Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins today


Alabama's 14th annual sales tax holiday for school-related items begins today and ends at midnight Sunday, July 21, giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, computers, books and clothing free of the state's four percent sales or use tax.

Here is a quick guide to what is tax free and what is not:


$100 or less, per article of clothing


Includes all human wearing apparel suitable for general use, including belts, boots, caps, coats, diapers, dresses, gloves, gym, suits, hats, hosiery, jackets, jeans, neckties, pajamas, pants, raincoats, robes, sandals, scarves, school uniforms, shirts, shoes, shorts, socks, sneakers, underwear


Clothing Accessories including: belt buckles (sold separately), briefcases, cosmetics, costume masks (sold separately), hair notions (barrettes, hair bows, etc), handbags, handkerchiefs, jewelry, patches and emblems (sold separately), sewing equipment and supplies (pins (patterns, scissors, tape measures, etc), sewing materials (thread, fabric, buttons, zippers, etc), sun glasses, eye glasses, contacts (prescription or nonprescription), umbrellas, wallets, watches, wigs & hair pieces

Protective Equipment including breathing masks, clean room apparel and equipment, ear and hearing protectors, face shields, hard hats, helmets, paint or dust respirators, protective gloves, safety glasses and goggles, safety belts, tool belts, welders gloves and masks

Sport or Recreational Equipment including ballet or tap shoes, band instruments, cleated or spiked athletic shoes, gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, golf, etc), goggles, hand & elbow guards, life preserves and vests, mouth guards, roller and ice skates, shin guards, shoulder pads, ski boots, waders, wetsuits and fins


A single purchase with a sales price of $750 or less


Computers - For purposes of the exemption, a computer may include a laptop, desktop, or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit (CPU), and devices such as a display monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers sold as a computer package. Computer parts and devices not sold as part of a package with the CPU, will not qualify for the exemption.

Computer software school computer supplies - An item commonly used by a student in a course of study in which a computer is used. All-inclusive list includes: computer storage media; diskettes, compact disks, handheld electronic schedulers, except devices that are cellular phones, personal digital assistants, except devices that are cellular phones, computer printers, printer supplies for computers (printer paper, printer ink)


Furniture, any systems, devices, software, peripherals designed or intended primarily for recreational use, or video games of a non-educational nature


Sales Price of $50 or less per item (Non-commercial Purchases)


School supplies - all-inclusive list: binders, blackboard chalk, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders (expandable, pocket, plastic & manila), glue, paste, and paste sticks, highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers, notebooks, paper (loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper), pencil boxes and other school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors, writing tablets

School art supplies -All-Inclusive List: Clay & Glazes, Paints (Acrylic, Tempora &Oil), Paintbrushes for artwork, Sketch and Drawing Pads, Watercolors

School instructional material -All Inclusive List: (Written material commonly used by a student in a course of study as a reference and to learn the subject being taught), Reference Maps and Globes, Required Textbooks on an official school book list with a sales price of more than $30 and less than $50


Sales Price of $30or Less per book (Non-commercial Purchases)


The term book is defined as a set of printed sheets bound together and published in a volume with an ISBN number


Magazines, newspapers, periodicals, any other document printed or offered for sale in a non-bound form