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Reminder: Florida’s Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend: Here’s A Guide

| August 10, 2011

florida sales tax holiday 2011

Tax-free crayons.

Florida is once again offering a sales tax holiday on school supplies, clothing, shoes or footwear and other select accessories from Friday, August 12 through Sunday, August 14, 2011.

Florida’s 6 percent sales tax will not apply to any item on the approved back-to-school tax-free list. Nor will local-option sales taxes, such as Flagler County’s extra penny sales tax that funds certain projects in Palm Coast and the county.

There’s also a limit on the extent of the tax break on individual items. The sales tax exemption applies to each eligible item of clothing selling for $75 or less and to each eligible school supply item selling for $15 or less. The exemption will still apply no matter how many items are sold on the same invoice to a customer. In other words you won’t get a tax exemption if you want to buy that trendy, $100 sweatshirt, but you may get the exemption if the sweater sells for less than $75.

Same thing with school supplies: you won’t get the exemption if you want to buy a $100 calculator, but you will get the exemption if you but a $14 stapler.

Last year, the exemptions applied to clothing, footwear and accessories priced at $50 or less, and school supplies priced at $10 or less, and the exemption also applied to certain types of books priced at $50 or less.

This year, books are not exempt from taxes, regardless.

“Clothing” means any article of wearing apparel, including all footwear (except skis, swim fins, roller blades, and skates), intended to be worn on or about the human body. However, “clothing” does not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, or sporting equipment.

“School supplies” means pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook filler paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue, paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses, and calculators. (Complete list here.)

There are also restrictions on retailers’ specials. Here’s how the Florida Department of Revenue explains it:

Example 1: A retailer advertises pants as “buy one, get one free.” The first pair of pants is priced at $80; the second pair of pants is free. Tax is due on $80. The store cannot sell each pair of pants for $40 in order for the items to qualify for the exemption. However, the retailer may advertise and sell the items for 50% off, selling each pair of $80 pants for $40, making each pair eligible for the exemption.

Example 2: A retailer advertises shoes as “buy one pair at the regular price, get a second pair for half price.” The first pair of shoes is sold for $80; the second pair is sold for $40 (half price). Tax is due on the $80 shoes, but not on the $40 shoes. The store cannot sell each pair of shoes for $60 in order for the items to qualify for the exemption. However, a retailer may advertise each pair for 25% off, thereby selling each pair of $80 shoes for $60, making each pair eligible
for the exemption.

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