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Alabama Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, August 2014

  • Apr 30, 2014 | Gail Cole

 Dates for Alabama's 2014 Back-to-School sales tax holiday announced.

Update, 5.9.2014: The Alabama Department of Revenue has updated its list of local governments that have notified the department regarding their participation in the 2014 August sales tax holiday.

Since 2006, the state of Alabama has provided a tax-free period for numerous school supplies and clothing. According to the Alabama Department of Revenue announces the actual dates.

The 2014 Back-to-School sales tax holiday will commence at 12:01 a.m. (CST) on Friday, August 1 and conclude at midnight on Sunday, August 3. During that period, qualifying items will be exempt from Alabama state sales and use tax. Cities and counties may opt to also exempt qualifying items from applicable local sales and use tax, or not. 118 localities have opted to participate in the Alabama Back-to-School sales tax holiday every year. Dozens of other localities must decide whether or not to participate during a given year:

“A county or municipality may, by resolution or ordinance adopted at least 30 days prior to the first full weekend of August, provide for the exemption of ‘covered items’ from county or municipal sales or use taxes during the same time period, under the same terms, condition, and definitions as provided for the state sales tax holiday.”

As of April 23, 2014, only the localities that participate annually are listed as participants. Any business selling eligible items in Alabama is advised to check the list of participating localities prior to the tax-free period.

Exempt items

Clothing costing $100 or less per article, including but not limited to:

  • Belts and scarves;
  • Boots and shoes;
  • Caps and hats;
  • Diapers and hosiery;
  • Dresses and skirts;
  • Pajamas and underwear; and
  • Pants and shorts.

Computers and computer software costing $750 or less per item, including:

  • Desktops and laptops;
  • Computer storage media and compact disks;
  • Certain handheld electronic schedulers; and
  • Computer printers.

School supplies costing $50 or less per item, including but not limited to:

  • Various art supplies;
  • Binders and book bags;
  • Calculators and highlighters;
  • Index cards and legal pads;
  • Lunch boxes and
  • Reference maps and globes;
  • Textbooks and printed books;
  • Writing tablets.

Taxable items

Clothing accessories, protective equipment and sport or recreational equipment do not qualify for the exemption. These include but are not limited to:

  • Belt buckles and jewelry;
  • Briefcases and handbags;
  • Cosmetics and hair notions;
  • Breathing masks and face shields;
  • Hard hats and helmets;
  • Ballet or tap shoes;
  • Cleated shoes;
  • Goggles or hand and elbow guards.

While many computers and computer supplies are exempt, furniture, non-educational video games and any electronic devices or systems designed for recreational use are not exempt.

Magazines, newspapers, periodicals and “any other document printed or offered for sale in a non-bound form” are not exempt during the Back-to-School sales tax holiday.

Visit the Department of Revenue website for additional information regarding the Alabama back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Many states provide sales tax holidays. An automated sales tax solution ensures businesses are prepared to handle them. Learn more.

photo credit: CliffMuller via photopin cc

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.