Tax-free items may surprise shoppers

Tax-free items may surprise shoppers (Image 1)

Tennessee’s annual tax-free weekend seems pretty simple: school  supplies and clothing are exempt from sales tax from Friday at 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

What many do not know is what items are and are not included.

News 2 learned that cowboy boots and hats are exempt, along with wedding dresses and tuxedos. Portable computer hard drives are not on the exempt list.

“That should be exempt 100%,” said Steven Crawford. “We’re school teachers and we require those in school.”

The exemption list was compiled by state legislators before the first tax-free weekend in 2006. 

Among items that are listed as exempt are diapers, Halloween costumes, bowling shirts and thongs.

Globes, school computer supplies, briefcases and cleated shoes are not on the list.

Gary Broadrick, who owns Performance Studios, said he had no idea the Halloween costumes he sells are exempt from sales tax. 

“In my mind I thought that if it wasn’t supposed to be used in school or school clothing then it wouldn’t necessarily be tax exempt,” Broadrick said. “It just means that we’ll tax exempt it when we ring it up for the customer and they won’t pay sales taxes on it.”

The state law governing tax-free weekend states that no item used in trade or business is exempt from taxes. Clothing and school supplies are tax- free as long as the purchase price is $100 or less.

Computers are also exempt, provided the cost is $1,500 or less. For more information go to the state sales tax holiday website.

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