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Texas sales tax holiday underway: View list of what's tax-free and what isn't

The 2021 sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 6, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 8.

HOUSTON — Tax-free weekend is here. It’s time to load up on clothes and back-to-school supplies without worrying about paying taxes.

A record amount of back-to-school spending is expected this year according to the retail federation.

Families with students in elementary through high school will spend an average of $849 dollars  

For college students, the amount jumps to $1,200.32..

Wouldn’t it be nice to save a little? Well, you can – about $8 on every hundred on this Texas sales tax holiday weekend.

What is tax free? Clothing, shoes and backpacks under $100 per item School supplies also under $100 are.  What’s not tax-free? Specialized sports clothing and accessories like jewelry and watches.

If you’re buying online, here’s what you need to know. If your item comes with a shipping cost, factor that in and make sure it’s under $100 or it doesn’t qualify. And yes, you can do a layaway plan or make the final payment on an item this weekend.

It’s estimated that Texans will save $102.2 million in state and local sales. The tax-free weekend is going on now through midnight on Sunday.

You can get the entire list of tax-free items this weekend by texting SUPPLIES to 713-526-1111.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

The tax-free purchases apply to most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100).

Clothing, Footwear and Other Items – Qualifying and Nonqualifying Items

(T) = Taxable; (E) = Exempt 

  • Accessories (generally) (T)
    • Barrettes (T)
    • Belt buckles (sold separately) (T)
    • Bobby pins (T)
    • Briefcases (T)
    • Elastic ponytail holders (T)
    • Hair bows (T)
    • Hair clips (T)
    • Handbags (T)
    • Handkerchiefs (T)
    • Headbands (T)
    • Jewelry (T)
    • Key cases (T)
    • Purses (T)
    • Wallets (T)
    • Watchbands (T)
    • Watches (T)
  • Adult diapers (E)
  • Alterations (T)
  • Aprons (household) (E)
  • Aprons (welders) (T)
  • Athletic socks (E)
  • Baby bibs (E)
  • Baby clothes (E)
  • Baby diapers (cloth or disposable) (E)
  • Backpacks (unless for use by elementary/secondary students) (T)
  • Baseball accessories
    • Baseball caps (E)
    • Baseball cleats (T)
    • Baseball gloves (T)
    • Baseball jerseys (E)
    • Baseball pants (T)
  • Bathing caps (T)
  • Belt buckles (T)
  • Belts with attached buckles (E)
  • Belts for weight lifting (T)
  • Bicycle shoes (cleated) (T)
  • Blouses (E)
  • Boots (general purpose) (E)
    • Climbing (cleated or spiked) (T)
    • Cowboy (E)
    • Fishing (waders) (T)
    • Hiking (E)
    • Overshoes and galoshes (T)
    • Rubber work boots (T)
    • Ski (T)
    • Waders (T)
  • Bow ties (E)
  • Bowling shirts (E)
  • Bowling shoes (rented and sold) (T)
  • Bras (E)
  • Buttons and zippers (T)
  • Camp clothes (E)
  • Caps (baseball, fishing, golf) (E)
  • Chef uniforms (E)
  • Children’s novelty costumes (E)
  • Chest protectors (T)
  • Clerical vestments (E)
  • Cloth and lace, knitting yarns, and other fabrics (T)
  • Clothing repair items, such as thread, buttons, tapes, and iron-on patches (T)
  • Coats and wraps (E)
  • Corsages and boutonnieres (T)
  • Coveralls (E)
  • Diapers (cloth and disposable) (E)
  • Dresses (E)
  • Dry cleaning services (T)
  • Earmuffs
    • Cold weather (E)
    • Noise cancellation or noise-canceling (T)
  • Elbow pads (T)
  • Embroidery (T)
  • Employee uniforms (unless rented) (E)
  • Fabrics, thread, buttons, lace, patterns, knitting yarns (T)
  • Fins (swim) (T)
  • Fishing boots (waders) (T)
  • Fishing caps (E)
  • Fishing vests (non-flotation) (E)
  • Football accessories
    • Football jerseys (E)
    • Football pads (T)
    • Football pants (T)
  • Gloves (generally) (E)
    • Baseball (T)
    • Batting (T)
    • Bicycle (T)
    • Dress (unless rented) (E)
    • Garden (T)
    • Golf (T)
    • Hockey (T)
    • Leather (E)
    • Rubber (T)
    • Surgical (T)
    • Tennis (T)
    • Work (T)
  • Goggles (T)
  • Golf accessories
    • Golf caps (E)
    • Golf dresses (E)
    • Golf gloves (T)
    • Golf jackets and windbreakers (E)
    • Golf shirts (E)
    • Golf skirts (E)
    • Golf purses (T)
    • Golf shoes (T)
  • Graduation caps and gowns (E)
  • Gym suits and uniforms (E)
  • Hairnets, bows, clips, and barrettes (T)
  • Handbags and purses (T)
  • Handkerchiefs (T)
  • Hard hats (T)
  • Hats (E)
  • Headbands (T)
  • Helmets (bike, baseball, football, hockey, motorcycle, sports) (T)
