Alabama will hold its annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday beginning Friday, July 17, at 12:01 a.m. and ending on Sunday, July 19, at midnight. Shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, computers and clothing free of state sales tax and local sales tax in some areas.

Barbour County Commissioners voted during their May meeting to participate in the tax free weekend. Towns in Barbour County that have already voted to participate in the tax free weekend include Clayton, Clio and Midway. The Eufaula City Council will vote on the item during its June meeting according to a City Hall representative. Eufaula City Council member Barbara Flurry said she felt the vote would pass as it has every year since the creation of the tax holiday.

With tentative start dates set by local schools, the tax free weekend allow shoppers to save on school supplies and items for students. Tentative start dates for local schools are: Barbour County Schools, Aug. 6; Eufaula City Schools, Aug. 6; Lakeside School, Aug. 19; and Parkview Christian School, Aug. 6.

According to the Department of Revenue’s website, covered items during the annual Back-to-School sales tax holiday are exempt only if the individual item is priced at or below the established threshold for the exemption. An exemption for only a portion of an individual item is not allowed. For example, a customer purchases a pair of pants that costs $120. Tax is due on the entire $120 because the exemption only pertains to clothing that costs under $100. So remember, the exemption does not apply to the first $100 of the price of an item of clothing selling for more than $100.

Clothing, costing $100 or less per article of clothing, included on the tax exempt list of items are: belts, boots, caps, coats, diapers, dresses, gloves, gym shorts, hats, hosiery, jackets, jeans, neckties, pajamas, pants, raincoats, robes, sandals, scarves, school uniforms, shirts, shoes, shorts, socks, sneakers, and underwear. For an all-inclusive list of what is covered as tax exempt visit the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website.

Clothing items that are not covered and are deemed as taxable clothing accessories include belt buckles that are sold separately, briefcases, cosmetics, costume masks, hair notions consisting of hair bows, barrettes and other related hair items, handbags, jewelry, patches and emblems that are sold separately, sewing equipment and supplies consisting of thread, fabric, buttons zippers, pins, patterns, scissors, tape measures and other sewing notions, sunglasses, eye glasses and contacts (prescription or nonprescription), umbrellas, wallets, watches, wigs and hair pieces.

Protective equipment such as breathing masks, ear and hearing protectors, face shields, helmets, protective gloves, safety glasses or goggles, safety belts, and tool belts are not included in the exempt list and are taxable also.

Sports and recreational equipment consisting of ballet or tap shoes, band instruments, cleated or spiked athletic shoes, goggles, gloves — including baseball and golf gloves, hand and elbow guards, mouth guards, shin guards, and shoulder pads will be taxed during the upcoming weekend.

If you are waiting for the tax free weekend to purchase a new computer, remember that only computers, including laptops, desktop, or a tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit (CPU), will be exempt from state taxes during the tax free weekend. Devices such as a display monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers that are sold as part of a computer package are included with the tax exempt items but if you buy any of these computer parts or devices individually, not as part of a package with the CPU, it will not be exempt from taxes.

Computer software and school computer supplies that include computer storage media, compact disks, computer printers, printer supplies for computers (printer paper and ink), handheld electronic schedulers and personal digital assistants except for devices that are cellular phones are included as tax exempt during the upcoming weekend.

Furniture, along with systems, devices, software, peripherals designed or intended primarily or recreational use or video games of a non-educational mature are not included as tax exempt.

An all-inclusive list of school supplies, art supplies and school instructional material with a price of $50 or less that will be exempt include binders, blackboard chalk, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila), glue, paste and past sticks, highlighters, index cards and index card boxes, legal pads, markers, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper)loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper), pencils boxes and other school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors, writing tablets, clay and glazes, paints (acrylic, tempera and oil), paintbrushes for artwork, sketch and drawing pads, watercolors, reference maps and globes and required textbooks on an official school book list with a sales price of more than $30 and less than $50. An official school book is defined as a set of printed sheets bound together and published in a volume with an ISBN number but does not include magazines, newspapers, periodicals, or any other document printed or offered for sale in a non-bound form.

For a complete list of taxable and exempt items, and towns in Alabama that are participating in the tax free weekend, visit www.revenue.alabama.gov.

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