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, we’ve rounded up the local shopping centers where you’ll get the most bang for your buck and for your time. Stay tuned for back-to-school promotions, giveaways and supply drives as they are announced.
Tax-free weekend is Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7, 2022.
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 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, and face masks (cloth and disposable fabric face masks that meet the definition of an article of clothing) 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:
-Tax-exempted items include baby clothes, bras, sweaters, socks, shirts, pajamas, jackets, jeans and tights—but football pants, baseball gloves and ski suits are not included.
-You will save the tax on sneakers, cowboy boots, sandals and slippers, but have to pay on soccer cleats, ballet shoes and roller blades.
-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 tax-exempt, but computer bags and purses are taxable.
-Most school supplies are tax-exempt, though textbooks and computers are (sadly) not.
-And who knew that baby bibs, cloth and disposable diapers, costumes, graduation caps and gowns and prescription sunglasses were also tax-exempt?
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 if the final payment is made on layaway items this weekend.
Kid-Friendly Shopping Centers
245 Cedar Sage Drive, Garland; 972/495-8085
After you’ve shopped at stores like Carter’s or The Children’s Place (just to name a few there), check out the recently opened HAPIK. This indoor-climbing-experience-meets-theme-park sports colorful and unique climbing structures with a special harness system to keep climbers safe. Plus, it’s the only one of its kind here in Texas. You’ll find it located next to Gloria’s Latin Cuisine. Pricing starts at $15 for a 1-hour climbing session (open to adults and kids as young as 4.
13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas; 972/702-7100
Not to mention the ice-skating rink, so much is happening right now at Galleria Dallas. Take the escalators up to the Children’s Play Place on level three for Showtime Saturdays, free kid-friendly entertainment from 11:30am–noon. Kids can also receive a special coloring page from the DMA when they sign up for PALS Kids Club.
3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine; 972/724-4900
Even when it’s not tax-free weekend, a special trip to this shopping center is always worth it thanks to these three kid-focused attractions: Peppa Pig World of Play, Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium, located mere steps away from Legoland. Plus, bundles are available to experience all three in one day.
8687 North Central Expressway, Dallas; 214/363-7441
Stop into the Bookmarks, a Dallas Public Library, open especially for children ages 12 and younger. Located on level one between Nordstrom and Macy’s, the library is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10am–6pm. Bring the kids to check out books, listen to a story time, or just to kill time playing games and puzzles.
6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano; 972/202-4900
This shopping center is also home to the new immersive exhibit Psychedelic Robot and the Crayola Experience, an indoor play area with a make-your-own crayon station and two dozen more hands-on activities.
2601 Preston Road, Frisco; 972/668-4900
Reserve your admission in advance for playtime at KidZania, a mini city designed for kids 12 and younger to try out future careers and earn kidZos, or play money, as they work in their respective jobs. The goal here is to teach kids early on how money flow works in the real world.