  • Hockey gloves (T)
  • Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts (E)
  • Hosiery, including support hosiery (E)
  • Hunting vests (E)
  • Ice skates (T)
  • Insoles (T)
  • Jackets (E)
  • Jeans (E)
  • Jewelry (T)
  • Jogging apparel (E)
  • Knee pads (T)
  • Knitted caps or hats (E)
  • Laundering services (T)
  • Leg warmers (E)
  • Leotards and tights (E)
  • Life jackets and vests (T)
  • Luggage (T)
  • Mask, costume (E)
  • Mask, cloth and disposable fabric face masks (E)
  • Mask, protective – N95, welder, umpire, swim or other similar personal protection equipment (T)
  • Monogramming services (T)
  • Neckwear and ties (E)
  • Nightgowns and nightshirts (E)
  • Overshoes and rubber shoes (T)
  • Pads (football, hockey, soccer, elbow, knee, shoulder) (T)
  • Paint or dust respirators and incidental supplies (T)
  • Painter pants (E)
  • Pajamas (E)
  • Pants (E)
  • Pantyhose (E)
  • Patterns (T)
  • Personal flotation devices (T)
  • Pocket squares (T)
  • Protective gloves (T)
  • Protective masks (T)
  • Raincoats and ponchos (E)
  • Rain hats (E)
  • Religious clothing (E)
  • Rented clothing (including uniforms, formal wear, and costumes) (T)
  • Repair of clothing or footwear (T)
  • Ribbons (T)
  • Robes (E)
  • Rollerblades (T)
  • Roller skates (T)
  • Safety accessories
    • Safety clothing (normally worn in hazardous occupations) (T)
    • Safety glasses (except prescription) (T)
    • Safety shoes (adaptable for streetwear) (E)
    • Safety shoes (not adaptable for streetwear) (T)
  • Scarves (E)
  • Scout uniforms (E)
  • Sewing patterns (T)
  • Shawls and wraps (E)
  • Shin guards and padding (T)
  • Shirts (E)
  • Shirts (hooded) (E)
  • Shoe inserts (T)
  • Shoelaces (T)
  • Shoes (generally) (E)
    • Ballet (T)
    • Baseball cleats (T)
    • Bicycle (cleated) (T)
    • Boat (E)
    • Bowling (T)
    • Cleated or spiked (T)
    • Cross trainers (E)
    • Dress (E)
    • Fishing boots (waders) (T)
    • Flip-flops (rubber thongs) (E)
    • Football (T)
    • Golf (T)
    • Jazz and dance (T)
    • Jellies (E)
    • Overshoes (T)
    • Running (without cleats) (E)
    • Safety (suitable for everyday use) (E)
    • Sandals (E)
    • Slippers (E)
    • Sneakers and tennis (E)
    • Soccer (cleated) (T)
    • Spiked or cleated (T)
    • Tap dance (T)
    • Tennis (E)
    • Track and cleats (T)
    • Wading/water sport (T)
    • Walking (E)
  • Shoe shines (T)
  • Shoe repairs (T)
  • Shoulder pads (for dresses, jackets, etc.) (T)
  • Shoulder pads (football, hockey, sports) (T)
  • Shorts (E)
  • Shower caps (T)
  • Skates (ice and roller) (T)
  • Ski boots (snow) (T)
  • Ski suits (snow) (T)
  • Ski vests (water) (T)
  • Skirts (E)
  • Sleepwear, nightgowns, pajamas (E)
  • Slippers (E)
  • Slips (E)
  • Soccer socks (E)
  • Socks (E)
  • Sports helmets (T)
  • Sports pads (football, hockey, soccer, knee, elbow, shoulder) (T)
  • Suits, slacks, and jackets (E)
  • Sunglasses (except prescription) (T)
  • Support hosiery (E)
  • Suspenders (E)
  • Sweatbands (arm, wrist, head) (T)
  • Sweatshirts (E)
  • Sweatsuits (E)
  • Sweaters (E)
  • Swimming masks and goggles (T)
  • Swimsuits (E)
  • Tennis accessories
    • Tennis dresses (E)
    • Tennis shorts (E)
    • Tennis shoes (E)
    • Tennis skirts (E)
  • Ties (neckties - all) (E)
  • Tights (E)
  • Track shoes and cleats (T)
  • Trousers (E)
  • Umbrellas (T)
  • Underclothes (E)
  • Underpants (E)
  • Undershirts (E)
  • Uniforms (school, work, nurse, waitress, military, postal, police, fire) (E)
  • Veils (E)
  • Vests (generally) (E)
    • Bulletproof (T)
    • Fishing (non-flotation) (E)
    • Flotation (T)
    • Hunting (E)
    • Scuba (T)
    • Water-ski (T)
  • Wallets (T)
  • Watchbands (T)
  • Watches (T)
  • Water ski vests (T)
  • Weight lifting belts (T)
  • Wet and drysuits (T)
  • Work clothes (E)
  • Work uniforms (E)
  • Workout clothes (E)
  • Wrist bands (T)

School Supplies

Only the school supplies on this list priced under $100 qualify for exemption from tax during the sales tax holiday. 

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Bookbags
  • 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*
  • Legal pads
  • Lunchboxes
  • 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

* For kits of school supplies that contain exempt items, as well as taxable ones, the taxability depends on the value of exempt or taxable items in it. There is no limit on the quantity of school supplies in a kit, but if the value of the exempt items is more than the taxable ones, the kit is exempt. If the value of the taxable items is more than the exempt ones, then the kit is taxable.