Tax-Free WeekendBy Carrie Steingruber and Sydni Ellis
It’s tax-free weekend. We know you’ll be too busy making your list and checking it twice to scroll through the fine print, so we’ve gathered the basic facts you should know about tax-free weekend in Texas, plus the local shopping centers offering gift cards, free gifts and more.
Tax-free weekend is August 11–13, 2017.
Anyone making a physical purchase in the state of Texas is eligible for the exemption. Out-of-state shoppers can cash in on the joys of tax-free weekend if they make purchases within our borders.
Tax-free weekend is mandated by state law, so all retailers in Texas should provide exemption on the qualifying items. The law also applies to online shopping if the seller is “engaged in business in Texas” – that is, if the seller maintains some physical presence in Texas, not just an Internet connection
(visit the Texas Comptroller's site for more information). If a store or retailer does not comply, or if you believe you have been charged incorrectly, there are steps you can take to receive a refund.
The exemption only applies to items that are priced below $100, including shipping/delivery fees. This number refers to an individual item; for example, if the total cost of a group of items exceeds $100, but every item is priced below $100, then the exemption applies.
Clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies are the broad categories that qualify for the exemption. Visit the Texas Comptroller's site for a complete list of qualifying items. A few things to note:
· Clothing exemptions include baby clothes, bras, sweaters, socks, shirts, pajamas, jackets, jeans and tights, but football pants, baseball gloves and ski suits are not.
· You will save the tax on sneakers, cowboy boots, sandals and slippers, but have to pay on soccer cleats, ballet shoes and roller blades.
· And who knew that baby bibs, cloth and disposable diapers, costumes, graduation caps and gowns and prescription sunglasses were also tax-exempt?
Backpacks are exempt if they are intended for use by elementary and secondary students and are not defined as luggage, athletic gear or another specialized function. Rolling backpacks (as long as they can also be worn on the back) and messenger bags are exempt, but computer bags and purses are taxable.
Most school supplies are exempt, though textbooks and computers are (sadly) not.
The tax-free exemption does not apply to rental items except backpacks and school supplies. Layaway items qualify for exemption if the items are placed on layaway this weekend or the final payment is made on layaway items this weekend.
Where to Shop to Get a Little Something Extra
Firewheel Town Center
Enjoy a Back to School Bash on August 12 from 11am–2pm in The Park with food trucks, snow cones, face painting and balloon artists.
Enter Galleria Dallas’ Back to School Gift Card Giveaway for a chance to win one of two Galleria gift cards. On August 11–13, find the Back to School Photo Walls on Level One, and take a picture with your Galleria Dallas shopping bags in hand. Then follow @GalleriaDallas on Instagram, and post a photo with #galleriadallas. You could win a $250 or $500 mall gift card (winners announced by August 18).
Golden Triangle Mall
Spend $125 in one day during tax-free weekend, bring receipts to Guest Services and receive a $20 gift card to Buckle or H&M for free. Limit one free gift card per customer, while supplies last. Also, from now until August 13, enter for a chance to win one of two $500 shopping sprees to Golden Triangle Mall, or one of 10 $100 store gift cards; no purchase necessary. Enter at Guest Services. A winner will be chosen on August 14.
Every hour from 12pm–8pm August 12 and from 12pm–5pm August 13, shoppers get a chance to win a $100 Hillside Village gift card. Enter the giveaway at Guest Services; no purchase necessary. Also, when you spend $150 in same day purchases at any Hillside Village store or restaurant on any Saturday in August, take your receipt to Guest Services to receive a $15 Hillside Village gift card, while supplies last.
Cedar Hill, 972/637-6300
North East Mall
Learn about the latest fashions at North East Mall’s Back to School Bash on Saturday from 12pm–2pm in the Center Court. See fall fashions trends, take pictures at the selfie station, eat yogurt at the build-your-own-yogurt bar, get your hair and makeup done and enjoy light bites and mocktails. While there, enter to win a $200 Simon gift card.
On Saturday, take a break from shopping to enjoy ArtROCKS! in the NorthCourt from 1pm–4pm. Kids enjoy art projects, a scavenger hunt, cookie decorating and more.
Now through August 13, enter to win a $250 shopping spree at select retailers. Fill out a registration form and drop it off in the entry boxes located by the food court; no purchase necessary.
Fort Worth, 817/731-6591
The Shops at Willow Bend
Entertain the kids and help Plano Independent School District students during the School Pack Drive August 11–13. Hosted by the new Crayola Experience Plano, shoppers will be asked to purchase one of four school supply packs ranging from $4–$27, which will be donated to the CORE Store that allows teachers to shop for free school supplies for their students in need. Stick around for kid-friendly activities and a chance to win a pair of tickets each hour from 1pm–6pm for the Crayola Experience, which opens in spring 2018.
University Park Village
Get your sugar fix at the Back to School Bash at University Park Village. On Friday, from 11am–3pm, the first 80 shoppers receive a free popsicle courtesy of Steel City Pops when they show their purchases. On Saturday, from 12–5pm, the first 60 shoppers get an ice-cream sandwich from Pokey O’s.
Fort Worth, 817/332-5700
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