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Texas Sales Tax Goes Back to School This Weekend

The Texas sales tax law changes for one weekend prior to the start of the school year. In what has become an annual tradition, the 8.25 percent sales tax on school items is waived for three days. The tax law change is temporary and it is up to the merchant to collect the sales tax on items which are not exempt from the temporary reprieve.

It was reported that this year the online retailer Amazon will join the brick and mortar retailers in the tax-free weekend. Our readers may recall that Amazon only recently began collecting sales tax in Texas. There are a few peculiarities about the tax-free weekend of which our readers may wish to be aware.

What constitutes a school item may be up for debate among consumers, but not according to the Comptroller's Office. For example:

  • Shoes used for football are tax-free but the football cleats are taxed.
  • A backpack for books is tax-free but a backpack for a laptop computer is taxed.
  • Two jackets each worth $99.99 would each be tax-free but one jack worth $100.01 is taxed.

If a person believes that a retailer made a mistake and charged a tax, the consumer could get a refund. There is a refund form that the retailer should provide to the buyer. It is called the Assignment of Right to Refund (Form 00-985). Many shoppers may instead wish to simply examine the receipt before they leave the checkout line.

Retailers that have questions regarding what they may be required to collect can contact the Comptroller's Office or work with a trusted tax and legal advisor.

Source: Beaumont Enterprise, "Amazon joins Texas' tax-free weekend," Dwight Silverman, Aug. 14, 2012

At our Dallas law firm we represent individuals and businesses solve their tax issues related to tax law changes such as those mentioned in this posting.

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