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The basics on Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday

Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday. What is it? No sales tax will be collected on purchases of certain clothing, school supplies and electronics.

When?

12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

What's new?

The tax break covers electronic devices costing up to $750, including laptops, desktops, tablets, e-readers, computer towers and related accessories, such as keyboards, mouse devices, personal digital assistants, monitors, modems, routers and nonrecreational software. Excluded are cellphones, video game consoles, digital media receivers, recreational software and devices not primarily designed to process data.

What else is exempt?

Clothing, shoes and certain accessories selling for $75 or less and school supplies costing up to $15. The tax break applies to in-store and online purchases.

What's not covered?

Skis, swim fins, ice and inline skates, watches, jewelry, umbrellas, sporting equipment, sunglasses and suitcases. Also excluded are books, masking tape, printer paper, staplers and staples.

Restrictions

Manufacturers' coupons can't be applied to reduce the cost of an item to qualify it for the exemption. However, store coupons and discounts can be used to lower the price in order to make the item tax-free.

Why?

The state Legislature created the law to help save families money. Retail groups say the tax holiday spurs sales of all goods, even those not covered by the exemptions, because more people go out to shop. The event has been held annually since 1998, except in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009.

Impact

The Florida Retail Federation estimates that sales will reach about $400 million during the three-day holiday, up from last year because of the new exemption on electronics.

Average spending

A National Retail Federation survey predicts that families with school-age children will spend an average of $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, down from $688.62 last year.

Also of note

Local Best Buy stores and Tyrone Square Mall are extending their hours to accommodate crowds.

For more information

Go to www.myflorida.com/dor.

The basics on Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday 07/31/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 2, 2013 10:10am]
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