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Florida's back-to-school tax holiday starts now

Let the savings begin.

Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday starts today and runs through Sunday. The state will forsake an estimated $30 million in tax collections on clothing, shoes and school supplies to lure consumers to spend. Many stores will sweeten the 6- to 7-percent tax savings with special sales.

Visit dor.myflorida.com/dor/ for more details and a long list of included items.

What you need to know

Who benefits: Anyone can buy clothing and shoes without having to pay sales tax.

How much may be spent: There is no overall limit. Clothing and shoes must be $75 or less per item. School supplies are limited to $15 or less per item.

What about Internet purchases? The same price limits apply — the cost of shipping and handling counts toward an item's purchase price.

What's exempt?

Quirks: Notebook paper is exempt — not printer paper. Tape and glue are tax free — not staples or staplers. Buy a backpack, but not luggage. You also won't get a break on books. Also, it's a good time to stock up on diapers.

Athletes: Exercise clothing, sports uniforms and shoes are exempt. But not football pads, water ski vests or skates.

Party people: Formal attire is exempt, don't throw in cuff links — not exempt.

For bargain hunters

Store and manufacturer coupons can not be used to reduce the price enough to qualify for an exemption. For example, if there's an $80 jacket and you have a 10 percent off coupon that brings it to $72, you'll still have to pay sales tax. But, if a store is having a 10 percent off sale that brings the item to $72 even though it's normally priced at $80, that would be tax exempt.

Florida's back-to-school tax holiday starts now 08/11/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:27am]
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