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Written by Kate Fluker, CPA

With summer break nearing its end, most parents and teachers will be reaching for their pocketbooks and hitting the stores to prepare for the coming school year. According to Forbes, back to school spending exceeds $1,000 for parents and nearly $500 for teachers!

There is some good news, though. For the 11th year in a row, Alabama will hold its sales tax holiday beginning Friday, August 5, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 12 midnight.  Alabama state sales and use tax on certain items will be waived (local sales and use tax may still apply). This is a great opportunity to save some money on those necessary school purchases.

Some tax free items to look for:

  • Most articles of clothing with a sales price of $100 or less (keep in mind, most clothing accessories and cosmetics will be taxable)
  • Computers, computer software, and school computer supplies with a sales price of $750 or less
  • School supplies with a sales price of $50 or less, per item
  • Books with a sales price of $30 or less per book (unfortunately this means most college textbooks will be taxable)

For a detailed list of all tax free items, you can check out the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Sales Tax Holiday Quick Reference Sheet. This will provide you all you need to know so there aren’t any surprises at the register.

Hopefully these tax savings will add up to a better start to the school year for all!

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