SIDNEY– There is an opportunity to get back-to-school gear for less this year.
The state of Ohio has enacted a one-time only sales tax holiday for back-to-school. It will last from Friday, Aug. 7, at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday, Aug. 9 ,at 11:59 p.m.
During this time, the following items will be exempt from sales and use tax:
• An item of clothing priced at $75 or less;
• An item of school supplies priced at $20 or less; and
• An item of school instructional material priced at $20 or less.
The Ohio Department of Taxation gives this example of the purchase of two shirts, two pair of pants, a pair of shoes and a jacket; each item costing $50, total purchase $300. The qualification for exemption of sales tax is determined item by item, there is no limit on the amount of the total purchase.
The exemption applies to items selling for $75 or less. If an item of clothing sells for more than $75, tax is due on the entire selling price.
The term clothing includes just about anything a child or college student would need clothing-wise and excludes miscellaneous accessory items like handbags, handkerchiefs, jewelry, sun glasses (non-prescription), umbrellas, wallets, watches, and wigs and hair pieces.
School supplies include only the following 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.
School instructional material includes only the following items: reference books, reference maps and globes, textbooks, and workbooks.
The department of taxation makes a point to remind consumers that the exemption does not apply to items used in a trade or business. If a consumer purchases an item that is to be used in a trade or business and the retailer does not collect sales tax, the consumer is obligated to report the purchase and pay consumer’s use tax on the item.
A full list of FAQ’s can be found on the Ohio Department of Taxation website: http://www.tax.ohio.gov/sales_and_use/salestaxholiday/holidayfaq.aspx.
Kroger will be promoting the tax holiday in their advertising. For Marketplace stores, they’ll be offering a coupon for 25 percent off on apparel and a coupon for 20 percent off for school supplies in addition to the benefits of the tax-free weekend.
For their traditional stores, they will also be offering a 20 percent off in-store coupon for back to school supplies. Both of these offers are good through Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Customers can also earn four times the fuel points on gift card purchases, from July 29 through Aug. 11. This gives customers the opportunity to buy gift cards for clothing retailers like Kohls, Macys, the Gap, etc., and earn quadruple the fuel points while also taking advantage of the tax-free weekend at those retailers.
Patty Leesemann, public affairs manager for the Cincinnati/Dayton division, said they are very excited to offer these great offers to their customers and help them save even more during the tax holiday.
“We are also pleased to extend the savings after the tax free weekend on apparel for more back to school savings,” she said.
Kroger Marketplace stores will be offering four times the fuel points on all apparel purchases, including clothes, shoes and accessories, from Wednesday, Aug. 12, through Tuesday, Sept. 1. To find a full list of Kroger stores, visit Kroger.com.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN