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2019 FL Back to School Sales Tax Holiday


Florida has passed the back to school sales tax holiday again. The holiday will allow individuals to buy certain supplies and materials tax-free for a limited amount of time. What qualifies for tax-free treatment is detailed below.

This year the sales tax holiday is from Friday, August 2, 2019, through Tuesday, August 6, 2019. That means all purchases of the below items must be done during this timeframe to qualify for the exemption.

One group of items qualifying for the holiday are clothing, wallets, or bags. All of these items must have a sales price of $60 or less per item. Examples of items that are bag can include handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, and diaper bags. Clothing can include (but is not limited to!) scarves, ties, baby clothes, jeans, jackets, hats, gym clothes, and uniforms. Items not included in the exemption are briefcases, suitcases, & other garment bags. The Department of Revenue specifically states diving suits and ski vests do not qualify for the exemption.

Also included in the tax-free holiday is footwear with a sales price of $60 or less. The law specifically excludes skis, swim fins, roller blades, and skates.

You may buy school supplies with a sales price of $15 or less per item tax-free. Items fitting within this category are pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook filler paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue/paste, rulers, CDs, staplers and staples, protractors, compasses, and calculators. However, the Department of Revenue states printer/computer paper, whiteout, and masking tape are taxable.

Different from last year, computers and computer accessories are part of the sales tax holiday. Computers and accessories must be at a price of $1,000 or less per item. Included are e-readers, laptops, desktops, handhelds, tablets, & tower computers. Computer accessories include cables, printers, data storage devices, docking stations, and modems/routers to name a few. Not included are cell phones, video game consoles, and digital media receivers. Also excluded would be cases, digital cameras, and stand-alone fax machines.

The law allows for a seller to “opt-out” of the sales tax holiday if desired. To opt-out, the seller must have had less than 5% of its gross sales in the prior calendar year consisting of items qualifying for the tax holiday. If that is the case, the seller must notify the Department of Revenue by August 1, 2019, of its intent to opt-out. Additionally, the seller must post a notice in a conspicuous place.

In conclusion, the back to school sales tax holiday remains mostly the same as last year. Ensure you take advantage of not having to pay sales tax on certain items by buying the items listed above from August 2, 2019, to August 6, 2019.

Florida Sales Tax Attorney; Florida Sales Tax Audit; Florida Sales Tax Audit Defense; Miami Sales Tax Attorney; Orlando Sales Tax AttorneyAbout the author: David Brennan is an associate attorney with Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A. His primary practice area is multistate tax controversy. David received a B.S. in Accounting and Finance, with a minor in Computer Science, from Florida State University. He worked as an accountant for a CPA firm before attending law school at Regent University. He received his Juris Doctorate in 2013 and was licensed to practice law in Florida in the same year. In 2015, David earned his Masters of Laws in Taxation from Boston University. As a former senior attorney for the Florida Department of Revenue, he handled informal protest appeals, among other things. You can read his BIO HERE.


TIP #19A01-03

Florida House Bill 7123


FLORIDA SALES TAX FOR REMOTE SELLERS, published November 12, 2018, by David J. Brennan, Jr., Esq.

FLORIDA SALES TAX - VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAM, published April 9, 2018, by Jeanette Moffa, Esq.

2018 FLORIDA TAX LEGISLATION UPDATE, published March 30, 2018, by David J. Brennan, Jr., Esq.