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Freebies and Savings for the DFW!

Tax Free Rules August 19, 2010

Filed under: tax free weekend — Alexandria @ 10:13 am
For those of you that are out in the shopping masses this weekend, make sure you take some time to go over some rules I found on the’s tax free weekend rules.

Tax Free Weekend Essentials! 
Tax free shopping cuts the costs of back-to-school supplies, clothes, computers and more. With each state having its own set of rules and eligible items, these tax free shopping tips help you shop smart and save big on back-to-school essentials.
Know What’s Free from Tax
Some states allow graduation caps and gowns into the sales tax holiday, while others don’t. Some qualify book bags and backpacks as tax free items. Others say book bags are taxable but backpacks are exempt.
States have different guidelines on which items qualify for the sales tax holiday. Understand these rules to maximize your savings. Find your state’s list of eligible items so you’ll know exactly what you can buy sales tax free.

Identify Dollar Limits
Dollar limits usually apply to each item you buy, as opposed to your entire purchase having to fall under a certain amount. However, dollar limits aren’t consistent among the states. They can also be tricky if you’re not prepared before you go shopping.
For example, State A specifies qualifying footwear “$100 and under” is free from tax. State B says qualifying footwear “under $100” is free from tax. Those $100 shoes are tax free in State A but they would have to be $99.99 or less in State B to qualify.
Make a List
Write down everything you need to buy. Cross-reference each item on your list with your state’s list of eligible items to verify your purchases will be free from tax.
Just because school supplies are on the list of nontaxable items doesn’t mean all school supplies will actually qualify. Checking your list against the state’s list ensures you’re not losing pennies on the dollar with every purchase.
Plan Ahead
Big ticket items such as computers can be marked down hundreds of dollars just so they will be eligible for the sales tax holiday. These deals sell out fast.
Plan ahead to beat other shoppers to the savings. You want to be one of the first people at the store to get the best selection.
Map out the order of the stores you need to visit. Having a game plan means you’re not running all over town missing out on the hottest deals.
Know the Conditions
Items already in layaway may be tax free if you pay them off during your state’s sales tax holiday. Items you put in layaway within the tax free dates may not be taxable regardless of when you pay them off.
The rules on layaways, rain checks and special orders vary state by state. Know the conditions beforehand to save the most money.
Neighboring States
Planning a trip to visit the grandparents out of state? Live near the border of another state?
See if those states offer sales tax holidays. Your state may only offer sales tax savings on clothes but another state may include computers. It’s not uncommon for people to trek across state lines for tax free shopping if there’s a bargain to be found.
Study Sales Papers
Stores usually offer sales just for the tax free holiday. Hunt for bargains in the sales papers before you shop.
Look for deep discounts on the more expensive items but don’t forget about the little costs. With all of the back-to-school supplies you need, 50 cents here and there on paper, pens, notebooks and art supplies can add up quickly if you’re not shopping at the store with the best sales.
Check Coupon Rules
States have different guidelines on coupon use during sales tax holidays. Certain states allow store coupons and discounts to help lower the price below the per item dollar limit. Most do not accept manufacturer’s coupons to be used in this same way, though.
States have the rules spelled out for stores and consumers. This helps eliminate any problems at the register when you’re ready to check out.
Mark Your Calendar
Many states hold their sales tax holidays the same weekend. Mark your calendar with all of the sales tax holiday dates near you. You have enough on your mental calendar without having to worry about missing those tax free back-to-school shopping deals.

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