Summer is still in the air. But if you are already thinking of purchasing back-to-school supplies, then mark your calendars for the first weekend in August. This year, Florida's sales tax holiday weekend has been scheduled for August 3 to 5.
The three-day sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 3, and ends at midnight, Sunday, August 5. During this period, no Florida sales tax or local option tax will be collected on sales of clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $75 or less per item, or on certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item.
The law mandates that no sales-tax be collected on the sale of clothing, wallets, or bags, including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, and diaper bags. Books however are not exempt from taxes for the 2012 Sales Tax Holiday.
In order to maximize your savings during this tax-free holiday weekend, The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) offers these tips to plan ahead.
Make a list
Before hitting the stores, make a list of items you need to buy and cross reference them with Florida's list of tax holiday items to check if your purchases will be free from taxes.
Set a budget
Once you have done the list, decide how much you are willing to spend per child a few days in advance. Sit down with your kids and review the list.
This back-to-school season is also a good time to teach your kids about money and budgeting. Depending on their ages, you could negotiate back-to-school budgets with your kids and allow them to manage those budgets entirely themselves.
Shop for the best deals
Stores usually offer sales for the tax free holiday. Hunt for bargains in the sales papers before heading to the store to make sure you are getting the best deals in town.
Know what your child's school allows
Most schools will provide parents with a list of required items for the school year which can help determine what needs to be purchased. Additionally, many schools have specific dress codes, so keep these restrictions in mind before spending money on clothes that may not be allowed at their school.
To learn more about the 2012 Sales Tax Holiday and what applies, go to Florida's Department of Revenue's website.