Grab your wallets! Get your back to school shopping done during the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday. 

Cincinnati Pop-Up ShopsThe Ohio Sales Tax Holiday is a three-day event that exempts certain retail items from sales and use of tax when purchased in the state of Ohio. The holiday starts on Friday, August 3, 2018, at 12:00 a.m. and ends on Sunday, August 5, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.  There’s no limit on the total purchase, as long as the per-item caps are observed.

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During the holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use of tax:

–   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

Of course with this excitement, comes rules and regulations. Here are some pointers to help you navigate through the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday.


Helpful Tips
Multiple items under $75 can be purchased at the same time and still be exempt from sales and the use of tax. For example, if you purchase three shirts and two pairs of pants all for $50 each, you will not be charged any tax. The exempt of tax is determined item by item. Not by the total purchase. Check out Ohio Sales Tax Holiday for list of acceptable clothing.
The total price of items advertised as “buy one, get one free” or “buy one for a reduced price” cannot be averaged to qualify both items for the exemption. The exemption depends on the actual price paid for each item.  For example, if a consumer buys one clothing item at $80 and receives another item for free, the purchase would be subject to sales tax.
Qualified items sold to consumers by mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet shall qualify for the sales tax exemption if the consumer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.  However, if the order and payment were made before the sales tax holiday, even if the item was delivered during the sales tax holiday, it would not qualify for the exemption.  Additionally, if an item is backordered and payment does not occur until a later shipment, the item would not qualify for the exemption.
“School supplies” include only the following items: binders; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; blackboard chalk; compasses; composition books; crayons; erasers; folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila); glue, paste, and paste sticks; highlighters; index cards; index card boxes; legal pads; lunch boxes; markers; notebooks; paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper; pencil boxes and other school supply boxes; pencil sharpeners;  pencils; pens; protractors; rulers; scissors; and writing tablets. Items not included in this list are taxable. “School supplies” does not include any item purchased for use in a trade or business.

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The intention of the sales tax holiday, recently made permanent by the Ohio legislature, is to boost sales while also giving taxpayers a break on back to school items such as pens, notebooks, jeans and shoes. For more information, tips and questions, visit Ohio Sales Tax Holiday Frequently Asked Questions. You can also request more information through email or call 1-800-304-3211.


Marissa Staples, Writer
The Voice of Black Cincinnati


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region. Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or text VOBC to 797979 for local news, events, job postings, scholarships and a database of local Black-owned businesses.