Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday: August 4th-6th

by Katie on August 4, 2017

Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday officially starts at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, August 4th and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 6th.

Here are the main components of the sales tax holiday:

What items qualify for the sales tax holiday?

  • An item of clothing priced at $75 or less
  • An item of school supplies priced at $20 or less
  • An item of school instructional materials priced at $20 or less

What items of clothing qualify for the exemption?

According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, clothing is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use.  Basically, this is common sense.  The exemption will cover such items as shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, shoes, underwear, socks, coats, jackets, and so on.  You can find the full listing of items included (and excluded) here.

What kinds of items count as school supplies?

Again, most of these are common sense.  Items such as binders, notebooks, pencils, pens, compasses, glue, and highlighters are included.  You can find the full listing of included items here.

What items count as school instructional materials?

This category is much more specific, and it includes only the following items – reference books, reference maps and globes, textbooks, and workbooks.

Can more than one qualifying item be purchased in one transaction?

Yes!  Let’s say you purchase a shirt for $20, a pair of shoes for $50, and a jacket for $40.  Since each item is priced at $75 or less, they all qualify for the tax-free status.  There is no limit for the total amount of the purchase; rather, the limit applies to each individual item.

Does the $75 limit apply to the first $75 of the purchase?

No.  If you buy a pair of shoes for $80, you will pay tax on the full $80 purchase.  The exemption only applies to items that are priced at $75 or under.

What about B1G1 free sales or percentage off sales?

The same $75 limit for clothing and $20 limit for school supplies still applies.  For instance, if you buy two pairs of shoes that are on a B1G1 free sale, and they are regularly priced at $80, you will still have to pay tax on your purchase.

What about coupons and store discounts?

If a retailer offers a discount on the original price of an eligible item that brings it within the limit for the tax exemption ($75 for clothing and $20 for school supplies), the item will qualify for the exemption.  This applies to all discounts even if the retailer’s coupon or loyalty card is required to receive the discount.

However, if you use a third-party reimbursement, such as a manufacturer’s coupon, the discount provided by the coupon does not reduce the item’s sales price for the purpose of determining whether the item would be eligible for the exemption.  For example, if you buy a Five Star product that is priced at $22, and you have a $2 manufacturer’s coupon, you would still need to pay sales tax on that item.

Does the exemption apply to mail, telephone, or internet orders?

Assuming that you order and pay for the item(s) between August 4th and August 6th, and the retailer accepts the order during this exemption period, it will qualify for the tax exemption even if the delivery is made after August 6th.

However, it the item was ordered prior to August 4th and delivered between the 4th and the 6th, it will not qualify for the exemption.  Likewise, if your item is back-ordered and the payment does not occur until after August 6th, it will not qualify for the exemption.

Can a vendor choose to not participate in the sales tax holiday?

No.  The sales tax holiday was established by law, and all vendors must comply with the exemptions.

For more information, you can refer to the Ohio Department of Taxation’s site here.  

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