Tax Free Shopping

August 09, 2017

Take Advantage of Texas Tax Free Holiday Weekend

The Texas sales tax holiday is August 11th – 13th this year. Clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies used by students in elementary and secondary schools and under $100 will be tax-exempt this weekend.

For a complete list of qualifying items, click here:

Be ready and check these tips before you start your tax free holiday shopping:

  • Check What’s Needed. Check with your child’s school for a list of required supplies. Most schools provide this on their website and many major retailers will post the lists.
  • Reuse / Repurpose. Consider reusing items from last year. Create your shopping list before heading out. Work with a budget and stick to it to avoid overspending.
  • Scan Sales Carefully. Items offered on sale may not be tax-free so shop carefully and know ahead of time what qualifies. Retailers know this will be a busy weekend and may offer sales on many items. Remember, only the items on the comptroller’s tax-free list are exempt from taxes this weekend.
  • Know Refund Policies. Ask about refund and exchange policies before buying to make it easier if you have to return an item. .
  • Stay Alert. Stores will be busy; pay extra attention to those around you. Never leave your wallet, purse or credit card on a counter. Make sure your card is back in your wallet before leaving the cashier. Don’t get overloaded with packages. Shop with a companion or ask for a security escort to your car.
  • Shop trustworthy businesses. The BBB can provide free Business reports at

In 2016 BBB provided over 148,000 instances of service to consumers about area businesses. So far in 2017 inquiries total over 77,000.

Will you need a tax-exempt certificate? In most cases, no, but there are exceptions:

  1. If you are buying more than 10 backpacks you must provide a certificate saying you are purchasing them for use by elementary or secondary school students.
  2. If you are buying the qualified items under a business account. A business account is defined as using a business credit card, check or using a business membership at a membership club.

For details and additional information visit the state website link above.  

A Reminder For Retailers: If you sell items that do not qualify for the exemption, you may not advertise or promise that you will pay your customers' sales tax. You are prohibited from advertising that you will not collect sales tax on items that do not qualify, but you may advertise that tax is included in the sales price of the taxable items that you sell. See Tax Code Section 151.704 for more information.