What is included in Texas’ Tax-Free Weekend?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOUSTON — Friday marks the start of the 2017 Tax-Free Weekend, which has most parents eager to purchase back-to-school items for their children. Don’t miss out on the pocket-protecting Texas’ sales take holiday. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know!

How it works

Retailers aren’t required to collect state and local sales tax on most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100 during the weekend. Exemption certificates are not required. The exemption applies to each eligible item that sells for less than $100, regardless of how many items are sold on the same invoice to a customer.

For example, if a customer purchases two shirts for $80 each, then both items qualify for the exemption, even though the customer’s total purchase price ($160) exceeds $99.99.

The exemption also extends to online items and layaway plans!


A sale of a qualifying item under a layaway plan qualifies for exemption if the customer places the qualifying merchandise on layaway during the holiday or makes the final payment during the holiday. See Rule 3.365(i).


Eligible items that customers purchase during the holiday with use of a rain check qualify for the exemption regardless of when the rain check was issued. However, issuance of a rain check by a seller during the holiday period will not qualify an eligible item for the exemption if the item is actually purchased after the holiday is over even if the rain check is presented at the time of purchase. See Rule 3.365(j).

Not just school supplies

Heads up, parents! The holiday also provides a tax exemption for non-school related items such as diapers, jogging apparel and support hosiery. Click here for a full list of taxable and exempt items.

Is it worth it?

On average, shoppers will save about $8 on every $100 day spend. Consumerist predict parents will spend around $970 total on back-to-school and college expenses. That’s reportedly $81 more than last year for clothing, shoes, electronics and school supplies. According to the Texas Comptroller, shoppers will save an estimated $87 million in state and local sales taxes this year.

All-Inclusive List of Qualifying School Supplies (if priced less than $100)

  • Binders
  • Book bags (The exemption includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack, and messenger bags.)
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase 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

Qualifying clothing, footwear and other items

  • Sandals
  • Tennis shoes
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Neckwear and ties
  • Scarves
  • Workout clothes
  • Uniforms
  • Swimsuits
  • Raincoats
  • Bras
  • Slippers
  • Skirts