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Back to School Sales Tax Holiday runs Aug. 1-3


Many back-to-school purchases will be exempt from state and county tax the weekend of Aug. 1-3, and in some jurisdictions, city tax also will be waived.

Many back-to-school purchases will be exempt from state and county tax the weekend of Aug. 1-3, and in some jurisdictions, city tax also will be waived.

Back-to-school shoppers will want to mark their calendars for Missouri’s annual, three-day Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, which this year will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 3. During that time period, consumers will not be charged the state sales tax of 4.225 percent on certain back-to-school purchases.

Clothing, school supplies, computer software, personal computers and computer peripheral devices are included in the tax-exempted items. Specifically, Missouri statute defines those items as follows:

• Clothing is defined as “any article of wearing apparel, including footwear, intended to be worn on or about the human body” having a taxable value of $100 or less. Fabric and other material used to make school uniforms and other school clothing also are exempt from tax.

Items not eligible for the exemption are watches, watchbands, jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands and belt buckles.

• School supplies are defined as “any item normally used by students in a standard classroom for educational purposes.” Purchases qualifying for the exemption, which may not exceed $50 per purchase, include but are not limited to textbooks, notebooks, paper, writing instruments, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps and globes. Also qualifying is computer software with a taxable value of no more than $350.

Items not considered school supplies and therefore not tax-exempt include watches, radios, CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable or desktop telephones, copiers and other office equipment, furniture and fixtures.

• Personal computers are defined as “a laptop, desktop or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit, random access memory, a storage drive, a display monitor, and a keyboard and devices designed for use in conjunction with a personal computer, such as a disk drive, memory module, compact disk drive, daughterboard, digitalizer, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, multimedia speaker, printer, scanner, single-user hardware, single-user operating system, soundcard, or video card.” To qualify for the tax exemption, personal computers as well as computer peripheral devices must not exceed a taxable value of $3,500.

In addition to the state sales tax exemption on the above items, shoppers will be exempt from paying local sales tax in jurisdictions that have opted to participate in the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday.

Both St. Louis and St. Charles County have opted into the holiday, so shoppers will not have to pay county tax on qualifying items purchased there. In West County, however, four cities – Des Peres, Ellisville, Manchester and Town & Country – have again opted not to participate, so in those jursidictions, city sales tax will be collected.

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