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Back to School shopping tips
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During the August 9-10 sales tax holiday, the following items will be exempt from sales tax:

General school supplies to be used in the classroom or in classroom-related activities with a sales price of $20 or less per item. Examples of exempt items:

• Appointment books
• Book bags, including backpack style bags
• Book covers
• Bookmarks
• Calculators
• Chalk
• Children's books
• Clipboards
• Compasses
• Composition books
• Correction fluid
• Crayons
• Daily planners and agendas
• Dictionaries
• Dividers
• Erasers, chalkboard and pencil
• File jackets
• Flash cards
• Folders
• Glue
• Highlighters
• Index cards
• Ink
• Ink cartridges
• Labels
• Loose-leaf binders
• Lunch boxes
• Markers
• Notebooks and memo books
• Organizers
• Paper (e.g., notebook, construction, printer, graph, easel pads)
• Paper clips
• Paste
• Pencil boxes
• Pencil lead
• Pencil sharpeners
• Pencils
• Pens
• Portfolios
• Protractors
• Rubber bands
• Rulers
• Scissors
• Sheet protectors
• Staplers and staples
• Sticky notes
• Tape and tape refills
• Thesauruses

Non-exempt (taxable) items:
• Books (except children's books, dictionaries and thesauruses)
• Briefcases
• Envelopes
• Janitorial Supplies
• Medical Supplies
• Supplies used in a trade or business


Clothing (including footwear) with a sales price of $100 or less per item. This EXCLUDES accessories such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches, and watchbands.

Examples of exempt items:
• Antique/vintage clothing
• Aprons, household and shop
• Athletic clothing (e.g., ski wear, uniforms, tennis apparel)
• Athletic pads
• Athletic supporters
• Baby receiving blankets
• Baby clothes
• Bandanas
• Bathing suits and caps
• Bathing suit cover-ups
• Belts and suspenders
• Belts for weightlifting or back support
• Blouses
• Bras
• Caps and hats
• Coats and jackets of all types
• Capes, shawls, and wraps
• Corsets and corset laces
• Costumes
• Coveralls
• Dresses
• Diapers, children and adult, including disposable and reusable diapers and diaper covers
• Ear muffs
• Football pads
• Footwear of all types including cleated and spiked shoes
• Formal wear
• Garters and garter belts
• Girdles
• Gloves and mittens for any purpose
• Hats and caps
• Hand muffs
• Headbands (athletic)
• Helmets
• Hosiery
• Insoles and inserts for shoes
• Knee pads
• Lab coats
• Leg warmers
• Leotards and tights
• Lingerie
• Neckties and bowties
• Pants
• Rainwear
• Robes
• Scarves
• Shin guards
• Shirts
• Shoe laces
• Shorts and skorts
• Skates (ice, roller, roller blades)
• Skirts
• Sleepwear
• Socks
• Suits
• Sweaters
• T-shirts
• Underwear including long or thermal underwear
• Uniforms, athletic and nonathletic
• Vests

Examples of non-exempt (taxable) items:
• Baby bibs
• Belt buckles sold separately
• Briefcases
• Clothing accessories or equipment
• Clothing that is rented or leased
• Corsages and boutonnieres
• Cosmetics
• Crib blankets
• Cuff links
• Diaper bags
• Eyewear, nonprescription
• Fanny packs
• Hair notions including, but not limited to, barrettes, hair bows, and hair nets
• Handbags
• Handkerchiefs
• Hard hats
• Jewelry
• Key cases
• Life jackets and vests


Single purchases, with a sales price of $1,000.00 or less, of personal computers and personal computer-related accessories. The exemption excludes cellular devices, furniture, and computer-related accessories designed for recreational use. Examples of exempt items:
• Batteries (designed for a computer)
• Cables (computer)
• Car adaptors for laptops
• Central processing units
• Compact disk drives
• Computers including electronic book readers and laptop, desktop, handheld, tablet, and tower computers, consisting of a central processing unit, random access memory, and a storage drive
• Data storage devices (e.g.,DVDs, CDs, flash drives, diskettes, memory cards) (excluding those designed for use in digital cameras or other taxable items)
• Docking stations (designed for a computer)
• Hard drives (computer)
• Keyboards(computer)
• Memory
• Microphones
• Modems
• Monitors
• Motherboard
• Mouses
• Nonrecreational software (e.g., antivirus, word processing, financial, database, educational)
• Personal digital assistant devices (except cellular telephones)
• Port replicators
• Printer cartridges
• Printers (including "all-in-one" models)
• Routers
• Scanners
• Speakers (computer)
• Web camera

