October 21, 2020

School supplies added to Mississippi tax holiday weekend, July 26-27

Shoppers will soon be able to enjoy an annual tax-free weekend to prepare for the upcoming school year.

During the 2019 Sales Tax Holiday on July 26-27, sales tax will not be due on articles of clothing and footwear, just as on past tax holidays, but this year the statewide period includes the addition of school supplies.

“The original bill did not include school supplies. It took eight years to get it passed,” said state Sen. Walter Michel, R-Hinds.

The sales tax holiday was enacted by the Mississippi Legislature in 2009 for the sale of clothing and footwear. During the 2019 legislative session, Senate Bill 2955 was passed, which added school supplies to the list of items that are tax exempt.

To qualify, each individual item must cost less than $100 and must be purchased during the tax free weekend.

“In order to get the bill passed, we included clothing and footwear…items that everyone could use. This year, crayons, erasers, pens, pencils, notebooks, lunch boxes, textbooks, backpacks and many more items are included,” said Michel.

Although many shoppers use the weekend to prepare their children for the upcoming school year, businesses can also benefit from the holiday.

“Business owners can also take advantage of the tax savings, as calculators, folders, reference books, copy paper and legal pads are also included,” Michel said.

The tax free period begins at 12:01 a.m. July 26, the first day of the two-day event, and concludes at midnight July 27.

For purposes of the holiday, “clothing” includes “any article of apparel designed to be worn on the human body.” “Footwear,” however, is not all inclusive, excluding skis, swim fins, roller blades, skates and similar items. Accessories — such as jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, briefcases and garment bags — do not qualify for the tax break.

Shoppers should note that manufacturer’s coupons cannot be used to lower the selling price of an item to below the $100 limit. Layaway sales do not qualify. Eligible items purchased by mail, phone or internet July 26-27 will be subject to the same rules as items purchased in a brick-and-mortar retail establishment.

For a complete list of tax free items included in this year’s Sales Tax Holiday, as well as more detailed guidelines, visit the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s website at www.dor.ms.gov.

Story by Gracie Byrne