Texas’ sales tax holiday starts Friday to ease those back to school expenses

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Shoppers will feel a little less strain on their wallets with the return of the annual tax-free weekend.

The sales tax holiday begins this Friday and ends at midnight on Sunday.

“The Comptroller encourages all taxpayers to support Texas businesses while saving money on tax-free purchases of most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100) during the annual Tax-Free weekend,” the Texas comptroller’s website read. “Qualifying items can be purchased tax free from a Texas store or from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas. In most cases, you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy qualifying items tax free.”

School Supplies

>> Binders

>> Blackboard chalk

>> Book bags

>> Calculators

>> Cellophane tape

>> Compasses

>> Composition books

>> Crayons

>> Erasers

>> Folders – expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila

>> Glue, paste and paste sticks

>> Highlighters

>> Index cards

>> Index card boxes

>> Kits*

>> Legal pads

>> Lunch boxes

>> Markers (including dry erase markers)

>> Notebooks

>> Paper – loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper

>> Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes

>> Pencil sharpeners

>> Pencils

>> Pens

>> Protractors

>> Rulers

>> Scissors

>> Writing tablets

Other items — including clothing, footwear and face masks — are found on a complete list of items that qualify can be found on the Texas comptroller’s website.

The tax-free weekend comes as a welcome respite from the economic woes faced by many in the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the face of ever increasing inflation.

According to a report from communitycommons.org, 38.6% of children under the age of 18 live in poverty in Hidalgo County. That same report presented very similar numbers for Cameron County, which showed that 37.89% of children under the age of 18 live in poverty.

Inflation impact on back-to-class spending.

With the return of another school year, the tax-free weekend offers some relief for many in need of clothes, shoes, school supplies and face masks.

According to the Texas comptroller’s website, purchases made online and via telephone during the allotted time period do qualify for tax-exemption.

“​​During the holiday you can buy qualifying items in-store, online, by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means,” the website read. “The sale of the item must take place during the specific period.”

Still, shoppers should beware of d​​elivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges that may result in taxes should the item’s sales price surpass the $100 limit.