The last weekend in July will begin the 15th annual Sales Tax Holiday in Tennessee, though it will look a little different this year.

In June, the General Assembly approved an extension of the 2020 Sales Tax Holiday. Not only did we double the price limits for tax exempt items, but we also included an additional weekend for the retail sale of food and drink at restaurants to be tax-exempt.

Citizens, restaurants and retailers across our community have felt the economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, making this Sales Tax Holiday perhaps more important than ever before. It will allow families to keep more money in their pockets while preparing students for school this fall, as well as boost the local economy by supporting restaurants, retailers and jobs in our community.

Parents, teachers and students will all face new challenges during this school year, and it is important to offset a portion of the financial costs of the new education landscape. Some of the challenges will include ensuring each student has personal school supplies to decrease the amount of sharing that goes on in a classroom to minimize the spread of germs. Other families who choose to participate in remote learning will require new technology and supplies at home for their child to complete school work. These costs will add up for many citizens, so I am very pleased Tennessee will be able to offer even more tax-free items this year.

The first tax-free weekend focuses on clothing and other back-to-school items. It begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 31, and ends Sunday, Aug. 2, at 11:59 p.m. During this time, consumers may purchase clothing, school supplies, computers and other qualifying electronic devices without paying sales tax. Certain price restrictions apply. For school supplies and clothing, the threshold for qualifying items is $200 or less. For computers and other electronics, the price threshold is $3,000 or less.

Qualifying items purchased online are also tax-exempt.

The second sales tax holiday weekend focuses on restaurant sales. It begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7 and ends Sunday, Aug. 9, at 11:59 p.m. During this time the retail sale of food and drink by restaurants is exempt from sales tax.       

For more information about the sales tax holiday weekends, visit tntaxholiday.com.

—State Sen. Joey Hensley

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