Sales Tax Holiday gives a break on back-to-school supplies
MADISON – With escalating prices on practically all consumer goods, even a break on sales taxes can help. These savings are welcomed as parents buy needed items for children to return to school.
Alabama will conduct its 17th annual Sales Tax Holiday starting July 15 at 12:01 a.m. and closing on July 17 at midnight. The tax holiday allows shoppers to buy designated school supplies, computers and clothing – without paying Alabama sales tax.
The Alabama State Legislature enacted the ‘holiday’ to allow a county or municipality to adopt a resolution or ordinance 30 days minimum before the third full weekend of July. Counties also have the option to exclude other taxes (county tax, municipal sales tax, use tax) during the same weekend, following the same terms, conditions and definitions that the Sales Tax Holiday provides. (revenue.alabama.gov)
Clothing that costs $100 or less, per article of clothing, is exempt from sales tax. However, clothing accessories, protective equipment and sports gear are not exempt.
These taxable purchases include belt buckles (sold separately), cosmetics, handbags, handkerchiefs, sunglasses, face shields, safety glasses, ballet shoes, band instruments, cleated athletic shoes, life preservers, roller and ice skates and ski boots.
Residents won’t pay sales tax for computers, including software and supplies, for a single purchase at $750 maximum. However, sales tax does apply to furniture, devices for recreation and video games without educational use.
School supplies and instructional materials are exempt for $50 maximum. Most standard classroom needs are included, like book bags, tape, calculators, crayons, folders, glues, paper, pencils/pens and scissors. Art supplies, maps, globes, books at $30 maximum are exempt. However, printed documents like magazines and newspapers do require sales tax.
Before shopping, school families can access supply lists for Madison students at Facebook/Madison City Schools or the individual school’s website. In summary, the list for secondary grades has loose-leaf paper, binders, notebooks, scientific calculator (TI-30XS suggested), pencils/pens, dry-erase markers, highlighters and more.
Open House for elementaries will be held Aug. 1, middle schools on Aug. 9 and high schools on Aug. 11, all from 5 to 7 p.m. Most parents realize the practical purpose of open house – from a child entering first grade who needs to see a smile on the teacher’s face or for a high school junior who is needing advice about classes that will be most beneficial now for inclinations in college study.
At Open House, students can drop off their school supplies. Families can learn about bus schedules, clubs, medication drop-off, cafeteria accounts, PTA membership and expanded day registration.
Some elementaries are staggering Open House times by requesting students to attend alphabetically based on their last name.
Each middle and high school will host a tour during July. Rising sixth-graders and ninth-graders and new students can learn about their new campus. Bob Jones High School’s tour is slated for July 25. James Clemens High School’s tour will be held on July 26.
For more information, call Alabama Department of Revenue at 334-242-1490 or 866-576-653 on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the department’s exempt/non-exempt list, visit revenue.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/STHolidayQuickRefSheet22.pdf.