Sales Tax Holiday designed to give families break

Published 2:28 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

By Jeremy Weldon

The start of school is just a week away for many students in Panola County, and the State of Mississippi is again offering the Sales Tax Holiday intended to give families a little relief in bearing the burden of back-to-school clothes.

The 2018 Sales Tax Holiday is this weekend, starting Friday (July 27) at 12:01 a.m. and ending at midnight on Saturday (July 28). Passed in the 2009 Legislative Session, the annual weekend has been popular with consumers and retailers alike.

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During the two days, the sales tax is not due on the sale of articles of clothing or footwear if the sales price of a single item is less than $100. Any item priced over the $100 limit is subject to the regular seven percent rate due on most items sold at the retail level in the state.

The tax holiday does not apply to sales of any other items not defined as clothing or footwear. A list of eligible items is provided on the website of the Department of Revenue.

As with most legislation, Miss. Code Ann. Section 27-65-111(bb), the Sales Tax Holiday law, there are a litany of accompanying definitions and guidelines mandating what is and is not allowed under the provision. These are listed on the Dept. of Revenue’s website, and are summarized as follows:

“Clothing” is defined as any article of apparel designed to be worn on the human body including pants, shirts and blouses, dresses, coats, jackets, belts, hats, undergarments, and multiple piece garments sold as a set.

“Footwear” is any article of apparel for human feet except for skis, swim fins, roller blades, skates, and any other similar item.

“Accessories” such as jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, backpacks, briefcases, and similar items do not qualify for the Sales Tax Holiday.

Articles that are normally sold together, such as a pair of shoes or a uniform, must continue to be sold as a set or a single unit. Components of the unit cannot be priced separately and sold as individual items in order to qualify for the holiday.

Additionally, when eligible items are normally sold with non-eligible items as a set or a single unit, the full price is subject to sales tax if the value of the non-eligible (taxable) items exceeds the eligible ones.

The total price of items advertised as “buy one, get one free” or “at a reduced price” cannot be averaged to qualify both items for the holiday. The amount of sales tax due depends on the actual price paid for each item sold.

Retailers may offer store discounts and store coupons to reduce the price of an eligible item to or less than $100 in order to qualify for the holiday.

Layaway sales of eligible items do not qualify for the holiday.

Sales of eligible items that were placed or ordered by mail, telephone, or the internet are not subject to sales tax if the purchaser orders, and pays for the items during the Sales Tax Holiday and the items are less than the $100 threshold.

Shipping and handling charges are not to be included as part of the sales price of eligible items in determining whether items meet the $100 threshold.