Missouri’s 2020 back-to-school tax-free weekend begins Friday: What you need to know

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School supplies sit in a library.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The school year might look a little different this fall, but children will still need school supplies to get the grade.

For families looking to save in the midst of this pandemic, Missouri’s tax-free weekend is just around the corner.

This year, the state’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday runs from 12:01 a.m. Aug. 7 to midnight Aug. 9 — that’s this Friday through Sunday!

During this time, you’ll save the state sales tax rate, which is 4.225%, along with the local sales tax, which varies by area, if that city/county is participating in the holiday.

Whether your children are returning to the classroom or learning from home, school supplies are perhaps more critical than ever this year. Many districts have said students won’t be allowed to share supplies in the classroom, and online learners still need sticky notes and folders, too.

And then there’s those new back-to-school clothes!

If you haven’t gone shopping yet, now’s the time to save. And if you aren’t heading back to school and just want to do some personal shopping, that’s OK, too.

Just remember to bring your face mask and social distance in any stores you’re visiting. Face masks are required in most metro counties and in many stores like Walmart, Target and more.

And if you’re not comfortable going to stores in person, online shopping is included in the tax exemption this weekend, according to the state.

What can I buy?

On purchases of clothing, school supplies, computers, computer accessories and software, the sales tax is exempt for this weekend only. But it’s important to note sales tax will still apply to accessories like watches, jewelry, handbags, scarves, ties, headbands, and belt buckles.

And good news for parents of young children: The tax exemption applies to diapers!

There is a spending limit to get the tax exemption.

An article of clothing has to be $100 or less; a school supply item can’t exceed $50; computer software must be $350 or less; each personal computer or computer peripheral device (think keyboards, monitors, printers, etc.) can’t exceed $1,500; and a graphing calculator can’t be more than $150.

You can find more info on items that qualify for the exemption here.

Totally tax free?

You don’t have to be a Missouri student or resident to get the sales tax exemption, which is good news for Kansas residents who don’t have a tax-free period in the Sunflower State. Anyone who makes a purchase in Missouri can get these great savings.

But there are some Missouri cities, counties and districts that have opted not to remove their local sales tax.

You can see all the cities that don’t participate here. Find counties that have opted out here and see districts here.

Although the local sales tax in these areas will be applied, the state sales tax will still be exempt over the weekend.

Still have questions? 

Check the Missouri Department of Revenue’s FAQ page. Then enjoy your tax-free shopping!

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