Back to school sales tax holiday rules and lists

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The annual Ohio Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday, August 2 at midnight and ends Sunday, August 4 at 11:59 p.m.

A state legislator from the Dayton area took the opportunity to promote the dates. He also added that he wants to amends the law to include pricier items.

“Soon, with my bill, we hope to make this $100 per item & include laptops,” wrote state representative Niraj Antani.

That could add up in a big way. Ohio’s sales tax is 5.75 percent. Not paying that on a $500 computer would save $28.75. Which can be spent on other back to school items.

“That’s critical for our high school students who need graphing calculators,” said Antani during a press conference Wednesday morning in Dayton. 

Ohio’s back to school sales tax holiday is designed to save parents and students money during an expensive time of year.  According to the National Retail Federation the average family will pay $696.70. An Ohio family would not pay $40.06 sales tax if buying approved items.

One huge note for everyone. The sales tax applies to all items on the state’s approved list. You do not have to have a child going to school. 

“If you just need new clothes for work,” explained Antani. “If you need clothes or office supplies you can take advantage of this.”

Huntington Bank released its cost estimation for each level of schooling:

$1,017 for elementary school supplies, extracurricular fees and technology

 $1,277 for middle school supplies, extracurricular fees and technology

$1,668 for high school supplies, extracurricular fees and technology

The following items are exempt from sales tax:

  • Clothing priced at $75 per item or less
  • School supplies priced at $20 per item or less
  • School instructional material priced at $20 per item or less.

The Ohio Department of Taxation has a list of answers for frequently asked questions. You may read those at this link.

Look over these, there are lists of items that qualify and do not qualify. “School supplies” include only the following items:

  • binders
  • book bags
  • calculators
  • cellophane tape
  • blackboard chalk
  • compasses
  • composition books
  • crayons
  • erasers
  • folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila)
  • glue
  • paste and paste sticks
  • highlighters
  • index cards
  • index card boxes
  • legal pads
  • lunch boxes
  • markers
  • notebooks
  • paper
  • loose leaf ruled notebook paper
  • copy paper
  • graph paper
  • tracing paper
  • manila paper
  • colored paper
  • poster board
  • construction paper
  • pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • pencil sharpeners
  • pencils
  • pens
  • protractors
  • rulers
  • scissors
  • writing tablets.

One of the more interesting questions and answers is #29:

Question:
If I purchase from a seller online at 1:00 a.m. on the designated Friday in August but the seller is located on the west coast in the Pacific Time Zone, should I be charged sales tax for those items eligible for the sales tax holiday?

Answer: Yes. The time zone of the seller’s location determines the authorized time period for the sales tax holiday when the purchaser is located in one time zone and the seller is located in another. In this instance, it is only 10:00 p.m. on Thursday in the Pacific Time Zone. The sales tax holiday does not start until 12:00 a.m. on the designated Friday in August.

This is a permanent weekend set by the Ohio legislature.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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