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Back to school shoppers catch a break this weekend

Missouri’s Sales Tax holiday weekend allows back to school shoppers a chance to buy and get bargain prices at the same time.

Lots of school items like clothing, computers and software can be purchased without sales tax at participating businesses this weekend only.

Section 144.049, RSMo, establishes a sales tax holiday effective during a three day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and ending at midnight on the Sunday following. Certain back-to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, computers, and other items as defined by the statute, are exempt from sales tax for this time period only.

The 2005 sales tax holiday does not apply to a local jurisdiction that chose to not participate in the 2004 sales tax holiday. These jurisdictions could have chosen to participate in the 2005 holiday if they enacted an ordinance to participate and notified the department forty-five days prior to the sales tax holiday. The department has not been notified by any local jurisdiction to opt back in to participate in the 2005 sales tax holiday. If one or all of the local taxing jurisdictions in which your business is located is not participating in the sales tax holiday, the state’Ss portion of the tax rate (4.225%) will remain exempt for the sale of qualifying sales tax holiday items. The Department of Revenue will notify you of the proper tax rate to collect.

The sales tax exemption is limited to:

Clothing – any article having a taxable value of $100 or less

School supplies – not to exceed $50 per purchase

Computer software – taxable value of $350 or less per purchase

Personal computers – not to exceed $3,500

Computer peripheral devices – not to exceed $3,500

Qualifying Items

Section 144.049, RSMo, defines items exempt during the sales tax holiday as:

“Clothing” – any article of wearing apparel, including footwear, intended to be worn on or about the human body. The term shall include but not be limited to cloth and other material used to make school uniforms or other school clothing. Items normally sold in pairs shall not be separated to qualify for the exemption. The term shall not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands, or belt buckles.

“School supplies” – any item normally used by students in a standard classroom for educational purposes, including but not limited to, textbooks, notebooks, paper, writing instruments, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps, and globes. The term shall not include watches, radios, CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable or desktop telephones, copiers or other office equipment, furniture, or fixtures. School supplies shall also include computer software having a taxable value of three hundred fifty dollars or less.

“Personal computers” – 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, sound card, or video card.

If you would like more information, contact the Madison County Extension Office at (573) 783-3303 or stop by 137 W. Main St. in Fredericktown.

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