Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Can Save Consumers Money, BBB Advises

The Better Business Bureau outlines the sale period and some of the rules for taking advantage of Missouri's back-to-school sales tax holiday this weekend.

Missouri shoppers can save money this coming weekend by taking advantage of the back-to-school sales tax holiday - whether they are purchasing items for school or for personal use.

The sales tax holiday can be a boon for retailers if consumers perceive that everything on their back-to-school list is on sale. There are exclusions, however, and smart shoppers should pay attention to those, which are listed on the Department of Revenue website. For example, belts are eligible but belt buckles are not.

Today's release from the BBB outlines some of the potential savings - and some of the limits.

St. Louis, Mo., August 1, 2012 – Retailers already are advertising
back-to-school sales, but some smart shoppers are waiting for this year’s
Missouri sales tax holiday to make major purchases of clothing and school

The Missouri sales tax holiday runs from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, to midnight Sunday, Aug. 5. Qualifying items will be exempt from the state’s 4.225 percent sales tax. Some cities, counties and taxing districts have opted out of the holiday. Illinois will not have the tax holiday this year.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges consumers to check on which items are eligible before heading out to shop. In general, they are:

  • Clothing: any article having a taxable value of $100 or less.
  • School supplies, not to exceed $50 per purchase.
  • Computer software with a taxable value of $350 or less.
  • Personal computers valued at $3,500 or less.
  • Computer peripherals valued at $3,500 or less.

A full list of eligible and ineligible items is available at the Department of Revenue

As with any sale, it’s best to buy only the items you need. Many schools publish lists of what students will need for school on their websites or send them to parents before the start of school. Some schools may require a particular type of notebook, folder or other supplies, for example. Having a checklist with you when you shop helps you be sure you get what you need and no more.

In general, the sales tax holiday is available to any individual who purchases items for personal use, regardless of whether they are used for school. However, businesses who buy items such as computers for their company use are not eligible for the sales tax exemption. Teachers may buy items for their classrooms without paying the tax if they are using their own funds, according to the Department of Revenue website.

The sales tax holiday applies to online purchases or to items that are ordered but not delivered during the tax holiday period, as long as payment is made within that period. The payment must be completed in full during the sales tax holiday

The BBB advises shoppers to check out each merchant’s BBB Business Review at
www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.

The BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution service, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark Cockson August 02, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Hello, Jerri Stroud: Why do mid-St Louis County school districts, Brentwood, Clayton, Richmond Heights-Maplewood, "opt out" of the sales tax holiday? How much do they stand to lose if they each participated??? regards, Mark Cockson
d August 04, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Why haven't the politicians figured out that sales go up when you lower taxes? Why haven't the liberal democrats figured out in congress the same thing? duh


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