Back to school shoppers to get a break


GREENVILLE — Back-to-school shoppers are getting a break from the State of Ohio with a short-term “sales tax holiday,” allowing them to buy clothes and school supplies without having to pay a sales tax.

The sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 7, and ends Sunday, Aug. 9, at 11:59 p.m.

During this period, the following items will be exempt from sales and use taxes:

• Clothing priced at $75 or less per item;

• School supplies priced at $20 or less per item; and

• School instructional material priced at $20 per item or less.

Items used in a trade or business are not exempt under the sales tax holiday.

There is no limit on the amount of the total purchase. Qualification is determined item-by-item, so multiple items in a single purchase may be exempted from sales tax. Non-exempt items may be purchased at the same time but sales tax will be charged for those items.

“Clothing” is defined as all wearing apparel for humans, which includes costumes, swim wear, formal wear, shoes and shoelaces and disposable diapers. Not included are clothing accessories, sewing materials, sports and recreational equipment, and items used in a trade or business.

“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.

Qualifying items placed on or picked up from layaway during the sales tax holiday are exempt from sales tax.

The exemption applies to mail, telephone, email and internet orders if the order is placed, accepted by the retailer and paid for within the tax holiday period.

The sales tax holiday is set by law, and all vendors in Ohio must comply.

State tax rates as well as county permissive tax rates are included in the sales tax holiday.

Anyone with questions or disputes regarding the sales tax holiday can contact the Ohio Department of Taxation at 800-304-3211 or use the form at

By Rachel Lloyd

[email protected]

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