Ohio’s first sales tax holiday is coming next week and could help consumers save some money on back-to-school shopping this year. The tax-free shopping starts at 12:01 AM on Friday, August 7 and concludes at 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 9. Be aware, though, that the tax break only applies to specific items. The following are a few particulars to keep in mind:
- The event allows certain clothing, school supplies, and school instructional materials to be purchased without paying Ohio sales tax. If the items are purchased over the internet where no tax is charged, those items are exempt from Ohio use tax.
- There is a $75 limit for clothing and $20 limit for school supplies and instructional materials. However, the limit is PER ITEM. That means if each item of clothing is $75 or under, the whole purchase is exempt. Any individual items over $75 are not exempt.
- School supplies include only certain items: binders; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; blackboard chalk; compasses; composition books; crayons; erasers; folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila); glue, paste, and paste sticks; highlighters; index cards; index card boxes; legal pads; lunch boxes; 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; and writing tablets.
- Sports uniforms qualify – but sporting equipment (e.g., gloves, balls, rackets, clubs) do not.
- If the item totals $75 or under, then associated shipping is also exempt.
- Vendors MUST comply with the holiday – so all retail stores should be applying the program.
Here’s an example of how the holiday might help you save money:
A dad takes his two daughters, Audrey and Sarah, to a clothing store for back-to-school shopping.
- Audrey picks out 3 shirts for $35 each and a jacket on sale for $60. The entire $165 purchase is exempt.
- Sarah picks out two $50 pairs of jeans and a $80 denim jacket. The $100 for jeans is exempt. The $80 jacket is taxed in its entirety.
- The store has the above denim jacket on sale for $69 – or – rewards points are applied to discount the purchase to $69. The purchase of the jacket becomes exempt, as discounts can be applied to reduce the price below $75.
- Audrey picks out one $80 pair of jeans and gets the second pair free or for $1.99. The purchase is taxed, as buy-one-get-one-free/discounted specials cannot be averaged.
- They stop at a sporting goods store to pick up a softball glove and cleats. The purchase is taxed in its entirety, as sporting equipment does not qualify.
For more specifics, the Ohio Department of Taxation has an FAQ about the Sales Tax Holiday.
Feel free to reach out to your CSH representative if you have any questions about how this might affect you.