Texans can save on back-to-school shopping during the Texas Sales Tax Holiday, or Tax-Free Weekend, Friday, August 11, 2013, through Sunday, August 13, 2013. Consumers can expect to save about $8 for each $100 they spend on most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks priced less than $100. A full list of tax-free items can be found at www.TexasTaxHoliday.org.
According to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, shoppers are expected to save an estimated $78.9 million in state and local sales taxes during the sales tax holiday. Many stores will be open extended hours and will offer additional back-to-school sales to bring customers in and help them take advantage of this once-a-year tax-free event.
“Better Business Bureau® advises consumers to use the same smart shopping strategies that they would use any time,” said Jeannette Kopko, spokesperson for BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas. “Make the most of this weekend’s deals by planning ahead, sticking to a budget and paying close attention to advertisements.”
Smart Shopping Tips:
Take inventory. Before hitting the stores, take inventory of items you already have. You may have leftover supplies from the previous school year. Look around the house for reusable items such as backpacks, lunchboxes, calculators and rulers.
Set a budget. Decide how much you are willing to spend per person a few days in advance. Include children in the process of creating the budget to teach them responsible money management.
Shop with a list. After taking inventory, create a shopping list and stick to it. This will help you stick to your budget, avoid costly impulse purchases and ensure nothing is forgotten.
“Back-to-School Sale” doesn’t mean tax-free. Retail stores may advertise back-to-school sales because they know consumers are buying items for the upcoming school year. Certain discounts will still have taxes applied to them unless the item appears on the state comptroller’s tax-free list. Find the list at www.TexasTaxHoliday.com.
Know what your child’s school allows. Schools will often provide parents with a list of required items for the school year which can help determine what you need to purchase. These lists are also available at many retail stores and on school websites. Additionally, many schools have specific dress codes, so keep these restrictions in mind before spending money on clothes the school may not allow. Check for refund and exchange policies. Be sure you can exchange or return items purchased during this time period. Dallas BBB advises to keep in mind some items may be non-refundable or have restocking fees associated with a return.
To check out a business, find BBB Accredited Businesses, see tips and alerts, report misleading advertising, or file a customer complaint, start at www.bbb.org. Get the free BBB iPhone app at www.bbb.org/iphone.