Florida's Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday: What you need to know

Tax holiday on school supplies runs Aug. 2-6

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Back-to-school shoppers in Florida will be able to take advantage of a sales tax “holiday” as they prepare for the new school year.

The back-to-school tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

School supplies sales tax holiday posterDuring that period, sales taxes will be eliminated on the following items:

  • Clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item
  • Certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item
  • Personal computers and certain computer-related accessories selling for $1,000 or less per item, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use

VIEW: List of qualifying items for the 2019 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday |
Answers to frequently asked questions about the tax holiday

Best Buy assistant manager Derek Newton said this is the best time of the year to buy high-priced items such as laptops and tablets. 

"Customers can save about $70, as well as a ton of deals where they can actually come in and save money plus the tax," Newton said.

If you want to save even more money, consignment shops also participate in the tax-free holiday. Fine Resale Apparel store manager Kathleen Jackson said the store has deals on top of the tax-free holiday. 

"We have a 75% off rack. So a shirt that is $10 will be $2.50 when we ring it up, plus you get tax free for (the) tax-free weekend," Jackson said.

The back-to-school tax holiday does not apply to:

  • Any item of clothing selling for more than $60
  • Any school supply item selling for more than $15
  • Books that are not otherwise exempt
  • Computers and computer-related accessories purchased for commercial purposes
  • Rentals or leases of any eligible items
  • Repairs or alterations of any eligible items
  • Sales of any eligible items in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment or airport

RELATED: How much can you save on school supplies with tax holiday?

The discount period will be the 17th back-to-school tax holiday in the state since 1998 and the fifth year in which personal computers and accessories are included. The other years were 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017, with price-tag caps of $750 in those years.

Families are expected to spend an average of $700 on back-to-school shopping for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and close to $1,000 for college students, according to the retail federation.

Florida economists have projected shoppers during the sales tax holiday will save $41.7 million, which accounts for the biggest part of an $87 million tax package (HB 7123) lawmakers approved this spring.

The five-day period is projected to cut state revenue by $31.8 million and local government revenue by a total of $9.9 million.

Without computer equipment and limited to three days, the holiday in 2018 was projected to save $32.7 million for shoppers.

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