Friday-Saturday’s sales tax holiday: What you need to know

School has already started across much of metro Atlanta, but the back-to-school shopping season is about to hit its stride.

For the first time since 2009, shoppers can avoid paying sales taxes on their clothes and shoes, computers and their crayons and other supplies. Previously, Georgia had had annual tax holidays beginning in 2002.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s sales tax holiday:

When: 12:01 a.m. Friday morning to midnight Saturday evening

What’s included: Clothes and shoes that cost less than $100 per item. School supplies that cost less than $20 an item. Computer-related electronics in a single purchase that cost $1,000 or less.

What’s not included: Clothing accessories, computer gaming systems and cellular devices, furniture, medical supplies, janitorial supplies. Anything sold at a hotel, restaurant, airport or theme park. Rentals or items used in a business, or for resale, are not exempt from paying tax.

Examples: Here’s the official list of tax-exempt and nonexempt items (PDF), from the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Who’s participating: Every store that sells those items in the state of Georgia, whether online or in person.

FAQs: We’ve assembled answers to some of the most-asked questions about the tax-free weekend. What other questions do you have about the tax-free holiday?

(And watch Atlanta Bargain Hunter’s back-to-school interview with Jessica Shops for ways to save money and the best places to buy dorm gear.)

Find consumer news and deals throughout the week, from a range of experts, at the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

In print, our Deal Spotter section in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution is full of great local deals and exclusive offers.

– For the AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

12 comments Add your comment

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August 9th, 2012
8:11 am

Wouldn’t it make sense to push tax free weekend up by 2 weeks considering most schools have already started?? Would have been nice to be able to shop for school supplies that were needed this week and not pay any taxes! To Little To Late!!!!!


August 9th, 2012
8:55 am

Yeah, this state is always behind Janelle, nothing new there. That’s because its being run by morons though.


August 9th, 2012
9:47 am

At least we have one. Most schools don’t expect people to have everything they need the first day anyway. Plus they usually send home more stuff they need on the first day. You can always wait and buy what you need then. They have been talking about the tax free weekend for a while now. Sometimes I think people just want something to complain about. Geez people.

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August 9th, 2012
1:53 pm

@really? Paulding County started school on August 1. Do you really thing people are going to wait a week and a half to buy school supplies? Yes, you can get by without the supplies for a day or two, but most teacher’s expected their students to bring what they needed to class by Monday. The Monday teachers in Paulding County schools expected everyone to have their supplies was Monday, August 6th (before the tax holiday), not next Monday, August 13th (after the tax holiday). Exactly how were we supposed to wait until this Saturday to get supplies when they needed them at the beginning of this week? Sure, we can wait to get the “extras”, but everything else had to be bought last weekend. So why don’t you think before you write something that stupid: “You can always wait…” No, you can’t always wait!


August 10th, 2012
1:22 pm

You are still getting the opportunity to purchase clothes, which is generally the most expensive thing. Notebooks, paper, pencil, and other school supplies are not very costly, so buying them with the small sales tax probably didn’t break the bank too much. I’m not sure why you’re being so touchy about this.

not worth it

August 11th, 2012
1:15 pm

I guess people will always find something to complain about. Seriously…tax free isn’t a huge break. My county sales tax is 7%….so…If I spend $100 on school supplies, etc. I’m only saving $7. It’s not worth getting upset about if you already bought your supplies last week or the week before. I have 3 kids — all girls — so I do have quite the expense when going back to school, but I would rather spend the extra $7 dollars per hundred to avoid the crowds.


August 11th, 2012
1:43 pm


Why not head on back to the state that you came from if this one is so bad? Did your welfare benefits run out in your previous locale?


August 11th, 2012
3:09 pm

No tax holidays here ever, I wouldn’t complain, sounds pretty sweet to me!


August 11th, 2012
3:34 pm

Our elementary school (Forsyth County) actually asked everyone to bring their school supplies to Open House, so we had to have our supplies ready before school even started.


August 11th, 2012
6:12 pm

What does welfare have to do with the conversation? I rarely comment on these blogs but I had to say something because it was simply out of line. Really….what does it have to do with anything and why assume someone is on welfare simple because he/she wants to save money? Come on people. We teach our children to treat others with respect but how can they learn when you see these types of comments? Ok – i’m done for the year. Happy blogging. Ugh.