A sales tax holiday can help save on back-to-school supplies

Published 1:37 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
It’s almost back-to-school time in Tennessee, and that means it’s time to buy school supplies and shoes and new clothes.
Starting this weekend, Tennessee residents will begin to see relief from recent inflation costs with two tax-free holidays – one for school supplies, and August 1, a three-month tax-free holiday on food items..
Whether you’re a parent shopping for your high school, middle school, or elementary school student or you’re a college student getting your gear for classes, that school shopping list can get expensive fast, especially considering the impact of inflation.
Pencils, markers, notebooks, calculators, computers, clothing items, shoes and more. It all adds up and can really wreck your budget. Thankfully, Tennessee offers a dedicated state sales tax holiday weekend where you shop for certain back-to-school eligible items with no tax on the state level.
The tax-free holiday for all of your back-to-school necessities like school supplies, clothing and even computers begins this Friday, July 29, right after midnight, and continues until midnight July 30.
Purchases for clothing and school supplies cannot exceed $100 and purchases for computers cannot exceed $1,500.
Back-to-school shopping can be a great beginning to an exciting new school year for students. With good planning, families can purchase what they need without breaking the bank. Take full advantage of Tennessee’s tax-free weekend by applying the following tips:
Plan major clothing and shoe purchases ahead of the state tax free weekend event understanding that the tax-free exemption only applies to purchasing clothing and shoes and school supplies.
Parents should decide how much the family can set aside for school shopping. Consider using the tax-free holiday time to purchase not just what you need right now, but what your children will need over the next several months. Schools often provide a list of items you need for a specific grade or class. You may have less wiggle room with your required school supplies.
Be careful not to overspend just because the tax-free weekend is occurring. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with students in kindergarten through 12th grade spent $864 in 2022 on electronics, apparel, and other school items. Review what you spent last year for clothing and shoes to create your own spending plan.
The Legislature approved the tax holiday to help boost the economy and give consumers a break. Previous tax-free holidays have shown to pump up sales for everyone from big-box retailers to mom-and-pop shops. Some merchants report double-digit increases in sales, compared to a typical August weekend. Know the rules to make the most of your purchase decisions.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox