Are computers tax free in Austin on tax free weekend?
No they don't qualify for the tax break. In TX it's limited to certain clothing items and backpacks only. Not even school supplies qualify for the break in TX. Oddly enough, adult diapers DO qualify for the tax break. Only in TX!!
According to the MD Comptrollers Office there won't be a tax free week again until 2010. Here's the memo:
Tax Free Week – Clothing and Footwear, Excluding Accessory Items
Beginning in calendar year 2010, there will be a one week tax-free period for back-to-school
shopping in Maryland during which the sales and use tax does not apply to the sale of any items of
clothing or footwear, excluding accessory items, if the taxable price of the item of clothing or footwear is
$100 or less. This tax-free period will occur the week of August 8, 2010, through August 14, 2010.
Accessory items, which are not exempt from the sales and use tax during the tax-free week
include jewelry, watches, watchbands, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands,
and belt buckles.
Tax Free Weekend – Energy Star Products
Beginning in calendar year 2011, there will be a tax –free three day weekend during which the
sales and use tax will not apply to the sale of any Energy Star Product listed below, or solar water
heater. This tax-free weekend will occur the weekend of February 19, 2011, through February 21,
Energy Star Product means an air conditioner, clothes washer or dryer, furnace, heat pump,
standard size refrigerator, compact fluorescent light bulb, dehumidifier, or programmable thermostat that
has been designated as meeting or exceeding the applicable Energy Star Efficiency requirements developed
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
These are the states that have a tax free weekend:
• Alabama • New Mexico • Connecticut • North Carolina
• Florida • South Carolina • Georgia • Tennessee
• Iowa • Texas • Maryland • Virginia • Missouri
• Washington, D.C.
As you can see, California is NOT on the list.
Can you buy online during Tax Free Weekend and be exempt?
Technically, yes. The official language from the NC technical tax bulletin is pasted below. However, most online merchants will not be aware of the tax free weekend and I seriously doubt any of them will bother to reprogram their systems to automatically comply with the tax free weekends. If you decide to order a laptop online, I would call and talk to a real person when placing the order. You will most likely need a supervisor to override the sales tax.
You have to be careful to make sure the purchase is actually made during the weekend and many online sites do not have live customer service folks available on the weekends.
Here's the detail on the policy for NC:
Sales by Remote Sellers
Sales of eligible items by mail order, telephone, Internet, or other remote means qualify
for the exemption. For the purpose of the sales tax holiday, an item is eligible for the
exemption if the following occurs during the holiday period:
a. The customer orders the item and pays for the item. A customer pays for an
item when the seller receives a credit card number, a debit authorization, a
check, or a money order.
b. The retailer accepts the order and takes an action to fill the order for immediate
delivery. The actual delivery can occur after the holiday period. Actions to fill an
order include placement of an “in date” stamp on a mail order or assignment of
an “order number” to a telephone order. An order is for immediate delivery when
the customer does not request delayed shipment. An order is for immediate
delivery notwithstanding that the shipment may be delayed because of a backlog
of orders or because stock is currently unavailable to, or on back order by, the
Most retailers are only able to change their tax application systems for an entire day and
not for periods during the day. The time zone of the seller’s location determines the
authorized time period for the holiday when the purchaser and seller are located in
different time zones.
Any retailer with a NC nexus, online or otherwise, is required to collect and render NC sales taxes on all taxable goods and services delivered to a NC address. All NC retailers are required to collect and render ONLY the legally due NC sales taxes. Therefore any online retailer with a NC nexus is REQUIRED BY LAW to honor the tax-free holiday rates on taxable sales.