Florida's Tax Free Weekend

What back to school supplies will you save on?

Friends shopping
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For a long time, Florida had a tax-free weekend on hurricane preparedness supplies in an effort to help low-income families get ready for storms. These tax-free weekends were also meant to incentivize others to purchase these supplies as well. Sadly, Florida's tax-free weekend took a break a few years ago, but now it's back and stronger than ever! The savings are no longer limited to hurricane preparedness items.

Florida joined several other states in offering a tax-free week for things like back-to-school supplies, clothing, and more.

Florida Tax-Free Weekend

Florida's back-to-school shopping sales tax holiday is usually scheduled for August but you'll want to check your local newspapers.

Qualifying purchases include:

  • Clothing, shoes, and accessories ($100 or less per item)
  • Back-to-school supplies ($15 or less per item)
  • Computers and computer accessories (tax savings applies to the first $750 of the sales price, only when purchased for personal/non-commercial use)

Unfortunately, if you're hoping to pick up some new party clothes over this tax holiday, you'll probably be out of luck. The Florida tax-free weekend savings does not apply to clothing sold for more than $100 per item; school supplies sold for more than $15 per item; or most books. Other exceptions and exclusions may apply. These kinds of exemptions are meant to make sure people don't abuse the tax holiday that is really meant to help people.

It's meant to help ease the financial burden of going back to school.

Smart Shopping Strategies for Florida's Tax-Free Week

Being a sensible shopper is the best way to save even more during tax-free week. You can usually compare prices at several different stores online. Using coupons is another popular way to save money but make sure the coupons aren't tricking you into buying more than you actually need.

In addition, don't buy anything you don't really need. Since the regular sales tax rate in Florida is 6 percent or 7.5 percent (depending on what ​county you're in), that's the amount of money you'll save by shopping during the sales tax holiday. You might find that you can actually save more money by shopping at competitive sales either before or after the tax-free weekend, along with using coupons or taking advantage of special promotions.

Keep in mind, too, that some items will still be taxed during Florida's tax-free weekend. For example, many sporting goods are not tax exempt in Florida, such as football pads and protective helmets, but cleats and spiked shoes are. If you have any questions about what counts and what doesn't, refer to Florida's Department of Revenue website for a list of tax-exempt items.

School Supplies

If possible, try to get a list of school supplies your children's teachers require before the tax-free weekend occurs. Different grades sometimes require different tools like calculators or special rulers. Knowing what you need ahead of time will help you save money and keep you from scrambling to the store when school starts.