It's that weekend again. The annual three day period where you can shop for clothes, school supplies, computers and other items without having to pay sales tax on it.

So what do you need to know about Missouri's Back to School Sales Tax Holiday?

The Back to School Sales Tax Holiday starts at midnight Friday for 72 hours. When it comes to clothing, disposable diapers and footwear is included. Jewelry, including watches, is not. Each article of clothing shall have a taxable value of under $100. If  you're looking at buying clothing you'll want to check out the Missouri Department of Revenue's FAQ for a list of what clothing items is exempt and what items aren't. They're kind of picky.

When it comes to computers: desktops, laptops, towers and almost any machine "which consists of a central processing unit, random access memory, a storage drive, a display monitor" and a keyboard all qualify. Additionally, "devices designed for use in conjunction with a personal computer, such as a disk drive, memory module, compact disk drive, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, multimedia speaker, printer, scanner, single-user hardware, single-user operating system, sound card, or video card" all qualify too.

That said, you can't purchase new computers for your business and skip the sales tax. And the cost of the computer and peripherals must not exceed $1500.00.

School supplies include "any item normally used by students in a standard classroom for educational purposes." It does not include watches, radios, CD players, headphones, portable or desk top telephones, copiers, office furniture, equipment or fixtures. The value of each school supplies purchase should not exceed $50.00. Graphing calculators that cost $150.00 or less and computer software that has a taxable value of $350.00 also count as school supplies.

Other interesting tidbits to know about Missouri's Back to School Sales Tax Holiday:

  • Cities, counties and special taxing bodies get to decide whether they want to participate in the holiday or not. So you may have to pay these taxes.
  • Teachers using their own money to purchase classroom supplies are covered by the exemption.
  • You don't need to be a Missouri resident to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

The Missouri Department of Revenue has a really easy to use FAQ  document on the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday. The FAQ is a great resource when trying to figure out if a specific item will be exempt from the tax or not. How the exemption works when you're buying multiple items. And more. You can access this FAQ here.


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