Alabama’s annual school tax holiday is this weekend

Published 6:05 am Friday, July 16, 2021

This weekend Alabama will forgo collecting taxes on select items to give parents a break on the expenses of sending children back to school.

This year will mark the 16th annual Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday. The tax break will take place July 16-18 beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and end at midnight on Sunday. More than 325 cities and towns will also not collect local taxes this weekend. Locally, Pike County will waive county taxes and Banks, Brundidge, Goshen and Troy will all waive municipal taxes for the weekend.

“This year’s sales tax holiday will provide momentum for Alabama’s continued economic recovery,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown. “Saving money for consumers while stimulating sales for stores is what this weekend is all about.”

Clothing is the big-ticket item for back-to-school purchases for most parents and the tax holiday has general use clothing items priced at $100 or less at the top of the list. Items on the list include:

  • Belts
  • Boots
  • Caps
  • Coats
  • Diapers
  • Dresses
  •  Gloves
  • Gym Suits
  • Hats
  • Hosiery
  • Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Neckties
  • Pajamas
  • Pants
  • Raincoats
  • Robes
  • Sandals
  • Scarves
  • School Uniforms
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Sneakers
  • Underwear

Clothing accessories, like belt buckles, cosmetics, jewelry sunglasses and so forth don’t get a break from taxes. Also, protective equipment, like hard hats, helmets and breathing masks aren’t included nor is sports and recreation equipment, including everything from tap or ballet shoes to waders and wet suits.

Computers — laptops, desktops and towers — as well as anything included in the package — monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers — under $750 is also tax-free.

Just about any imaginable school supply is also tax-free this weekend as long as the sale price is below $50. This includes:

  • Binders
  • Blackboard Chalk
  • Book Bags
  • 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
  • Legal Pads
  • Lunch Boxes
  • 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 & Other School Supply Boxes
  • Pencil Sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing Tablets

Art supplies tax-free include:

  • Clay & Glazes
  • Paints (Acrylic, Tempora and Oil)
  • Paintbrushes for artwork
  • Sketch and Drawing Pads
  • Watercolors

Books less than $30 as well as reference materials are tax-free as well.