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West Florida
Making the most of Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday
August 08, 2011
The Florida Legislature and governor approved a back-to-school sales tax holiday on certain clothing and school supplies. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12 and running through midnight on Sunday, Aug. 14, consumers can purchase certain clothing with a sales price of $75 or less and school supplies having a sales price of $15 or less without paying sales tax on the items. Florida’s Department of Revenue offers a detailed list of items that do and do not qualify for the tax exemption.

To help consumers make the most of the sales tax holiday, your BBB offers the following tips:
  • Plan ahead. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Make a list of the items you need to purchase to avoid buying on impulse. Be sure to check with your child’s school for a list of required supplies to avoid return trips.
  • Comparison shop, carefully. Tax holiday “sales” and promotions may not be the bargains they appear to be. Make sure you’re comparing “apples to apples” when looking at sales and promotions.
  • Talk to the retailer. Before making your purchase, ask the merchant how refunds and exchanges will be handled after the sales tax holiday ends.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Because stores may be particularly busy during the sales tax holiday, pay extra attention to those around you. Never leave your wallet, purse or credit card on a counter. Don’t get overloaded with packages. Shop with a companion or ask for a security escort to your car.
  • Shop at businesses you know to be trustworthy. Get a free BBB Business Review on a retailer you’re considering patronizing.

For additional information and advice you can trust, start with bbb.org.