Ohio sales tax holiday: What you need to know before you shop


COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) — This year’s Ohio sales tax holiday begins on Friday, Aug. 6 and ends at midnight Sunday, Aug. 8 to help families with back-to-school expenses.

The sales tax holiday helps families on clothing, school supplies, and instructional materials. But it doesn’t include items used in trade or business. Things included in the tax-free category are:

  • An item of clothing priced at $75 or less
  • An item of school supplies priced at $20 or less
  • An item of school instructional material priced at $20 or less

You can buy as many items as you want, and it doesn’t all have to be for the kids. Adult clothes still apply. That’s because the lack of tax is based on the item, not the total sale.

Coupons and loyalty cards

And you can use coupons and loyalty cards to get the prices down. For instance, on items of clothing where the limit is $75 but the original price was higher, you can get down to that $75 price with a coupon or a loyalty card, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Clothing means all human-wearing every-day apparel, including shoes, diapers and even formal and wedding clothes. But people who sew their own clothes are out of luck — materials to make the clothes aren’t included. Neither is sports equipment and protective gear — like hard hats or tool belts — which don’t get included in the tax holiday.


The exemption does apply to layaway sales, if they are placed on layaway during the sales tax holiday. They are also exempt if they are picked up from layaway during the sales tax holiday.

Internet orders

For internet orders, the rules say that if you order and pay for the item during the tax holiday, and ship immediately, your item will qualify even if it’s delivered days or weeks later.

But if your internet order and payment happened before Friday, then you still have to pay sales tax.


Also, if the item is backordered and the website or retailer can’t take your order during the sales tax holiday, the item doesn’t qualify for the tax-free discount.

Shipping & handling

You will also not pay tax on shipping and handling if all of your items in the shipment are eligible. For instance, nothing is over the $20 limit for school supplies or the $75 limit for clothes.

But if the shipment has items in it that aren’t in the sales tax holiday, then the seller will have to “…allocate the shipping and handling charges by a percentage based on the total price of the taxable items to the total price of all the items in the shipment,” according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

For exact wording of the rules, and fine print about returns and qualifying items, visit the Ohio Department of Taxation’s explanation page, where it’s covered in detail.

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