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3 Tips for the Texas Sales Tax Holiday

Is it almost August? That means Texas Sales Tax Holiday is coming up fast and furious. With more people venturing out, it’s sure to be busy from August 6 to 8. That’s because this is Texas Tax-Free weekend in 2021.

It’s easy to overspend during the tax holiday. These tips will help you ensure you buy what you need and avoid buying something you already have. The nice thing about the tax-free weekend is that it’s for everyone, not just families with kids going to school.

Here are a few important things to know:

  • Items $100 or more are taxable.
  • Does not apply to clothing subscription boxes.
  • Keep all your receipts.
  • Stores will not give out rainchecks.

Make the most of tax-free weekend and back-to-school shopping with these tips.

  1. Review the official list

You may have seen online articles talking about what’s taxable and what’s exempt. However, some of these aren’t accurate. The one list you want to refer to is the official Sales Tax Holiday list from the Comptroller of Texas. It’d be a good idea to print the list or save it to your phone.

Again, all items priced at $100 or more are not exempt from taxes. Yes, even if they’re on the list. For example, tennis shoes are exempt from taxes unless they cost $100 or more. Be aware that not all shoes qualify for the tax exemption.

The following types of footwear are not tax-free:

  • Cleats
  • Running shoes with cleats
  • Ballet slippers
  • Ski boots

And just because one item is taxable, others may not be. For example, tennis skirts and football jerseys are exempt, but football pads and baseball pants are taxable. The logic is that people wear tennis skirts and football jerseys as clothes outside of the sport. Whereas cleats and pads are specific to a sport.

Flip-flops, sandals, and cowboy boots are exempt. While belts are exempt, stand-alone belt buckles are not.

Would you categorize pajamas as school clothes or school supplies? No, they’re exempt. Here are tax-free items that may surprise you:

  • Swimsuits
  • Robes
  • Slippers
  • Hunting vests
  • Suspenders
  • Diapers: baby and adult
  • Graduation caps and gowns

So, use the list from the Comptroller of Texas as your only source. Double-check our work.

  1. Make a shopping list

When you don’t prepare for shopping, you risk buying a lot of things you already have. Before you go, create a list of what you need. Try on clothes to confirm current clothing and shoe sizes. Don’t use the dressing room as the place to figure it out.

While most people may fit in two or three different sizes, it helps to have a baseline. You want to minimize trying on clothes during a hectic shopping time.

  1. Note store hours

You won’t find Black Friday-like hours, but many stores will extend their hours for the Texas Sales Tax Holiday. If you want to avoid the crowds, go as soon as the store opens on Friday. Some people still have to work, so it’s most likely the least crowded time of the whole weekend.

These three tips will optimize your tax-free weekend and minimize the headaches.

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