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Tax-Free Weekend Texas Deals: What Qualifies in 2019?


Texas has started holding it Tax-Free Weekend during the second weekend in August rather than the first weekend, like it used to do. 2017 was the first year Texas used this new schedule, and it’s still following the tradition this year. So that means Texas‘ tax-free weekend is this weekend, August 9-11, 2019. That means the tax-free savings started at midnight on Friday, August 9 and ends at 11:59 p.m. this Sunday night.

Items that Qualify for Tax-Free Status in Texas

Any qualifying item that costs less than $100 is tax-free this weekend in Texas. In general, this includes clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks (but it gets a little more specific than this.) If an item would qualify but it costs $115, it’s not tax-free. But if an item qualifies and costs $75, you can get as many of those $75 items as you want and they’ll all be tax-free.

Clothing & Footwear

Here are examples of clothing and footwear items that qualify. For a more complete list, visit Texas’ pages about the topic here and here.

  • Almost any item of clothing or footwear will be tax-free this weekend, unless it’s normally only worn for athletic activity.
  • Tennis shoes, swimsuits, and jogging suits are examples of items you might use for an athletic purpose but do still qualify for tax-free status. Boots qualify, unless they are work boots like rubber work boots, fishing waders, or galoshes.
  • Backpacks sold for elementary or secondary students are tax-free, including wheels and messenger bags, but backpacks for any other purpose will be taxed.
  • You can only get 10 or fewer backpacks and qualify for tax-free status. More than 10 requires an exemption certificate.
  • Adult diapers
  • Household aprons (welder-type aprons do not qualify)
  • Baby bibs, baby clothes, and baby diapers
  • Hats, such as baseball caps
  • Neckwear like bow ties, neck ties
  • Suspenders
  • Bras, hosiery, and socks
  • Chef’s uniforms, clerical vestments
  • Children’s costumes, masks for costumes
  • Coats, wraps, jackets
  • Earmuffs if they’re for cold weather, and scarves
  • Graduation caps and gowns
  • Pajamas
  • Religious clothing

School Supplies that Qualify

According to the Texas Comptroller, the list below is an all-inclusive list of school supplies that do qualify for tax-free status as long as they’re under $100 each.  (Note: You’ll need an exemption certificate if you’re buying the supplies with a business account, business credit card, or business check.)

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders – expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Kits (if they contain school supplies with exempt and taxable items, it depends on the value of the exempt or taxable items. If the value of the exempt items is higher, than the kit is exempt.)
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers)
  • Notebooks
  • Paper – loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets

Note that layaway items do qualify if you put it on layaway this weekend or make the final payment this weekend.

Rainchecks only qualify if you’re purchasing a rainchecked item during the holiday. A raincheck issued during the holiday won’t get you tax-free status for something you buy later.

Items that Do NOT Qualify for Tax-Free Status in Texas

The following items are examples of what DO NOT qualify for tax-free status in Texas this weekend.

  • Clothing designed by the manufacturer specifically for athletic activity or protective use. If it’s normally only worn during athletic activity, it won’t count.
  • Sports-only gear like golf cleats, football pads, baseball gloves.
  • Any clothing or footwear that’s rented.
  • Alterations or cleaning services
  • All accessories, such as jewelry, wallets, watches, separately sold belt buckles, and the like
  • Hair accessories also don’t qualify, including barrettes, bobby pins, hair bows, headbands, clips, and the like.
  • Bags, such as handbags, purses, briefcases, computer bags or luggage.
  • The backpack tax exemption does not apply to bags that are more reasonably defined as luggage. This includes computer bags, purses, “framed” backpacks, briefcases, or athletic/duffle/gym bags.
  • Umbrellas and handkerchiefs
  • Corsages, boutonnieres
  • Headphones
  • Goggles
  • Safety clothing
  • Shoe laces and shoe inserts
  • Textbooks
  • Computers
  • Computer software

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