If you’re one of the new residents from other parts of the country, you’re gonna learn that one of the favorite activities in North Texas is shopping. And starting today through Sunday, August 8, is when credit and debit cards nearly melt from the annual Tax-Free Weekend.
But before you go making a quickie appointment at Chanel to grab that adorable Flap Bag, wake up to the reality of the weekend program. The bargains apply to most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks sold for less than $100.
The thinking behind the shop-athon is to help kids supply up for the school year.
Here are some of the program’s guidelines from the Texas State Comptroller:
Online Purchases and Telephone Orders
During the Tax-Free Weekend, you can buy qualifying items online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) tax free, when either
- the item is both delivered, and paid for, by the customer during the exemption; or
- the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.
A seller accepts an order when the seller has acted to fill the order for immediate shipment.
An order is filled for immediate shipment regardless of whether the shipment is delayed due to a backlog of orders or because stock is currently unavailable to, or on back order by, the seller.
The Comptroller’s office urges all taxpayers buying certain qualifying items (at their local retailers) to practice appropriate social distancing as described in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines during the sales tax holiday.
It’s an interesting mix. For instance, costume, cloth and disposable fabric face masks are exempt from being taxed, but protective masks (N95, welder, umpire, swim or other similar personal protection equipment) aren’t. Sorta reminds oldtimers of the old days of the Texas Blue Law when nails or screws couldn’t be purchased on a Sunday, but hammers and screwdrivers could be until the law was repealed in 1985.
Texas trivia: 1985 was also the same year that the state passed the law requiring anyone in the front seat of a moving vehicle to wear a lap seatbelt. In 2009 that law was expanded requiring everyone in a motor vehicle to wear a seatbelt. Both the driver and the offending passenger could be ticketed. And if you’re wondering about buses, the law was passed in 2017 that three-point seat belts in school buses were required in model years 2018 and later.