Editorial Roundup: Tennessee

Kingsport Times News. July 27, 2022.

Editorial: Tennessee sales tax holiday begins Friday

Tennessee’s traditional sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies and computers is this weekend, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 29, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. But there are some rules you should know, and we’ll go over them shortly.

The state also has two other tax-free events this year. During the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 1, and ending Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 11:59 p.m., food and food ingredients are exempt from sales tax. And gun safes and safety devices sold at retail are exempt from sales and use tax from now through June 30, 2023.

Taxes will continue to be collected during August on sales of prepared food, dietary supplements, candy, alcoholic beverages and tobacco. But food and food ingredients are exempt. That includes liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried or dehydrated substances that are sold to be ingested or chewed by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value.

As to gun safes and safety devices, a gun safe is defined as a locking container or other enclosure equipped with a padlock, key lock, combination lock or other locking device that is designed and intended for the secure storage of one or more firearms. A gun safety device is defined as any integral device to be equipped or installed on a firearm that permits the user to program the firearm to operate only for specified persons designated by the user through computerized locking devices or other means integral to and permanently part of the firearm.

But for most consumers, the traditional “back-to-school” sales tax holiday this weekend makes the sale of clothing, school supplies and computers tax free. Items sold online are also eligible. These items must be purchased for personal use, and not for business or trade purposes.

Clothing that is tax exempt includes general apparel that costs $100 or less per item, such as shirts, pants, socks, shoes, dresses, etc. Not exempt are apparel items priced at more than $100 per item. Items sold together, such as shoes, cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum. Items such as jewelry, handbags or sports and recreational equipment are not exempt.

School and art supplies that will be exempt include those with a purchase price of $100 or less per item, such as binders, backpacks, crayons, paper, pens, pencils and rulers, and art supplies such as glazes, clay, paints, drawing pads and artist paintbrushes. Not exempt are school and art supplies individually priced at more than $100. Items that are normally sold together cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum.

And computers are exempt if they are for personal use and cost $1,500 or less. Laptop computers and tablets, if priced at $1,500 or less, also qualify. Not exempt are storage media, like flash drives and compact discs, individually purchased software and printer supplies.

You should have a shopping plan for this weekend because stores and parking lots will be crowded.

Above all, be safe and be courteous.