Back-to-school tax holiday returns this weekend

By Alexandra Newman - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Back this weekend, by popular demand, is the Ohio back-to-school tax holiday.

This weekend-only event, starting Friday, Aug. 5, at midnight, and running through Sunday, Aug. 7, at 11:59 p.m., gives the opportunity to get back-to-school gear for a little less.

There will be no sales tax on:

• Clothing priced at $75 per item or less.

• School supplies proved at $20 per item or less

• School instructional material priced at $20 per item 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.

Ohioans saved approximately $3.3 million on back-to-school items during the three-day period last year, resulting in a 6.48 percent boost in statewide retail sales in August 2015, according to data from the University of Cincinnati Economics Center. Last year was the first time for this special event. After hearing the research on how last year’s holiday boosted the economy, Ohio legislators passed another senate bill enacting the holiday once more in 2016.

A full list of FAQ’s can be found on the Ohio Department of Taxation website:

By Alexandra Newman

[email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.