The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday returns to Florida in 2020, offering extra savings for families as students prepare to return to school this fall.
For three days in August, parents and students can take advantage of Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday when purchasing certain supplies for school, including clothing and computers.
From Aug. 7-9, Florida retailers will not be collecting state or local sales taxes on eligible purchases. In Osceola County, that is a savings of 7.5 percent on qualifying purchases (6 percent state sales tax, plus 1.5 percent county sales tax).
As published in the Florida Department of Revenue’s TIP (Tax Information Publication), the tax exemption for eligible school supplies such as calculators, crayons and composition books, applies to items selling for $15 or less.
For clothing, including footwear and accessories, an eligible item must be $60 or less. And, for eligible computer and computerrelated accessories purchases (the computer must be for home or personal use, commercial purchases are not taxexempt), the sales tax holiday applies to the first $1,000 of the purchase price. Thus, if a computer’s sale price is $1,700, for example, sales tax will be calculated and collected for $700 of that sale price.
The Florida Department of Revenue has listed terms and conditions that determine whether an item’s sales price meets the criteria for the exemption. The terms and conditions cover items sold in sets, returns and exchanges, and BOGOs (buy one item, get a second of the same item free). They also address how shipping and handling charges impact sales prices, affecting whether an item is eligible for the sales tax exemption.
When shopping online, through mail-order, or from a catalog during the sales tax holiday, and shipping and handling charges are incurred, such charges are calculated as being part of an item’s sales price. Thus, an eligible clothing item purchased in-store for $60 may receive the exemption, but the same item purchased online with shipping and handling charges of $5.99, for example, would not be eligible for the exemption. That’s because its sale price would be considered to be $65.99, exceeding the $60 price limit.
When multiple items are purchased in a single transaction, the shipping and handling costs are divided and apportioned to each item in the order to determine the pricing eligibility of each item.
The Florida Department of Revenue has posted detailed information about the Florida sales tax holiday, including a downloadable list of qualifying items, with applicable terms and conditions online at: floridarevenue.com/ backtoschool.