Ohio Sales Tax Exemption – Not Just for School Supplies

The annual sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 5 at midnight and ends at midnight on Sunday, August 7.

Now is the time to take advantage of this tax savings opportunity, whether in a brick-and-mortar store or online.

With inflation at its highest level in 40 years and gas prices pinching everyone, this savings opportunity comes at a very opportune time. Although these savings are intended to help families with school supplies and children’s clothing, they are not limited to only children’s items.

During holidays, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:

• Clothing whose price is $75 or less;

• An item of school supplies whose price is $20 or less; and

• An item of school teaching materials priced at $20 or less.

There is no limit to the total purchase amount, as qualification is determined item by item. However, if the cost of an item exceeds the limits, the entire item is subject to sales tax. So the calculator or laptop your child might need is not exempt from sales tax, but basic school supplies would be exempt.

“Clothing” is defined as any human clothing for general use. “Clothing” includes, but is not limited to, shirts; blouses; sweaters; Pants; shorts; skirts; Dresses; uniforms (both athletic and non-athletic); shoes and shoelaces; insoles for shoes; sneakers; sandals; boots; shoe covers; slippers; steel-toed shoes; underwear; socks and stockings; hosiery; tights; coats and jackets; rainwear; general purpose gloves and mittens; hats and caps; earmuffs; belts and suspenders; ties; scarves; aprons (household and shop); laboratory coats; sports fans; bathing suits and caps; beach capes and coats; costumes; baby blankets; diapers for children and for adults, including disposable diapers; rubber pants; garters and suspender belts; belts; formal wear; and wedding clothes.

Although clothing is eligible for the holiday, the following items are not eligible for the holiday and are subject to tax during the holiday period:

• Items purchased for use in a trade or business.

• Clothing accessories or equipment. Clothing accessories or equipment include briefcases; beauty products; hair articles, including but not limited to barrettes, hair bows and hair nets; hand bags; handkerchiefs; jewelry; sunglasses (non-prescription); umbrellas; wallets; watches; and wigs and hairpieces.

• Protective equipment.

• Sewing equipment and supplies

• Sports or leisure equipment. Sports or recreational equipment includes ballet and tap shoes; sports shoes with cleats or spikes; gloves, including but not limited to baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey and golf; goggles; hand and elbow guards; life jackets and vests; mouth guards; roller skates and ice skates; Shin pads; shoulder pads; skiing boots; waders; and wetsuits and flippers.

• Belt buckles sold separately.

• Costume masks sold separately.

• Patches and emblems sold separately.

So you can see how complex the rules can get when you really study them. A pair of running shoes or athletic shoes priced under $75 is exempt from sales tax, but a pair of soccer cleats would be taxable. A calculator costing more than $20 would be taxable, but an abacus would be tax exempt. I wouldn’t want to have to schedule tax calculations for a retailer during this short time.

The sales tax exemption applies even to catalog and Internet purchases of the same items. So if you’re out of town on the last vacation before the kids go back to school, you can still take advantage of the sales tax relief.

As a parent and consumer, I am happy to see this type of sales tax exemption. Although this sales tax exemption is for parents with children, I think I will replace some of my own shorts, socks and underwear at this time to take advantage of the tax savings.

Paul Pahoresky is a partner in the accounting firm of CPA JLP. He can be reached at 440-974-1040×14 or at [email protected] Consult your tax advisor for your particular situation for additional information and advice on these matters.

Luz W. German