This includes spending of an average of $218 on new clothing and $118 on new shoes, in contrast to $98 on school supplies and $197 on electronics.

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