The joy of sending your kids out of the house and back to school is often offset by the annual purchase of back to school clothes. Luckily, Iowa’s annual tax holiday, starting at midnight tonight, should lighten your financial load.

All clothing and footwear across the state will be available for the retail price this Friday and Saturday, with no sales tax added. All retailers across Iowa are required by law to participate in the tax holiday without exception.

But before the excitement gets too overwhelming, there are some guidelines. First, no item other than clothing or footwear is to be included.  Watches, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, sporting equipment, skis, swim fins, roller blades, skates, and clothing designed specifically for athletic performance or protection cannot be included in the holiday.

Also, items that cost over $100 dollars do not apply for the tax exemption. For example, if a customer purchases a pair of shoes that retails for $130, he or she will still be required to pay sales tax. The same goes for any other type of clothing. However, that only applies to individual items. Your total bill can exceed $100 and still be completely tax free, as long as no individual item is more than $100.

Articles of clothing or footwear that are typically sold as a unit must be sold as a unit during the sale. In other words, you can’t buy one shoe for $70 and its mate for $70 just to avoid the tax exemption. Same goes for suits.

This Week's Circulars