5 things you need to know before hitting stores for Ohio tax-free weekend

Back-to-school shoppers looking to save a few bucks will hit the stores this weekend for the tax-free holiday.

Here are five things to know about shopping this weekend:

1. When and where does the holiday occur?

Shoppers can start shopping as early as 12 a.m. on Friday, with the holiday lasting through 11:59 p.m. Sunday. The three-day tax exemption will take place at all online and Ohio stores.

Shoppers looking to use pickup methods from popular back-to-school stores like Meijer, Target and Walmart must order and pickup the items during the sales tax-free weekend.

2. Only some items qualify

Popular school items like highlighters, pens, pencils, backpacks, calculators and more all qualify to be purchased without paying taxes, but only if the items are priced under $20.

During the holiday, shoppers don’t have to pay taxes on school supplies and instructional material costing less than $20 per item, as well as clothing costing less than $75 per item.

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Clothing, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation, is “all human wearing apparel suitable for general use.” This includes shirts, pants, dresses, uniforms, shoes, underwear, socks, coats, gloves, hats, belts, neckties, scarves, aprons, lab coats, bathing suits, diapers for children and adults, formal wear, etc.

If customers purchase an item of clothing over $75 or school supplies over $20, customers will pay taxes on the whole purchase price, including the first $75 or $20 of the item. For example, if customers purchase $80 shoes, they will pay sales tax on all $80.

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3. Friday morning is the best time to shop

Friday morning is the best time to shop to beat the crowds, said managers at local Walmart, Target and Meijer stores.

“I’ve been in retail for 14 years now, and early in the morning on tax-free weekend that Friday is the best time to come in because you still get that selection but you don’t get the crowd,” said Raheem Muhammad-Terrell, an executive team leader at the Target store on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek.

If shoppers can’t make it to the stores that Friday morning, the next best time is to shop early in the morning Saturday or Sunday when the shelves will be freshly stocked from third shift.

4. More than just back-to-school shoppers can benefit from the sales

Teachers and parents of school-aged children won’t be the only shoppers to take advantage of tax exemptions during this weekend’s holiday.

New moms, office workers and soon-to-be brides, among many others, can also get deals. Diapers and baby receiving blankets are included in the clothing that qualifies to be tax-free during the weekend. Office workers can stock up on supplies like pens, pencils and post-it notes.

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For brides, hosiery, garters, formal wear and wedding apparel are also included in the clothing list, so soon-to-brides looking to purchase those items that cost less than $75 can do so tax-free Friday through Sunday.

5. The holiday is permanent now

This is the first year for the tax-free holiday since Gov. John Kasich signed the bill into permanent law, rather than a pilot phase.

Now shoppers will see the tax free weekend every year.

“We have data from the last two years that shows there is a large spike during the weekend,” Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani-R, Miami Twp. said. “We would like to create a Black Friday-like event during August.”


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