Tax-free weekend kicks off, saving shoppers money on back to school items

Tax-free weekend kicks off, saving shoppers money on back to school items
The tax-free holiday gives back-to-school shoppers a tax break on clothing, footwear and school supplies that are less than a hundred dollars. (Source: WDAM)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi’s Sales Tax Holiday is happening right now, offering shoppers the chance to save a little money on back to school purchases.

The two-day statewide event kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 31, and runs through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1.

During that time, shoppers don’t have to pay the state’s 7% sales tax on qualified items, which include back to school supplies, clothes, and shoes items that cost less than $100 per item.

For example, no tax would be applied to the purchase of two pairs of shoes that cost $70, totaling $140. However, a single pair of shoes that cost more than $100 would not qualify under the sales tax holiday.

Courtney Ladner, a sophomore at Pass Christian High School, and her family made a stop at Office Depot on Friday to stock up on school supplies and snag some savings during the tax-free weekend.

“I’m actually school shopping for tax-free weekend cause I can save a little bit of money so we just came out for school,” she said.

At Academy Sports and Outdoors on Friday, families were taking advantage of the tax-free weekend to buy clothes and shoes for the new school year.

“Trying to get last-minute shoes. I think they grew out of their pants over the summer so trying to get some pants,” said Candi Cuevas. “It makes a big difference, especially when you’re buying for six people, six kids. It makes a big difference.”

When it comes to “buy one, get one” sales, the total price of items advertised cannot be averaged to qualify both items for the holiday. The amount of Sales Tax due depends on the actual price paid for each item sold.

For example, if a retailer advertises a pair of pants as “buy one, get one half off” with the first pair of pants priced at $120.00 and the second pair half off, then Sales Tax is due on the first pair priced at $120.00, though the second pair ($60.00) would not be subject to Sales Tax. Because the store advertised the sale as “buy one, get one half off”, the store cannot sell each pair of pants for $90.00 in order for the items to qualify for the holiday. However, the retailer may advertise and sell each pair of pants at 50% off, selling each pair of $120.00 pants for $60.00, thus making each pair sold eligible for the holiday.

Even amid the pandemic, Academy is expecting this to be a busy weekend, both in-store and online.

“We should have a pretty good tax-free weekend. We have the merchandise, there’s a lot more merchandise available online, and that’s part of our strategy is to get that online person who doesn’t really want to come to the store and feels uncomfortable about it,” said John Depineuil, store logistics manager.

To see a complete list of items that are included in the sales tax holiday, click HERE.

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