Tenn. Sales Tax weekend: Shoppers can benefit from duty-free holiday
From Staff Reports
You can’t tell by the weather, but for Blount County retailers it’s almost like the day after Thanksgiving.
Friday through Sunday is the first weekend of August, and that means it’s time for Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday.
Starting at 12:01 this morning and ending at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, shoppers in Tennessee can make many purchases — particularly of school-related items — without paying local or state sales taxes.
Just like for Black Friday in November, savvy shoppers plan ahead for this shop-till-you-drop weekend, with clothes and computers among the most popular merchandise targeted by buyers.
Tax-free items include clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and school art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item and computers with a price of $1,500 or less.
These items are exempt from state and local sales tax in Tennessee during the holiday. Local governments are reimbursed lost sales tax revenues by the state.
In case you were wondering, this is not an opportunity to pick up a mink coat and get a big-dollar tax break.
Remember, the point is to help out parents equip their kids for school. The exemption applies only to items like clothes selling for $100 or less. For example, if that nice jacket costs $105, tax is due on the entire selling price.
And no, you can’t split items normally sold together. That means you can’t pick up a $190 pair of Air Jordan’s tax free by buying each shoe for $95.
As for computers, those are defined as a central processing unit (CPU) along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse cables to connect components and preloaded software. The CPU may be purchased separately, but other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible.
And if you’re figuring on picking up a top-of-the-line computer, forget about it. Like with the $100 clothing max, the computer threshold of $1,500 means all the tax is due when the price reaches $1,500.01.
And you can’t beat that limit by using a $300 manufacturer’s rebate that knocks down the price of an $1,800 laptop to $1,500.
Likewise, extended warranties are not exempt. You wouldn’t have to pay tax on the computer at $1,500 or less, but warranties and services are not exempt during the sales tax holiday.
But there is some flexibility. There’s no limit on the quantity of items that may be purchased as long as they are eligible under the law.
‘Stuff the Bus’
Many children look forward to arriving on the first day of school with new notebooks, backpacks and pencil boxes, but it’s a different story for children whose families can not afford these items. To meet this community need The Blount County Education Foundation will once again be ready to “Stuff the Bus.”
The BCEF’s annual school supply drive that will be held at both the Alcoa and Maryville Walmart locations from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday and from 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday.
“Stuff the Bus” provides basic supplies such as pencils, paper, pens and backpacks to students in need in the Blount County School system.
The BCEF also accepts cash donations to purchase additional supplies.
Last year $1,100 was raised and the board is hoping to exceed that amount again this year. Shoppers can “stuff the bus” by making cash or check donations directly to the foundation to purchase school supplies, or they can choose to purchase needed items themselves while shopping and drop it in the bus.
Some of the requested supplies by teachers include: antibacterial wipes, backpacks, binders, colored pencils or markers, crayons, dry erase supplies, erasers, folders, hand sanitizer, boxes of tissues and notebook paper.
Since 1990, the BCEF has delivered needed educational tools to teachers and students in all Blount County Schools. While a separate entity from the school system, the BCEF works closely with teachers, principals and central office administration to understand and address the most pressing and unmet needs.
For more information about “Stuff the Bus,” contact the BCEF at 980-1169, or visit online at http://www.blountcountyeducationfoundation.org .