Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Gets Supersized for 2015

Alright stop, while we elaborate and listen, tax free is back with a brand new extension

2015 Florida Tax Free Holiday Weekend graphic

When Is Tax Free Weekend?

Florida’s Tax Free Holiday is extended to last a full 10 days starting Friday August 7th.
[blocktext heading=”STARTS:” class=””]12:01 a.m., Friday, August 7, 2015[/blocktext][blocktext heading=”ENDS:” class=”orange”]11:59 p.m., Sunday, August 16, 2015[/blocktext]The back-to-school sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m., Friday, August 7, 2015, and end at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, August 16, 2015.

tax free week info graphic

What’s included for 2015?

There are certain things you can buy tax free, and some that you can’t according to the Florida law, so here’s the short list of items you get tax free:

  • Clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $100 or less per item,
  • Certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item, and
  • Personal computers and certain computer-related accessories on the first $750 of the sales price, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

This tax free exemption does not apply to:

  • Any item of clothing selling for more than $100
  • Any school supply item selling for more than $15
  • Books that are not otherwise exempt
  • Rentals or leases of any of these items
  • Repairs or alterations of any of these items
  • Sales of clothing, school supplies, or computers and computer-related accessories in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment, or airport

You can download the official lists and detailed explanations of included items here
These PDF documents are provided by the Florida Dept. Of Revenue

NOTE: If you are a business owner, you may want to also view the FAQ for businesses.

Extra Icing on the Cake

Some retailers are bringing extra discounts to the table to make tax free weekend shoppers feel even better about their purchases. Beall’s department stores of Florida is one of those giving additional discounts during tax free week to let customers get more bang for their buck according to this article on the Palm Beach Post.

How did we get 10 days to shop tax free this year?

So if you are wondering why “tax free weekend” is now “tax free 10 days” this year, here are the cliffs notes.

Usually we enjoy just 3 days to shop tax free, but in June of this year, Governor Rick Scott signed into law a $400 million tax cut geared in part towards cable/satellite television and cell phone service taxes (state communications taxes) in addition to other tax exemptions. The cut in the cell phone taxes would save Floridians about $20 a year on a $100 cell phone bill.

Florida has had back-to-school sales tax holidays, varying in length, since 1998. 10-days is the longest period of tax free shopping we’ve seen since the inception of the program. It’s seven days longer than the term the House recommended as part of its original tax cut plan. All in all…i don’t think we’ll complain.

In addition to the 10 day tax free holiday, a few other things becoming law as part of the new tax cut include:

  • College textbooks would be sales tax free, saving full-time students about $60 a year in taxes.
  • Elimination of the sales tax charged for gun club memberships.
  • Elimination of the aviation fuel tax on accredited flight training schools
  • Bars the state from charging more than $60,000 for any boat or yacht repairs
  • Exempts irrigation equipment and parts used for farming from sales taxes
  • Stops the collection of sales tax on concessions sold at school support organizations, like high school sports booster clubs.

If you want to learn more details about the law you can find it here. For more info on the tax cut affecting tax free holiday click here (page 22).