Examples of non-exempt (taxable) items:
• Batteries (regular)
• Casesfor electronic devices
• CDs/DVDs (music, voice or prerecorded item)
• Cellular telephones
• Computer bags
• Computers for recreation (games and toys)
• Copy machines
• Digital cameras
• Games and gaming software
• Game controllers (e.g., joy sticks)
• Game systems and consoles
• MP3 Players or accessories
• Projectors
• Rented computers or computer accessories
• Surge protectors
• Televisions


The start of a new school year is just around the corner. While an improving economy means that the cost of school supplies is down slightly from last year, according to the National Retail Federation, the average family will still spend about $635 on back-to-school purchases this year.

"Back-to-school shopping is costly for many families, particularly those in low- to moderate-income households," said Deatra Riley, financial education manager for CredAbility. "Planning and some research can help you stay within your budget." It is important that families spend wisely and buy only what they need to get the school year started.

Here are some tips to help:

Take inventory
Begin with a list of all back-to-school needs and expenses including supplies, equipment, clothing, and fees for sports, music and science labs. Next, check around the house for what your family already owns. Look for and reuse calculators, rulers, pencil sharpeners and anything else that is still in working condition. Last year's backpack may be just what is needed to start the new school year. In fact, wait just a few weeks after school starts and many backpacks and other accessories will be on sale for a fraction of the original price.

Network with other parents
Seek out or host a clothing swap online or in your neighborhood; this can be a great way to recycle your gently used items and save money on the things you need this year. Also, research the potential savings of buying school supplies in bulk and splitting the cost with other parents in your area.

Make a budget and stick to it
Decide how much you will spend on school supplies ahead of time and, if possible, set aside the cash to avoid overspending. If you do use credit cards, have a plan to pay them off quickly to avoid having your school shopping cost even more.

Let your kids do the shopping
Using the school supply shopping list, establish a budget and let your kids do the "shopping." Depending on their age, you might choose a handful of items that they are responsible for picking out within their budget. Explain to them that they must purchase all the items without spending more than the budget. As they shop, help them weigh their options. They might decide that the fancier, more expensive pencil case is within reach if they choose the generic glue stick over the name brand. Consider letting them keep any leftover money as an added incentive for them to choose wisely.

Take advantage of sales tax holidays
In many states, parents can enjoy tax-free shopping for many school supplies, helping their back to school budget go a little further. Georgia's school supply tax holiday is Aug. 9-10. Clothing, including shoes, with a sales price of $100 or less per item, school supplies with a price of $20 or less, and computer equipment with a price of $1000 or less are covered. For more on the sales tax holiday and what items it covers, click on the PDF attached to the article or go to

Plan your shopping
High gas prices mean it may not pay to go to several stores to save a few cents on school supplies. Check the newspaper and online ads and map out your shopping plan to maximize your savings and stay within your budget. Many families are buying online and using store brands to help balance their back-to-school budgets. Research which stores have items you need on sale and look for coupons or discounted gift cards at popular online sites like and

Shop online and at discount retailers
Online shopping is on the rise which means many retailers are offering good online prices for school supplies. Look for free or inexpensive delivery. Outlet stores, big box stores and discount chains can save you money on uniforms, electronics and other school supplies. Check out your neighborhood consignment shops and thrift stores too. Some have designated space for school uniforms and you may get some great bargains.

Shop at school
Many schools offer pre-packaged school supplies for students. Often coordinated by the PTA as a fundraiser, families can purchase supply packs from the school at costs comparable to what you would pay at a retailer. You will save time and gas by not having to shop and your child's supplies will be waiting for them on the first day of school.


5-15-13 Georgia 2013 Sales Tax Holiday Fact Sheet