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Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins Saturday

By CJ HADDAD - | Jul 30, 2021


Parents feeling the anxiety of a quickly arriving back to school season after a difficult economic year can take advantage of a statewide tax break beginning Saturday.

The Florida Department of Revenue Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday runs from July 31 to Aug. 9. During the period, certain clothing, footwear, and accessories selling for $60 or less per item, certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item, and the first $1,000 of the sales price of personal computers and related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use are exempt from sales tax.

The holiday comes as part of a tax cut package signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis this past May. Previously this year, Floridians were able to find tax breaks for “Disaster Preparedness” hurricane season items and outdoor recreation items during “Freedom Week.”

“In Florida, we are providing more than $168 million in taxpayer savings for families and businesses,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I’m proud that we have legislative leaders like Senate President Wilton Simpson, Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, and Representative Bobby Payne who understand that we empower Floridians through tax cuts — not increases. From sales tax holidays to permanent tax exemptions helping seniors live independently, I am committed to continuing to reduce the tax burden for all residents of our state.”

The sales tax holiday does not apply to:

• Any item of clothing selling for more than $60

• Any school supply item selling for more than $15

• Books that are not otherwise exempt

• Computers and computer-related accessories purchased for commercial purposes

• Rentals or leases of any eligible items

• Repairs or alterations of any eligible items

• Sales of any eligible items in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment, or airport

While parents can fill their shopping carts with new clothes, notebooks, pens, pencils, backpacks, and other school related essentials, officials with the National Federation of Independent Business ask shoppers to support small businesses after a tough 2020.

“Business may be stronger than it was a year ago, but it still isn’t as strong as it was before the pandemic,” said NFIB Florida Executive Director Bill Herrle in a statement. “The disruption to Florida’s economy impacted all kinds of businesses, but it’s been especially challenging for small businesses. We need to support the small businesses that do so much to support Florida’s economy.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 99.8% of all employers in Florida, employing 41.7% of the state’s workforce. A study by American Express revealed that 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business remains local and creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity.

“By shopping small during this year’s tax holiday, we can help the local businesses get back on their feet,” Herrle added.

For more details on tax exempt items and what qualifies, visit www.floridarevenue.com/backtoschool.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj