School will be back in session soon, which means making trips to the store to buy back to school supplies for students, and the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday starts Aug. 7 and runs through Aug. 9.
"The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday will be an excellent time for families to buy the school supplies their children need for the upcoming school year," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "It also is a time when anyone can save on purchases of certain clothing and computer items. During these times when every dollar counts, it makes sense to save as much money as possible, and this holiday provides an excellent opportunity to accomplish that goal."
According to state law, the sales tax holiday begins on the first Friday in August and continues through the following Sunday. This year, the three-day holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ends Sunday. During this period, the state's 4.225 percent sales tax will not be assessed on certain purchases made in Missouri. Local sales taxes will also not be charged in many local governmental entities, but local government have the option of not participating in the holiday.
State sales tax will not be charged during the holiday on the following items:
Clothing that does not have a value of more than $100. The state's definition of clothing includes traditional apparel, including footwear, which is worn on or about the body. It also includes material to make school uniforms or other school clothing. It does not include accessories such as watches, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands and belt buckles.
School supplies, not exceeding $50 per purchase, that are used in a standard classroom for educational purposes. School supplies include, but are not limited to, textbooks, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps and globes. The definition for school supplies does not include CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable telephones, copiers or other office equipment.
A personal computer that doesn't cost more than $3,500 and computer peripheral devices that don't exceed $3,500 are included in the sales exemption. A personal computer can be a laptop, desktop to tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM/DDR/DDR2), a hard drive, display monitor, keyboard and other related devices. Peripheral devices include items such as a disk drive, memory module (flash drive, pen drive or USB drive), CD drive, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, speakers, printer, scanner, sound card or video card. Computer software is considered a school supply and is free from state sales tax if its value is less than $350.
Anyone, not just students and Missouri residents, can benefit from the sales tax holiday. The event is commonly called the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday because it happens near the beginning of the traditional school year for most students.
"You do not have to be a Missouri resident to save money during the sales tax holiday weekend," Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue said. "I would urge our neighbors to come to Missouri and save on school supplies, clothes, personal computers and other items."
About 172 cities, 52 counties and 11 special districts have opted out of participating in the holiday. Some of the counties that have chosen not to participate include Oregon, Howell, Greene and Taney counties. However, the state sales tax in these locations and statewide will still be deducted from the cost of school supplies.