Florida Enacts "Back to School" Sales Tax Holiday

Monday, April 9th, 2012


Florida has enacted House Bill 7087 (HB 7087), a combination of tax changes that is labeled "economic development" legislation. 2012 Fla. Laws ch. 32. In addition to wide range of amendments to several tax programs, this act creates a "Back to School" sales tax holiday for later this year.

Since 1998, Florida has enacted 10 "Back to School" sales tax holidays. During these sales tax holidays, which occurred in a specified period (usually over a weekend in August), certain clothing, footwear, and other items were exempt from sales tax. With the enactment of HB 7087, Floridians will again have the chance to make tax free-exempt purchases this coming August.

Florida's 2012 "Back to School" sales tax holiday will run from August 3 through August 5. During that period, two categories of items will be exempt from sales tax: (1) clothing, wallets, or bags (including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, and diaper bags, but excluding briefcases, suitcases, and other garment bags) with a sales price of $75 or less per item; and (2) school supplies having a sales price of $15 or less per item.

For purposes of the sales tax holiday, clothing means apparel intended to be worn on the human body and includes footwear, but clothing does not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, skis, swim fins, roller blades, nor skates. Similarly, school supplies has a specific, limited meaning: "the term 'school supplies' means pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook filler paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue or paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses, and calculators."

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