In order to help ease the Back to School spending burden on Missouri families, the state offers an annual tax-free shopping weekend the 1st weekend in August.
But you don’t have to be a parent or a student to take advantage of the tax savings. If you have been thinking of overhauling your wardrobe or buying a new computer, you should take advantage of the money you would save by not paying taxes if you shop in 2 weeks.
This year, the tax-free shopping weekend is 8/5/11 – 8/7/11.
Local municipal jurisdictions have the option to opt-out of the sales tax holiday. Regardless of where you shop in Missouri, you will not be charged the state portion of sales tax for eligible purchases (4.225%).
Be sure to check the links above before you go shopping if you want to avoid all sales tax on your eligible purchases. All of the St. Louis area counties are participating in the tax-free holiday, but you might be surprised at the cities and districts opting out.
Here are just a few that will still be charging local sales tax:
- Brentwood (Best Buy & Micro Center are located here!)
- Bridgeton (the stores along St. Charles Rock Road at 270 are located here!)
- Des Peres (West County Mall is located here!)
- Frontenac (Frontenac Plaza is located here!)
- Richmond Heights (Galleria Mall is located here!)
- University City
In addition, stores in which less than 2% of their merchandise are eligible items do not have to participate in the sales tax holiday.
Keep in mind, that you will still pay lower sales taxes regardless of where you shop in Missouri between 8/5/11 – 8/7/11 rather than on another day. However, if you want to avoid all sales tax, you need to take a look at the lists and carefully choose where you go shopping.
What Purchases are Eligible for the Tax-Free Weekend?
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
- Personal computers – not to exceed $3,500
- Computer peripheral devices – not to exceed $3,500
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, soundcard, or video card.
If you need more information, visit the MO state website to see FAQ and a list of the tax rates being charged by jurisdiction.