Alabama’s back-to-school tax-free weekend set for Aug. 5-7

Back to school shopping weekend
[Photo Credit: Ben Torres]

Get ready Alabamians, the state will hold its11th annual back-to-school tax-free weekend Friday, Aug. 5-Sunday, Aug. 7.

Ushering in the start of the new school year, the annual holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. During that time, consumers can buy certain school supplies, computers and clothing, free of state’s four-percent sales tax.

“You don’t have to be a student or even an Alabama resident to save money the weekend of Aug. 5-7 because of the annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday,” said State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee. “Products include items such as clothing, sports equipment, computers, and of course school supplies.”

Local governments had until July 5 to notify the Alabama Department of Revenue of their decision to participate in this year’s sales tax holiday. As of July 26, 293 localities are participating.

“During this time, certain products can be purchased without the 4 percent state sales tax, and if the city and county are participating as well, that tax will be waived, too,” Magee explained. “For example, all residents of Mobile County living in the Mobile city limits will be exempt from all of the sales tax — totaling 10 percent of the purchase price of qualifying products.”

The Alabama Retail Association (ARA) predicts Alabamians will spend almost $1.14 billion on back-to-school shopping. Alabama sales generally represent 1.5 percent of all retail sales nationally. The National Retail Federation projects $75.8 billion will be spent nationally this back-to-school shopping season. For many retailers, the back-to-school shopping period is their second busiest time.

“Outside of December, [the sales tax holiday] is probably our biggest weekend of the year,” Michael Gee, president and co-owner of the Pants Store and an Alabama Retail board member, told the ARA.

Alabamians will spend more than $4.5 billion in August, ARA projects. That is all taxed sales, all month, not just on back-to-school and represents a 2.5 percent growth over 2015, when Alabamians spent almost $4.4 billion in August.

To review tax-free apparel and school supplies, check out this list.


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