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tax-free weekend

When is Tax-Free Weekend in Texas?

Tax-Free Weekend in Texas is an eagerly anticipated event for many residents, offering a chance to save on essential items such as clothing, school supplies, and computers. Whether you’re a parent preparing for the back-to-school season, a college student needing supplies, or simply someone looking to save on shopping, this weekend is a prime opportunity. This article will cover every aspect of Texas’ Tax-Free Weekend, from dates and eligible items to shopping tips and historical context.

What is Tax-Free Weekend?

Tax-Free Weekend is a designated period when sales tax is waived on certain items, making it an excellent time for consumers to purchase necessities at a reduced cost. Each state that participates in this event has specific dates and lists of eligible items.

When is Tax-Free Weekend in Texas?

In Texas, the Tax-Free Weekend typically occurs annually in August, just before the new school year begins. For 2024, Tax-Free Weekend is scheduled for Friday, August 9th through Sunday, August 11th. These dates are set by the Texas Comptroller’s office and usually announced well in advance to allow residents to plan their shopping accordingly.

Eligible Items

During Tax-Free Weekend, Texas shoppers can purchase a variety of items without paying sales tax. However, it’s important to note that there are specific rules and limits on what qualifies for the tax exemption.

Clothing and Footwear

  • Eligible: Most clothing and footwear items priced under $100 are tax-exempt. This includes school uniforms, shoes, socks, shirts, pants, dresses, and other everyday apparel.
  • Non-Eligible: Specialty items such as sports gear, protective equipment, and rental items do not qualify for the tax exemption.

School Supplies

  • Eligible: Common school supplies priced under $100 per item are tax-exempt. This includes backpacks, binders, calculators, crayons, erasers, glue, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, rulers, and scissors.
  • Non-Eligible: Items not typically associated with school use or those over the $100 limit are not exempt.


  • Eligible: Backpacks priced under $100 used by elementary and secondary students are tax-free. This includes messenger bags and school book bags.
  • Non-Eligible: Items such as framed backpacks or luggage do not qualify.

Shopping Tips for Tax-Free Weekend

To maximize your savings and ensure a smooth shopping experience during Tax-Free Weekend, consider the following tips:

  1. Make a List: Plan ahead by making a list of the items you need. This will help you stay focused and avoid unnecessary purchases.
  2. Know the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the list of eligible items and the price limits to avoid surprises at the checkout.
  3. Shop Early: Stores can become crowded, and popular items may sell out quickly. Shopping early can help you avoid long lines and ensure you get what you need.
  4. Compare Prices: Some retailers may offer additional sales or discounts during Tax-Free Weekend. Compare prices to maximize your savings.
  5. Check Store Policies: Be aware of individual store policies on returns and exchanges, as these may differ during the Tax-Free Weekend.
  6. Online Shopping: Many online retailers participate in Tax-Free Weekend. Ensure the website is reputable and that the items qualify for the tax exemption.

Historical Context and Impact

The Tax-Free Weekend in Texas was first introduced in 1999 as a way to help families save money on back-to-school purchases. Over the years, it has become a significant event for both consumers and retailers.

Economic Impact

  • For Consumers: The event provides substantial savings for families, especially those with multiple children or those purchasing higher-priced items like computers and electronics.
  • For Retailers: Tax-Free Weekend boosts sales, attracting more customers to stores. Retailers often align additional promotions with this period to further entice shoppers.

Community Benefits

Tax-Free Weekend is more than just a shopping event; it’s a community effort to ease the financial burden on families as they prepare for the upcoming school year. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of education and the community’s role in supporting students.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are layaway items eligible for the tax exemption?

A: Yes, items placed on layaway during Tax-Free Weekend are eligible for the tax exemption, provided they meet the price criteria.

Q: Do all retailers participate in Tax-Free Weekend?

A: Most retailers in Texas participate, but it’s always best to check with individual stores. Online retailers with a physical presence in Texas are also required to participate.

Q: Can I get a rain check if an item is out of stock?

A: This depends on the retailer’s policy. Some stores may offer rain checks, while others may not.

Q: Are there limits on how many items I can purchase tax-free?

A: There are no limits on the number of items you can purchase, as long as each item qualifies under the price cap.

Q: Are shipping and handling charges tax-exempt?

A: Shipping and handling charges are generally subject to sales tax, even if the items themselves are tax-exempt.


Tax-Free Weekend in Texas is a valuable opportunity for consumers to save on essential items. With a bit of planning and understanding of the rules, you can make the most of this annual event. Remember, the 2024 Tax-Free Weekend runs from August 9th to August 11th, so mark your calendars and get ready to shop smartly. Whether you’re gearing up for the new school year or simply looking to take advantage of the savings, Tax-Free Weekend is an event you won’t want to miss.

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