Get started today on your back-to-school shopping. From now through Aug. 3, purchases on select items are not subject to Florida or local sales taxes.
You can save 7% in Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties and 7.5% in Collier, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties. At the same time, you can add to your checking account balance with Tropical Financial Credit Union’s Daily Rewards Debit program.
In 2003, the sales tax holiday is twice as long: two weeks that started July 24. Items that qualify for sales tax exemption fall into four categories:
- Computers and related accessories selling for $1,500 or less when purchased for non-commercial and personal use. These include electronic book readers such as a Kindle; laptops; desktops; handhelds; tablets such as an iPad; and tower computers. That’s not all. You can buy accessories such as keyboards, mouses; personal digital assistants; monitors; modems; routers; and nonrecreational software (no games!), regardless of whether the accessories are associated with a personal computer unit.
A+ IDEA: Remember that the item cannot be designed for recreational use, such as a cellphone, video game console, television tuner for your monitor, or peripherals like game controllers and headsets.
- Most school supplies that retail for $50 or less. An itemized list is much too long to publish here. Think in terms of groups: pencils and markers; paper and notebooks; lunch boxes; accessories such as scissors and adhesives; and calculators.
A+ IDEA: Don’t limit your shopping to office supply stores. Look for deals at discount stores and even grocery stores and drugstores.
- Clothing, footwear and accessories priced at $100 or less. Approved are articles of wearing apparel intended to be worn on or about the body, including all kinds of shoes. Excluded are watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, and recreational footwear such as skis, rollerblades, swim fins and skates.
A+ IDEA: Put yourself on email and text notification lists from your favorite retailers for sales and special offers for cardholders or shopping club members.
- Learning aids and jigsaw puzzles selling for $30 or less. These include flashcards or other learning aid cards; matching or other memory games; puzzle books; stacking or nesting blocks and sets; and interactive and electronic books and toys that teach reading or math skills.
A+ IDEA: Look for items that complement those in other categories, such as pencils for search-and-find books and a calculator for math learning aids.
Be careful how you shop. Online purchases during the sales-tax holiday qualify for the exemption even if the items arrive after Aug. 3. If two items come as a package and only one qualifies for the exemption, then the entire purchase price is taxable. Gift cards must be used during the holiday; ditto for rain checks issued during that time.
You can earn money on your holiday buys with Tropical Financial’s Daily Rewards Debit. The credit union will add 2 cents to your checking balance every time you make a purchase, up to 40 times a day. The credits are yours to use the next business day. The account has no monthly minimum balance, service charge, or ATM fees. For more information on Daily Debit Rewards, visit this page.