Tenn. tax-free weekend comes early in 2016

Tennessee’s annual tax-free weekend is coming a bit sooner than usual this year, meaning students of all ages can stock up on necessary supplies before classes start.

For the 10th consecutive year, a weekend free of sales taxes has been set aside by the Tennessee Department of Revenue, offering Tennesseans substantial savings as they prepare to return to school.

In previous years, parents have complained about having to purchase school supplies after classes begin. To counteract this issue, the Department of Revenue as scheduled this year’s tax-free event before August even begins, specifically on the last weekend of July.

It’s important to note, however, that the tax cut does not cover all products available for purchase. Products exempt from sales tax only include items which the Tennessee Department of Revenue classifies as “school supplies.” This includes clothing items as well as art supplies and other school necessities priced at $100 or less, and computers priced at $1,500 or less.  Any items outside these guidelines will not be included.

The tax holiday begins Friday, July 29 at 12:01 a.m. and lasts until Sunday, July 31 at 11:59 p.m. For those who are daunted by crowds of people charging through Walmart for dry erase markers, several online retailers such as Amazon are participating in the tax holiday as well. To qualify through an online retailer, the purchase must be made, ordered and paid for during the weekend, regardless of when it is delivered. The tax removal applies to as many items as desired, as long as no individual item exceeds the Department of Revenue’s limits.

On a college student’s budget, every penny counts, and this three-day event can help students get the most out of their money for school supplies. Students should be aware, however, that the event will not affect textbook prices, as textbooks are already free from sales tax year-round.

For more information on the sale and which items are affected, visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue website at https://revenue.support.tn.gov/hc/en-us .

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